One reason that walking is such a great exercise is that to get started you need very little kit, apart from a flat comfortable pair of shoes, and that will serve you well for much walking. For other kit, especially if your walking is urban or close to home, then I would add to that a waterproof jacket and some gloves, scarf and a woolly hat when the weather is cooler. You might also want to take a water bottle with you and a small rucksack that holds this and your purse etc. All of these things may already be in your home and/or owned by a family member that you can borrow from – it’s unlikely that you have to go to great expense to have it.

You may find that as you do more walking that you might decide to up level this very basic kit so you might invest in a pair of trainers or walking shoes. You don’t have to spend a fortune but do go and get fitted. All good outdoor shops should be able to help here.

If at some point you then decide to take your walking more seriously then start to build your kit gradually and do it when the sales are on. For reasonably priced tops and jackets also look at places like TK Maxx in the UK or TJ Maxx in the USA and some of the sports stores too.

Remember to buy light and comfortable kit so tops that have ‘wicking’ material which literally wicks away the sweat so that when you stop you don’t get cold. Get yourself fleeces of different thickness over time. I will be talking about layers in the next letter so when looking at what you might add, remember this. In better weather you may want sleeveless tops and short sleeved tops and then long sleeved ones too when the weather is colder.

There is so much choice now in walking gear and technology has made fabrics lighter and these pack down smaller too.

On your lower body again it will depend where you are walking and in what season. It’s easy to get walking trousers that zip off to cropped/capri length as well as into shorts and sports leggings are also great to wear and very stretchy. I have some skorts that are skirts with light, jersey shorts underneath. These are great for city walking if you are on a city break as they look smarter.


Your daypack is also part of your kit. What you use for a short walk will be different than that for a long day walk and different again if you are carrying all your gear on a long distance walk. D is for DAYPACK will give you more information on that.

You will also have hats, buffs, gloves etc; perhaps a bumbag or fanny pack as it’s called in the USA and Australia; your walking poles; water bottles or a camel back water system. Your first aid kit came into I for INJURY so add that and perhaps a ‘sit mat’. Other things to consider are a torch, sunglasses and sun screen.

I do provide my clients who come walking with me a packing list as there can be quite a lot of things in your kit. As I said earlier though, unless you are needing to get it all in one go, add gradually and review as you go. 

If you have gear that no longer fits or you have duplicates of, then do offer them to other walking friends and companions. On the One Million Women Walking Facebook group we have #sellonsaturday where people can give away or sell gear, books or maps so if you are a member you can use that. Charity shops will also welcome walking gear.

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