Nothing beats awesome untouched coastal scenery and there’s so many hidden beach coves that you might be missing out on. There’s one snag though; the best ones are usually only stumbled upon by foot and over the last seven years, my fiance and I still find them on our camping holidays.
As we only ever go circular coastal walks, these top tips are for when we return back to our campervan and you might not look like a sexy Instagram-able babe while you’re facing all weathers (I’ve given up trying to look feminine for practicality); but I’d much rather be warm and dry than hate my trip. And more importantly, we get plenty steps on our Fitbit, tire our dog out and discover many breathtaking views while learning about new places. And it’s all for free!
1. Layers of clothing
This is probably the most important as the weather can vary so much throughout the day, never mind working up a sweat on different terrains. I find Go Outdoors is by far the best for cheap thin polyester layers to help regulate my temperature. You’ll need them mostly in the morning and evening and can easily be popped in to a rucksack if I get too hot. I also love wearing ski-trousers if it’s not Summer and rarely wear shorts to avoid nettles and overgrown tracks but don’t even go near denim as you’ll regret it.
2. Walking Boots
If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll need to rely on a really good grip on your soles. I prefer waterproof boots with ankle supports which will take time to adjust but really are worth it. Rocks can be steep and slippy by the sea and if you’re fortunate to be a size 5 or less, (I’m a 4), I can usually find a cheap kids pair in the Christmas or Summer sale. (I tend to shop at Go Outdoors, Trespass or Sports Direct). Trekking poles are also really useful to support your weight in tricky conditions and just in case your feet do get wet, it can’t hurt to carry an extra pair of socks.
If you’re stepping in to unknown surroundings, don’t always expect to find shops to stock if you get thirsty. We fill up a big Avex Contigo bottle each that can hold a rumble and tumble in our bag with an anti-leaking lock and hook on the top to stop us getting in to trouble.
It goes without saying, but a map is important to find your way. We rarely carry paper copies with us as google maps on our smart phones is excellent to find our GPS location. However, it needs saying that you can’t always guarantee on getting signal, so we often do map screenshots before we get there. Or when we completed The Three Peaks Challenge in 2015, we bought and downloaded maps for the Ordnance Survey App.
5. Emergency Phone Chargers
I can’t recommend our back up Anker charger enough and we’re not talking the lipstick sized ones. I’m addicted to social media on my phone and when combined with using my phone’s Sat-Nav and filming clips for my YouTube channel, my battery can soon shoot down. I really don’t know how I’ve coped without it before and wouldn’t want to. And make sure take decent USB cables with you; I don’t know how many times I’ve had to wiggle a cable and hold it in a certain way to get it charge (even hooked up to the electrics in our camper).
6. Energy Snacks
If you’re a Fitbit wearer like me, you’ll know that a 10 mile beach walk can get burn off up to 3000 calories. And apart from a good breakfast and a wholesome sandwich for lunch, what can also keep us going are the naughtier treats that I usually avoid on non active days. Flapjacks are great for slow release energy and don’t forget, sugar is important to restore the muscles after exercise.
7. Always Carry Cash
Many rural places don’t take cards, so always carry emergency cash with you.
8. Baby wipes
It may sound gross, but don’t expect toilets to be conveniently placed on your travels and there’s nothing worse than a wet lettuce if you need to spend a penny. That’s all I’m saying! Oh, and always take them home with you.
9. Don’t rely on other people to take things you may need
Speaking from experience, this is so important. Don’t rely on anyone but yourself to pack your emergency charger, water or whatever is very important to you and can hinder your trail. You need to be comfortable to enjoy your walk.
10. Plan your journey
Don’t start your journey too late and evaluate the weather conditions. We avoid walking in ice, snow and severe wind, unless we know the route for safety. Also, there are many dirt tracks and footpaths that don’t often see people throughout the year and isn’t cost effective to keep them lit up. As the night draw in, you could end up traipsing in the dark, ankle deep in mood, relying on a torch-app on your phone. We’ve done it and it’s not fun.
Here’s these tips, shortened down for last Friday’s YouTube video!
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