The secret to a summer spent in nature? Have your bag ready and just go. Here’s what you need to be prepared, rain, hail or shine

We all have a lot more appreciation for time spent outside since lockdown began. Whether you’re hoping to tackle some Irish walking routes this summer, going camping with friends and family, or just seeing where the long evenings take you, make sure you are ready for anything with these handy buys.

Carry your gear

You might want to throw your car keys and phone in a bum bag slung over your shoulder or need a larger backpack for your hiking kit, but look for sustainable options where you can. Belfast-based Jump The Hedges makes durable water resistant bum bags, yoga bags and stash bags from reclaimed truck tarpaulins, meaning the bags are inherently water resistant. The 20L Tamangito bag from Patagonia is roomy enough for your towel, togs and lunch for a trip to the beach or will fit your waterproofs and bottle when hillwalking. Patagonia also offers free repairs, which menas your bag should last a lifetime. For camping weekends, check out sustainable Irish brand Sundrift’s 55L backpacks, made from recycled plastic. The bag is made to fit female bodies comfortably, and opens fully so you won’t have to pull everything out when searching for something at the bottom of your bag.

Grogan’s bag, Jump The Hedges (£50)

Eating on the go

Fuel is vital for active days, and it’s important to think ahead. You won’t regret stocking up on handy reusable items like lightweight cutlery for lunchbox salads, a thermos for that warming cup of tea post-swim and a sturdy lunchbox to prevent spills or squashed sandwiches in your bag. Beeswax wraps like these from Irish brand Millbee Studio eliminate the need for cling film or tin foil, creating less waste to ensure you leave no trace.

Stay warm and dry

The Regatta Fidelia lightweight fleece (€19.95) is ideal to have stowed in your backpack for when the days or nights become chilly. It’s not bulky so can be layered with other clothes, and is really affordable. A waterproof jacket is an absolute essential, and the Columbia Women’s Titan Pass Jacket is built for movement. If you’re exploring Ireland’s walking trails and mountains, waterproof boots with ankle support will save you some blisters and potential injuries.

Adidas Performance hiking shoes, Zalando (€120)

Protect your skin

For complete protection from the harmful and ageing effects of the sun, try the triple spectrum protection of HEVL SPF50 cream, suitable for sensitive skin and free from parabens. It also has a tint to help you attain a glow without wearing makeup. For the body, try Elave Sensitive Sun SPF, which is suitable for all the family. If you’re the type of person that gets bitten alive on summer evenings, Zap-it is a small device that soothes the itch instantly. Simply hold against the skin and push the button, to send a low electrical pulse that will relieve the urge to scratch.

Elave Sensitive Sun (€24.99)

Zap-it (€8)

Stay hydrated

It’s a no brainer and yet we all forget to do it, so keep a reusable water bottle with you when in the sun so that you don’t get dehydrated. Bewater glass bottles (€32) contain beautiful and ethically sourced gemstones, that are believed to have different properties to enhance overall wellbeing. The Clarity bottle contains amethyst to bring clarity of thought and peace of mind, just like you’ll find out in nature.

Main image: by Josh Willink from Pexels