Essentials for summer time walks

I'd forgotten how much I love walking. Lucky to live in the middle of the Kentish countryside - surrounded by strawberry fields, apple orchards and rolling hills - I rediscovered my love for rambling during lockdown. 

With further afield travel out of the question, I had to satiate my wanderlust somehow. Over the past few months, I've often found myself out exploring what's on my own doorstep for several hours on most days (a nice change from the mundane dog walk route I walked twice daily!) There's something about getting up early, getting out the house before 8am and traipsing about the countryside that I find utterly joyous. I love to get out, with no particular direction in mind, and just see where I end up. Though I'm prone to nonchalance in terms of my route, I'm not when it comes to what I take with me on my walks: here are some essentials I don't depart for my countryside adventure without... 
The right footwear... 
Shoes can make or break a leisurely stroll. I can't think of much worse than my shoes rubbing on fresh blisters when I'm still a solid hours walk away from home! PelliTec have created Blister Prevention Pads* to avoid this problem altogether. They've created a multi-layered cushion-type pad that inserts inside your shoe. They don't adhere to your skin, they stick to your shoe to reduce friction and eliminate the risk of blisters. The Blister Prevention Pads have proven really effective, allowing me to wander the countryside for as long as I want without having to worry about my poor feet! 
Phone Hug...
(I asked my boyfriend to take a photo of me when we went out for a walk, demonstrating this handy little accessory. But when I got my camera back, they were all out of focus. Cheers Sam. So I'm sorry about the rather unhelpful flatlay - but it'll have to do.) The Phone Hug* wraps snugly around your phone - any model, case or no case - and attaches securely to a lanyard. It takes away the faff of trying to keep hold of your phone, for example, when you're at a festival, rock climbing (both scenarios the Phone Hug has been tried and tested by the way) or, in my case, taking the dogs for a walk. Painless though it may sound, I have two pugs who like to walk next to each other, but also go in different directions, and their leads get very tangled very quickly. So when I'm untangling the pair (or giving them a drink or other dog walking tasks) I'm not left fumbling to keep my phone in my pocket. I can just let it rest against my chest, safely attached to the lanyard. The Phone Hug grips very tightly to your phone, so you can feel safe in the knowledge that your phone isn't going to slip. It's really handy and means I can keep my phone at the ready for photos or phone calls without any hassle. 
SPF 50+...
I don't leave the house without my face protected from UV radiation with at least factor 50. I always take a tube with me, though. It's a good habit to get into even if you only plan to be out for a short period - you never know what might happen, and it's better to have it and not need it, than need and it not have it. I know I definitely wouldn't want to find myself unexpectedly stuck in the midday sun without SPF. I'm currently using Skinceuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen* which not only offers broad spectrum protection, but also has ingredients like 2% niacinamide to target discolouration and improve the overall appearance of your skin tone. I really love this one, it has absolutely no white cast and is a very pleasant, light formula. Immediately after application I do find I look a bit sweaty but it sinks in pretty fast for actually quite a nice, healthy look to my skin. 

SPF for Lips..
It's important to protect your lips from the sun, too. Skin cancer like squamous cell carcinoma is very common on the lips, especially the lower lip (see skincancer.org). It's important to choose a lip balm with SPF because sun screen formulated to the face simply won't adhere to your lips in the same way. I like Lotil's Lip Care SPF 30* for a high protection with no white appearance (I used to hate when my mum made me put SPF lip balm when I was little, I was so embarrassed that my lips were bright white!) It also offers a very comfortable 'slip' to dry lips, which is very soothing. I've used several SPF lip balms now and this is definitely my favourite, I highly recommend it.

What are your must-haves for summer time rambling?

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