Organising all of your gear for such a big event can seem like an overwhelming task. Below we’ve provided some tips and checklists to help you simplify the process. Number one tip: Sort it out during training, not on the day!
We highly recommend visiting our national gear partner, Paddy Pallin, for all your gear needs and questions.
Top 10 gear tips
Experienced past participants from Paddy Pallin have offered the following top 10 gear tips essential for a successful Oxfam Trailwalker event.
- Weather: Prepare for all weather and the varying terrain. The weather can change dramatically during the course of the event — from cold to hot, wet to dry, etc.
- Test everything: Plan and test what you’ll wear and carry during training. Don’t try something new at the event!
- Travel light: Leave heavy and spare gear (and food) with your support crew.
- Night light: Travelling at night can be the toughest part of the event. Use a head torch to keep your hands free for balance, and don’t compromise on the power of the light. A wide, strong beam will help you stay emotionally and mentally strong.
- Clothing: Be prepared for your clothing to get wet from either sweat or rain. Choose lightweight, breathable gear that dries quickly, and carry extra clothing with your support crew for when you need a change.
- Footwear: Wear a good pair of hiking shoes, boots or trail running shoes. Make sure they’re well broken-in before the event by wearing them on practice walks. Don’t wear new shoes for the event!
- Socks: Just as important as your shoes! They must fit your feet and then fit perfectly inside your shoes. Don’t get them a size too big or too thick for your shoes. The sock should have an articulated y-heel design, arch and ankle elastic to ensure it doesn’t slip down, cushioning underfoot, a flat toe seam and fabric that keeps moisture away from your skin. Good-quality running socks should have all of these features.
- Daypack: Keep it small, light and comfortable. Remember that you only have to carry enough gear, food and water to get you from one checkpoint to the next. That’s why you have a support crew!
- Walking poles: At least one set per team is advisable. You never know when a weary or injured team member will need the support that these poles provide.
- Mandatory gear: Mobile phone and first aid kit. Make sure you have all required supplies in your first aid kit as specified in the event rules, including a thermal emergency blanket per team member.
Below are a set of checklists to help you determine what to wear and carry with you during the event. However, remember that every walker is different — it’s strongly recommended that you find what works for you during training.
These checklists have been compiled by experienced staff from Paddy Pallin, the official Oxfam Trailwalker outdoor supplier. Paddy Pallin has a broad range of the items listed below, in-store and online and their staff, who have more than 10 years experience with Oxfam Trailwalker, can provide advice on what will suit you best.
To help you get the best gear at the best prices, all Oxfam Trailwalker participants are entitled to a free Paddy Pallin membership and a 20% discount off all gear before the event date. Please check your registration packs for your 20% discount voucher.
If it’s hot
- Quick-dry shorts, shirt and underwear to move moisture away from your skin
- Tights/leggings or compression garments in short or ¾ length to reduce muscle fatigue and chafing
- Breathable, comfortable, moisture-wicking socks
- Thin liner socks to go under the thicker sock to help prevent blisters (optional)
- Hat or cap
- Trail-running shoes or lightweight boots
If it’s cold
- Quick-dry long pants, shirt and underwear
- Tights/leggings or compression garments in ¾ or full length
- Thermal top and pants
- Lightweight wind-proof and/or insulated jacket
- Thin (liner) gloves
If it’s wet
- Waterproof rain jacket with hood
- Waterproof over-pants
- Waterproof shoes or lightweight boots
- 15-25 litre daypack
- Water containers totalling 2-3 litre capacity. A two or three litre water bladder with drinking tube is recommended as it allows for more frequent and hands-free drinking
- Walking poles; either one or a pair. One pole for more balance or a pair for more body drive and reduced leg fatigue
- Anti-chafing lotion. Healed Skin Protect, Body Glide or similar is recommended
- Personal identification and some money for emergencies and purchasing food along the trail
- Event Map Book and protective pouch
- Dry (waterproof) bag or plastic bags to keep clothes dry and/or to stash wet gear
- Snacks (salty and sweet) and energy food
- Head torch with ample light and good battery life, plus spare batteries
- Mobile phone. Two per team, ideally on different networks, as per event rules
- Spare torch batteries (and bulb if required) — at least 1 set per battery type
- Small walker’s repair kit (spare shoelaces, safety pins, string)
- First aid kit containing (as a minimum):
- compression bandage
- triangular bandage
- strapping tape
- sterile dressings
- antiseptic wipes
- selected blister treatments
- four thermal blankets (one per team member)
Additional first aid supplies must be kept with your support crew. Prescription medication and painkillers are your team’s responsibility.
- Spare clothing, including:
- shoes, in case a team member’s main pair causes blisters or gets damaged
- cold or wet weather gear
- extra technical clothing
- Very warm jacket and blanket/sleeping bag for relaxing at checkpoints
- Extra first aid gear
- Spare torch, batteries and bulb; spare batteries and bulbs for walkers’ torches
- Small walker’s repair kit (spare shoelaces, safety pins, string)
- Team food supplies:
- Gas stove for heating food and drinks – please follow checkpoint guidelines as to where stoves can and cannot be used
- Crockery, cutlery and cups (bring your own reusable cup to the food and beverage tent to collect hot Fairtrade tea and coffee or some cup-a-soup, as we will not be supplying cups at checkpoints with support crew access. Maybe your support crew can have a cuppa ready in a thermos mug for you when you arrive at the checkpoint)
- Hot food (carbohydrate-rich)
- Snacks (sweet, salty, filling)
- Fruit (bananas and oranges provide excellent energy)
- Water and electrolyte sport drinks
- Thermos for hot drinks – hot water available at the checkpoints
- Mobile phones
- Spare towels
- Spare eyeglasses/contact lenses
- Camera and spare batteries
- Something comfy for the walkers to rest on – picnic chairs, picnic rugs, inflatable mats or waterproof travel rugs and blankets
- Washing bowl, water and soap
- Rubbish bags
- Warm clothes
- Hat and sunglasses
- Food and drinks
- Support Crew Information and Map Book
- Support Crew Vehicle Pass