Checklist for a big Nordic walking excursion

There's something poetic about the idea of setting off for a long Nordic walking excursion with just a little flask under your arm, trusting in your love of walking to pull you through. That would, indeed, be a bold move. But a dash of caution may be wiser... So let's take a look at the list of gear you might need before you take on the elements. Starting with clothes, food and sports equipment, here's everything you need to truly savour your epic Nordic walking excursion.


Walking without poles? Well, then it's no longer Nordic walking! Poles are essential to all Nordic walkers, they give the forward drive and activate all the muscles in your back, arms and shoulders, strengthening your bones and improving your balance.

Make sure you put on the rubber tips for trails with hard ground and leave the spikes out for wet and muddy terrain. Don't forget them!

2. Your pair of shoes

From rugged trails in the wild to countryside paths flanking the cities, Nordic walking generally takes place out in nature, with the birds singing along as you go. And the sound of your footsteps brings a beat to their tune.~Nordic walking shoes are designed to support the unrolling movement of your feet and to suit all types of terrain. A crucial part of your kit, they are flexible and give you good grip and great stability; basically, these are friends you can absolutely trust.


3. Comfortable clothes

It's definitely worth checking the weather forecast before setting off for a long Nordic walking excursion. Whether it's hot or cold, dry or humid, it's crucial to make sure you're as comfortable as possible so you can rack up the miles without hindrance.

You should wear clothes specifically designed for sport, made of breathable fabric and fitting you closely so they follow your movements.~When it''s hot and dry, wear lightweight clothes that wick away perspiration.~What about when it's cold and raining? If you're going out in hostile weather, wear a merino T-shirt, a light, long-sleeved down jacket/fleece and a third layer to protect you from the wind and rain on top, and tights on your legs.


4. A few accessories

If you're going for a long excursion, you can't afford to improvise.

- Take insect repellent to keep the ticks away, they're often a problem in wooded, humid places.~- A head torch could be very useful if your outing goes on past sunset. Depending on the weather forecast, take sun cream, a cap, sunglasses or a woolly hat, gloves and warm socks.~- To keep a record of your route and find out where you are exactly, it's a good idea to bring a map scaled 1:25,000 or a GPS.~- Before zipping up your little backpack, slip in a few blister plasters, you'll be glad to have them if your feet start hurting. And finally, don't forget your phone, so you can stay in touch and listen to music if you feel the urge!


5. And lastly, food and drink

You should never go walking without water, whatever the distance, and if you're going a long way, you should also take isotonic drinks; they're easy to digest and good for long-duration exercise, as they boost your intake of water, minerals and nutrients thus helping you rehydrate yourself properly while topping up your energy with carbohydrates.

To stay light-footed as you walk, eat marzipan or fruit pastes, or dry fruit such as dates, figs, raisins or dried apricots. Sweet or salty cereal bars are also great for keeping your energy levels up.~And if you want to just keep on going without ever needing to stop, bring energy gels!

For peace of mind when you're out walking, it's essential to be properly equipped, so please go ahead and add your comments tot his list or join our community!