It’s the simplest form of exercise you can participate in, yet regular walking can do wonders for both the body and mind whilst allowing you to simultaneously soak up the scenery in any number of memorable destinations. Walking holidays are popular with all age groups and levels of ability, thanks to the diverse landscapes around the world which lend themselves so beautifully to the task. From walking the wild Yorkshire moors in England to hiking the Pyrenees in sunny Spain or trekking the famous Appalachian Trail in America, the world is most certainly an open book for the walking enthusiast. To make your walking holiday that little bit easier and a lot safer, we’ve found some cool new gadgets that should definitely make it onto your packing list…
You might think that if you can function just fine on two feet, you have no need for a walking stick, but a specially designed walking pole makes an excellent purchase for a rambling trip. Trekking poles not only help to keep you balanced, they increase your speed and provide a gentle upper body workout, too. Choose a lightweight model to reap the greatest benefits.
It’s not just tech-heads who will appreciate this handheld GPS device – a must for hiking and mountaineering trips where visibility might be poor or the terrain has no clear and distinct features to help you find your way. A good quality GPS tracker will be superior to a smartphone app as these gadgets have been built with durability in mind – a rain shower won’t shut them down. Plus, they have a much longer battery life and offer a detailed view of the terrain that you simply can’t get with a mere smartphone. However, if you’re planning to wander far off piste, always bring a compass and a map as back-up. Even high-spec tech can fail due to a lack of signal or unforeseen break down, and halfway up a mountain is not a place you want to get lost.
Running out of juice for your smartphone in the middle of nowhere is the number one ingredient in a recipe for frustration. Make sure you take a sturdy battery pack along for the ride, one with the ability to provide several charges for phones or any other gadgets you might have. This way you won’t be desperately seeking out nearby villages in the hope someone, somewhere, has a compatible charger.
An oldie, but a goodie, the traditional compass has been given an upgrade in the 21st century whilst still providing all the benefits that explorers have relied upon for decades. These portable gadgets will ensure you always know which way to orient your map and if you choose one with a laminated screen, you’ll even be able to find your bearings in the dark – useful if you have a penchant for wandering in search of a picture-perfect sunset.
Pick up a wireless bluetooth speaker and you can choose a soundtrack for your walk or relax with your favourite tunes over a picnic lunch. Choose a lightweight, waterproof model if you’re planning on taking it on a long journey – nobody wants to feel like they’re carrying a boombox whilst they trek through the countryside. Some models come with added portability in the shape of silicone handles, so you can clip them to a backpack or belt with ease.
If wildlife-spotting and bird-watching are hobbies you hope to indulge in on your walking holiday, be sure to pack a pair of high-spec binoculars so you can get up close and personal without scaring them away. Compact binoculars make the most sense for ramblers; that way they can fit in your pocket, ready to be whipped out at a moment’s notice.
A walking holiday could be just what you need to clear the cobwebs from your mind and gain that feeling of rejuvenation that only comes from a date with good old Mother Nature. But wherever you’re off to in the world, don’t forget to book your travel insurance, especially if you plan on indulging in any strenuous activities. Medical Travel Compared can help you access a wide range of insurers, some of which cover those with pre-existing medical conditions. Use our free online comparison tool to get your quote today.