I am a member of a local Facebook walking group, and someone recently posted a question on there, any hints or safety tips for novice walkers?
Now I am not in the category of a hiker or day hiker, so some of the advice may seem over the top for your average dog walk, but I just thought, what a good idea for a blog. We’ve all gone out for a walk unprepared; the phone battery has died, we’re wearing inappropriate clothing, we’ve forgotten the poo bags!
Walking is great because it is a free form of exercise, you can go where you want (within reason of course), at your own pace and the best part is that you can go with your dog, friends and family. In the current situation, we find ourselves with the coronavirus, dog walking is invaluable for so many reasons, not just for physical health, but for our mental well being too. Many of us are working from home now and going out for a walk is a great way to break up the working day, as well as fun for your dog; whether it’s a walk around the block or something more substantial. Just think how many times we have come back from a walk having blown the cobwebs away.
Here at 1 Dog At A Time Rescue, we have compiled a list of some things you may want to take with you on a walk or to bear in mind when you go for a walk. It is by no means complete, nor in any particular order and of course, is different for everyone and how far you are planning on walking.
- Mask and hand sanitiser – it goes without saying that in the current situation we find ourselves in we must not leave the house without these items.
- Dog poo bags – a necessity. Remember to take them home with you or find a suitable bin. I always double bag mine at least, having suffered from the single cheap bag that has split…. Eeeek!
- A bottle of water, plus water bowl for your dog.
- A small rucksack to carry things in easily and to keep your hands free to negotiate stiles, keep your balance especially on wet and slippery paths.
- A fully charged mobile phone.
- Spare phone charge pack plus cable – especially important if you are going to be out all day, using your phone for navigation, taking photos etc.
- Download the What 3 Words app onto your phone.
- Just be mindful of where you will be walking, especially if you will be walking on your own.
- Food and drink – what and how much you take depends on the weather, how long you are planning to be out for, who is going on your walk etc. If you have got kids with you, food or snacks is a must.
- Dry socks.
- Map or walk instructions.
- Let someone know where you are going and how long you think you will be gone for. This is not just appropriate for whole days out; safety is paramount these days.
- Suitable footwear. This of course, depends on the weather. A good pair of wellies are sufficient for a few hours walking, but anything longer and you may want to consider investing in a good pair of hiking boots.
- Suitable clothing. We are always told we should wear lots of layers so that they can be taken on and off. It may be worthwhile checking if your old waterproof coat is actually waterproof? Speaking from experience it’s not great when you are at the furthest point on your walk, the heavens open and you get soaked.
- Torch. Most of us have a torch facility on our phones these days, but again be aware of using up your phone battery.
- Be aware of what time it starts to get dark.
- Stick to the footpaths at all times.
- Small first aid kit.
- Take any necessary medication with you. There’s a good chance you’ll be out for longer than you anticipated.
- Spare lead for your dog.
- Sun cream.
- Insect repellant.
The list could potentially be endless, and if you took everything with you, you would end up carrying a huge rucksack! These are just a few ideas to make you think about what you may need to take with you. The main thing is to have fun with your dog, fellow walkers and enjoy your surroundings. Happy walking!
Please click here to contact us if you would like more information on 1 Dog At A Time Rescue UK.