25 Gifts for under £25 🎁

If you are looking for inspiration for gifts for the outdoor person in your life, these are 25 gift suggestions under £25, for walkers of all abilities – from first timers to experienced hikers. They are all items which are in regular use in my kit.

Some budget day hike kit items
  • Buff – A versatile item available in a wide range of colours and designs to suit the person you are buying for
  • Head Torch – Very useful to have in your rucksack during winter walks when the days are short so you don’t get caught out
  • Gloves – Available in a huge range of colours, styles and fabrics
  • Mini Tripod – Popular items available for smartphones for those outdoor selfies
  • Drink Bottle – Possibly the most important item of kit. Available in plastic and metal
  • Flask – For that timely brew on the hills
  • Maps – One or two local maps could encourage a novice walker out on a walk
  • Waterproof Phone Case – Another increasingly popular item to protect your phone from getting wet
  • Lapel Microphone Clip – The perfect present for anyone wanting to vlog about their walks using their phone. Stops you being drowned out by wind
  • Beanie – Economical, versatile and easy to shove in your pack or your pocket when not in use
  • Compass – Another ideal gift for a newbie walker. Worth getting a decent one on a lanyard to attach it to a pack or jacket
  • Pen-knife – A good quality pen knife is a permanent part of many kit lists. Obviously it must conform to knife laws wherever you are.
  • Hand Warmers – Nice to keep hands warm in cold weather and available in a wide range of prices
  • Cheap Poles – My first set of trekking poles were pretty cheap and lasted for ages
  • Dry Bags – Always useful and available singly or in sets
  • Socks – A good outdoor shop should stock a good range of these for different times of year. Available in different sizes, colours and designs to suit the person you are buying for.
  • Outdoor Wallet – A useful gift available in synthetic or cuben to replace a bulky purse or wallet on outdoor trips
  • Head Net – An essential item in some parts of the country at certain times of year. Light and compact enough to stay in your rucksack during the summer months.
  • Gaiters – Excellent for wet and boggy terrain
  • Walking Guide Book – A good book of routes is a great present. The best ones have good maps, are pocket sized and resilient.
  • Guided Walk – In this age of things, experiential gifts are a growth market. A good experience could be to take someone on a guided trip or walk.
  • Lunch Box – Along with the drinks bottle and flask already mentioned, a good, robust lunch box is always nice to have and can last for years.
  • Attachable Accessories – You can get great drink bottles holders and cases in cuben and gridstop fabric which attach to rucksack shoulder straps and hip belts for extra space.
  • Anemometer – There are a range of hand held anemometers available for measuring temperatures and wind speeds during a walk
  • Gift Card – Available for high street stuff, digital maps and routes on most route apps

Rose🌹🎁

Happy Birthday to You

I have just realised that it is the fourth birthday of Rucksack Rose this week so I just wanted to say that those four years have opened up the unique world of the outdoors to me as a some time solitary walker in the northern Cheviot Hills, a solitary part of the country.

Rucksack Rose - First Avatars
Rucksack Rose – First Avatars

I guess we all like to feel part of a community and the outdoors community, from the participants to the trail angels and accommodation providers, are mostly a good bunch of people. I recently returned to full time education for a year and attempted to reduce the time I spent on walking and blogging, but I found that I really missed it and the people who are part of it. So Happy Birthday to you and a huge thanks for supporting me, my blog, and my video walk records, and for sharing all your knowledge and experience with me.

Rucksack Rose - Fourth Birthday
Rucksack Rose – Fourth Birthday

Best long distance trail results

Well, hikers have spoken. Following a brainstorming session on social media, I created a poll of polls (below) in which people were invited to nominate and vote for their top 3 international long distance trails.

As you can see from my previous post, the shortlist included trails from all over the world, including the USA, New Zealand, Scotland, France and Turkey. The picture below shows the results on the closing date, but please feel free to continue voting.

The top five long distance trails as voted for by readers
The top five long distance trails as voted for by readers

Unfortunately some of the less well known trails like the GR5 (Netherlands to the Mediterranean) and the Lycian Way in Turkey didn’t fare so well in the poll, but perhaps that was to be expected.

In the end the poll was just for fun and I hope you enjoyed taking part.

Which long distance trail?

After a brainstorm on social media which involved some great hikers and runners, I thought I would collate the answers I received into a blog post so that you can vote for your top three trails. The closing date for votes is 1st March 2014.

Sorry if your favourite trail isn’t included in the poll but I had to close the nominations at some point. The list is entirely made up of trails suggested by people on social media. It can only ever be a selection as there are so many great trails out there. Please feel free to vote and add your own comments or additions to the list as a comment. Thanks for taking part.

Wall
Wall along the Whin Sill

The End of a Vintage Year

2013 has been an vintage adventure year with three solo trails and a return to the Lakeland fells. Although my hiking has been confined to this country, I have experienced everything from deep snow in April to intense heat three months later, which has presented some challenges. I have also met and listened to some inspiring people, with fascinating tales to tell, so lots to learn and write up in my review of the year, coming soon.

image
Milecastle, Hadrian’s Wall

Finishing the Pennine Way

Just a quick hello to say that I am safely back from my Pennine Way walk for Crisis UK which took 20 days and was supported by Cotswold Outdoor and Gossamer Gear. I apologise that I was unable to post to this blog during the walk but I was without phone signal, 3G or wifi for most of the route with my ineffective sim card. I have published a write-up of the walk which I hope you enjoy. You can see videos on YouTube, photos on social media under the hashtag #RosePW and you can donate until the end of August 2013  by texting ROSE71 £(Amount) to 70070 🙂

Thanks for supporting my Pennine Way for Crisis UK
Thanks for supporting my Pennine Way for Crisis UK

Pennine Way walk for Crisis UK

The hashtag for my Pennine Way for Crisis UK updates and photos is #RosePW

Setting off on the Pennine Way is now imminent. I have completed my training walks and devised my schedule, which involves staying in a mixture of campsites, hostels & B&Bs, and includes a couple of rest days. I have been trying to rest and promote the walk for the last week or so and will be using social media to post updates during the walk.

This is my kit list and I would like to thank Cotswold Outdoor and Gossamer Gear for supporting the walk.

Backpacking kit for the Pennine Way

Time in reconnaissance…

As I have now completed the St Cuthbert’s Way, the Cumbria Way plus a week of day walking as part of my training plan for my Pennine Way walk for Crisis UK, I am now resting up until I start my charity walk later this month.

I have recently been assembling and testing out my kit for the walk including a new lightweight tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat. I am relatively new to camping while I walk, so this has included getting some advice and sleeping out for trial weekends to discover what works and what doesn’t.

Here are a couple of pictures of the tent and equipment I will be using for the walk.

Trying out my kit in the garden

Many thanks for reading.

Rose

Pennine Way planning

My thoughts are turning to my (completed in July 2013) Pennine Way walk for Crisis UK. Behind the scenes, I have been preparing for this walk. This has included assembling a kit which will hopefully meet the needs of the walk.

The main aim of my kit is to ensure that I can reach my destination in comfort. I have learned to focus on comfort and weight as the key factors for success on my walks so far. Some companies have been generous enough to offer discounts on some of the items I needed most. In particular Gossamer Gear in the U.S. offered me a discount on their 65L Mariposa rucksack which is one of the few of that size weighing in at less than 1kg. This is less than half the weight of my previous rucksack.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa rucksack
Gossamer Gear Mariposa rucksack

I have also been finalising my walking schedule in order to be able to book my accommodation for the journey. I am hoping to do about 18 days walking plus 2/3 rest days spread out along the way. As usual the accommodation has ended up being a mixture of hostels, bunkhouses, B&Bs and campsites. As I am not yet up to speed as a wild camper I have opted for campsites which give me the option of support, provisions, basic facilities & being a bit more sociable if I have the energy!

My training for the walk is going to plan. I have a range of warm up exercises to do which hopefully will keep me injury free. I also did 5 days of walking in north Northumberland in March 2013, the 70 mile St Cuthbert’s Way  walk in April 2013, and I am planning the Cumbria Way for May 2013.

One highlight of the St. Cuthbert’s Way was stopping for the night in Kirk Yetholm which is the official northern end of the Pennine Way. This boot garden was a sobering reminder of all the previous people to have attempted the walk and of how tough the walk will be. I hope that I make it back here in a better state than some of these boots.

Boot Garden
Boot garden at Kirk Yetholm

If any of you can afford to donate to CrisisUK to speed me on my way I would be very grateful.

Kirk Yetholm
Kirk Yetholm