On long journeys, on rough terrain and in swamp-like conditions, walking poles can be very useful. While you might look like a lost skier, they can provide you with extra grip and stability; a bit like a set of extra limbs. They can also help you keep your balance when crossing swiftly moving water, trekking along narrow ridgelines, or going up and down a steep hill. If you’re with a friend who’s fallen in the mud, they could even help leverage them out!
When deciding to go on a hike, it’s best to be prepared for the unexpected. If you end up lost and it’s raining and nightfall is approaching, your body temperature can quickly drop, which could be serious. Always pack a foil or emergency blanket. These can reduce up to 90% of heat transfer from the body and will be a real lifesaver.
On top of this list, it would be irresponsible to not mention a few of the other essentials you should consider bringing too. For example, a first aid kit, a map and compass, a torch, and some long-life food like nuts and dried fruit.