Last Minute Tips and Tricks


It’s crucial to consider what you're carrying with you and if it is really worth putting it in your bag. It's important to ensure you've got all the absolute essentials, like a comprehensive first aid kit, but what we want to avoid is overpacking and carrying more weight than you need to. The perfect pack size for the Oxfam Trailwalker is generally between 10 and 20 litres. Of course, this does depend on exactly what you end up carrying, however, don’t forget you can top up or offload any gear when you see your wonderful support team.


We’ve listed below a few tips and last-minute pieces of gear that we feel are helpful for a successful Oxfam Trailwalker!


Hydration is key, and water bladders are a helpful tool to assist you with staying hydrated. They keep the weight of your water centred and close to your back and give you ready access to up to three litres of water. Make sure you check your hydration bladder a week before the event to be sure there aren’t any surprise leaks or functionality issues. Carrying an extra bottle for electrolytes is always handy, or even something you can leave with your support crew for an extra boost during your stops- particularly if it’s been toastier than expected.



Walking poles are optional but can help take some weight off your knees and give you a bit of extra support on some of the dicier terrain. These can be particularly handy when you've been walking for many hours and are tired.


A head torch with good battery life and a bright beam to help you see your team and the trail markers is important. Something weatherproof is also important. A red-light option is useful for support areas where a bright light is not necessary and can also help ensure you're not blinding your friends. Check out our blog on night hiking for more information.


Make sure you're familiar with the map of your route and try to get out on the trail to train on some of the sections where possible. Having a backup map on your GPS or on your phone is always a good idea, particularly if you're unfamiliar with the route. These can also help when those night-time sections look a little bit different to how they did during the day!


Dry bags do exactly what they say - they’re roll-top, waterproof bags that come in different sizes and are designed to keep your gear protected from water and dirt. Keeping your gear organised in dry bags can help ensure you know where everything is exactly when you need it- especially handy for your first aid kit.





Snacks are life and we’ve got some nutritious and delicious options with Crafty Weka and Cliff bars. Mix and match your own sweet and salty treats to keep your energy levels high no matter what craving hits. Your more intense training walks will really help you to figure out what cravings your body might hit you with during Oxfam Trailwalker, and again, it’s important to trial these things to make sure your stomach doesn’t kick up a fuss!


Protect your skin from both the bite of the sun and those pesky insects with a water-resistant sunscreen and a good quality insect repellent. Let’s face it- you’re taking on a tough enough challenge as it is and there’s no need to be karate chopping bugs away whilst you walk, too.


Unfortunately, no matter how good your rain dances are, there’s always a chance it’ll bucket down. Check that your waterproof jacket is fully seam-sealed, has a decent waterproofness rating, and has a hood. If you’ve had it for a while and the water’s no longer beading and running off, it could be worth washing it with a tech wash and retreating the DWR coating on the outside.


Whether you decide to carry it with you or not, a lightweight and packable towel is a great idea to have either in your bag or with your team at the support stations. Being able to dry your feet after crossing any streams or rivers makes a huge difference to how happy your feet might stay!


Pack a ziplock bag or additional small dry bag to pack your rubbish out in and ensure you’re leaving no trace. This goes for obvious things like wrappers and bottles, but counts for apple cores and fruit skins, too. If you packed it in, pack it out again.


There are not many feelings better on a long walk than a fresh pair of your favourite hiking socks. Carry an extra pair if you like but also leave a couple of pairs with your support team so you can air your feet and swap out each time you see them. You’ve probably had plenty of pairs for your training, so now’s their time to shine! If you feel any kind of hot spot or blister coming on whilst you’re walking, stop and do something about it- it will only get worse! Blister wool is light and packable and is designed to reduce the friction on your feet. Strapping tape can also be great for any cheeky hot spots that make an appearance.


Most importantly, stay safe on the trail and have a great time with your team. The sense of accomplishment at the end will be worth it! Good luck!

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