Autumn and winter walking can be some of the best of the year. The biggest obstacle is looking out of the window when the weather is grey and damp, and making the move to leave the warm house.  You know it will be enjoyable (assuming you will be dressed for it). If the weather looks promising, if cold, you don’t want to be put off.

Be ready. One step is having your kit set to go. Have the boots clean and proofed. Make sure your rucksack has all the essentials. Have your coat, hat and gloves ready, and stack everything in a handy spot. Then you can take advantage of any break in the weather.

So, what’s in the rucksack

No matter what the weather, there are a handful of things you will always need. It’s a waste of time gathering all those essentials together, so they might as well live in the bag. Of course you may use different rucksacks across the seasons – the 20L (or less) day-sack for summer and something more accommodating for later in the year. But switching from one bag to another is easy enough.

Now, let’s just talk about walking, not camping or backpacking. Essentials worth keeping in the bag include compass (even if you have a GPS device!); waterproof, hat; gloves; water-bottle or bladder (but fill it fresh before you walk). Those are the real basics – depending on the season, you may have extra fleece or sunglasses etc. What I’m saying is the essential kit is ready to go. It’s not much but may be enough to overcome the inertia and get you out of the door.