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Walking essentials checklist: What to bring for walking holidays in Europe

When planning a walking holiday in Europe, guests often ask what they should bring with them. To make life easier, we came up with a suggested list of recommended walking equipment, along with a few guidelines below.

Our particular list is aimed at spring to autumn walking at moderate altitudes in Slovenia. If you are walking elsewhere you might also find our suggestions helpful, but do be prepared to adapt as necessary.

Walking boots or closed, good quality walking shoes with sturdy, deep-tread soles are a must (trainers are not robust enough). Don't take new boots on holiday- shoes that are well worn-in will give you comfort over long distances without blisters.

Walking socks and spares

Walking trousers: It's your call with trousers, but we would recommend proper outdoor wear. Jeans tend to stay wet through rain and cause loss of body heat, while they can also be hot and abrasive in warm weather.

•Shorts

Shirts/base layer garments: Quick dry types are best, and cotton T shirts avoided as they hold moisture.

• Lightweight fleeces for layering. Try one thicker layer on the outside if coming in spring or autumn)

• Lightweight waterproof jacket with hood and lightweight waterproof trousers

Fleece hat and gloves (except during July and August)

• Day sack: a small rucksack is essential for your personal items when walking, rather than shoulder bags etc. as these can hinder movement on steeper ground)

•Telescopic walking poles are recommended. These are very useful on steeper terrain, especially for relieving pressure on knees and for added security on downhill slopes.

Sturdy plastic or metal water bottles (minimum 1.5 litres per person) or a camelback/hydration pack

Sun cream (high factor; the sun is surprisingly strong at altitude when it may not feel very hot)

Insect repellant (ideally one that also repels ticks; Autan do a good one)

•Sun hat

Sunglasses with full UV protection

Personal first aid kit, including any medicines (prescribed or not) you may need

Camera

•Lightweight binoculars (if interested in birds/wildlife)

Other:

Swimming costume/trunks for our Jacuzzi (perfect for relaxing in at the end of the day!)

•Indoor shoes and clothes for spare time and evenings

Passport, all insurance documents and European health card (if European resident)

Money - small denomination notes are best for drinks etc in mountain huts.

Other considerations for walking holidays:

Our walking holidays in Slovenia are fully guided, but if you think you may walk alone, you should take a mobile telephone and your compass (and GPS if you already have one). We provide you with maps and route cards, but check this if booking elsewhere.

We hope this is helpful but are happy to answer queries - please email us at info@walkslovenia.com.

Here is a photo when the lightest clothes are warm enough even on the top of a mountain, but later the same day an Alpine heat storm is brewing over Lake Bled, showing it always pays to be cautious in the hills!

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