New Hampshire is an absolutely brilliant destination for a walking holiday. Located in the leafy New England region of the US, it is almost one-quarter covered by the impressive White Mountains and peppered with paths to suit avid trekkers and recreational walkers alike. One of the things that appeals to me most about walking in this area is that it gives you a chance to experience the kaleidoscope of colour that is New England in the fall – provided you travel at the right time of year, of course!
The question of the day, though, isn’t whether to go hiking in New Hampshire, but what you should pack for this kind of break.
Knowledge of the local terrain, as we glanced at briefly above, as well as the routes that interest you and what the weather is likely to do once you arrive, is important in helping you decide what to put in your suitcase. I’ve put together a few tips on what no hiker should be without while they’re off enjoying the sights of New England; these should prove particularly useful if this will be your first ever hiking holiday.
Let’s start with the most fundamental item – your walking shoes or boots. Of course, if you’re planning a hiking holiday in New England then you’re bound to be an avid walker already and therefore have this crucial item. What you need to turn your attention to, then, is whether your current pair are suitable for your holiday and, if your break is still a fair way off, if they will actually last until you leave.
The second point is particularly crucial – after all, you don’t want to be wearing in new boots over the course of your holiday (we all know that can be a touch uncomfortable!). So, if you fear your shoes won’t hold up till your departure date, invest in a new pair sooner rather than later so they’re suitably worn in and comfy for your trip.
While what exact clothing you pack will be largely down to the season you’re travelling in and the routes you choose, the principles of hiking clothing at a basic level do not change. Firstly, opt for several thin layers, rather than one or two thick layers – this will give you much more control over your temperature.
Secondly, invest in a few pairs of light, quick-drying trousers or shorts – these dry out very quickly after rain showers, rather than leaving you sodden, and are much cooler than heavy waterproof trousers. A light waterproof jacket with a hood that can be packed into a small space is also an essential in case of downpours.
Poles, maps and a first aid kit
Whether or not you use poles when walking is largely a matter of personal preference, but they can be especially useful when tackling rocky and mountainous terrain – as you are likely to do in New Hampshire. So, even if you haven’t used them before, it could be worth packing them and trying them out for size. Detailed maps of all the routes you plan to follow are, of course, essential, as is a compass to help you find your way.
It’s also important to bring a small first aid kit with you, which can prove invaluable if you take a tumble far away from your end point. Blister plasters are something well worth adding to this, as anyone who – like me – has managed to get a huge blister on a long hike will testify to!
Have you ever been on a holiday in New Hampshire? Is there anything you would add to this list? Leave a comment below!