What to bring – Walking in Sicily

Items for walkers
– Walking boots
– Walking socks
– Lightweight wind/waterproof jacket
– Lightweight waterproof over-trousers
– Trekking poles/walking stick
– Ankle/knee supports
– Backpack
– Sun hat, sunscreen and sun glasses
– Insect repellent
– Extra warm layers plus hat, gloves, etc for mountainous areas.
– Personal first aid kit / Compeed for blisters   
– Insurance document

Walking boots:
It is vitally important that your footwear is comfortable and appropriate. Unsatisfactory footwear can ruin your holiday. You are advised to bring walking boots with you, with good ankle support and a shock absorbing (Vibram-type) sole, and training shoes (sneakers) for easier days/sightseeing. Please make sure that boots/shoes are well broken in.

Socks are as important as boots. A blister is a friction burn, so wear socks of materials that absorb heat. There are various specialist walking socks on the market. ‘Loop-stitch’ 60% wool/nylon mix socks are worn by many of our Leaders. Avoid nylon socks. Some cotton socks can ‘clog and compress’ with sweat and also cause blisters. If you feel soreness whilst walking – stop immediately and check. If you find a blister forming cover the area with a generously sized piece of zinc oxide plaster or anti-blister plaster e.g., ‘Second skin’ or ‘Compeed’, and leave for a few days.

Trekking poles/sticks:
These are becoming almost a standard piece of equipment for hill walkers, and a valuable safety item. By using a stick/pole (or even two), you increase the number of points of contact with the ground, aiding balance on rough or slippery ground and reducing the chances of taking a fall. They are also useful when descending steeper slopes, of which there are several on this trip! They take a great deal of stress off the ankles, knees and lower back, making injuries less likely. NB: Please check with your airline whether they can be taken as hand luggage.

For anyone seeking additional protection for potentially weak joints, we recommend that you consider bringing a flexible knee/ankle /etc. support with you, as you may not find it easy to purchase anything suitable locally. Simple ‘Tubigrips’ are moderately helpful, but considerably more supportive (though more expensive) is something along the lines of a ‘Supatherm’ sport support (sports shops), which provides good support in the most testing circumstances.

Bring whatever clothes you find most comfortable for walking, including at least one pair of trousers as well as shorts.

You should ensure that you have a lightweight wind/waterproof jacket; please make sure that this is really waterproof, not just shower-proof. Waterproof over-trousers are desirable and a sun hat is advisable. ‘Short’ shorts and sleeveless ‘sun’ tops are unsuitable for visiting churches.

Also recommend a long-sleeved walking shirt in case of cold weather, which allows you to perspire and dry, but still cuts out the cold wind (again, ask at outdoors shops for advice).

It can be cold in the evening and at night in early spring, and in the mountains at any time of year. You may find that you need extra warm layers for keeping warm in the evenings, as well as for walking in, at higher altitude.