Once you’re out on the trail, finding supplies of any kind can be difficult, particularly if you’re walking in some of the more remote parts of the island such as the Anaga or Teno mountains. Although the details vary according to season and weather reports, these are the things that are a permanent feature of my rucksack and that I would not leave home to go on a walk without:
To stay safe:
Water – I carry two, 75cl lightweight flasks of drinking water. If it’s a short walk I might not drain them both but I always have them, just in case.
Phone – fully charged, for emergencies. My phone also serves as compass, notebook and map. If it’s a new area to me, I’ll also bring a detailed, printed map.
GPS – as we prepare walking routes, a GPS device is essential for us but even if you’re just walking for pleasure, it helps enormously to have a device that can accurately(ish) tell you distances travelled and if necessary, which you can use to navigate your way home.
Walking Guide – I either print off one of our Island Walks PDFs or I take Walk This Way. Regardless of whose guides you use, setting out on all but the simplest of paths without detailed notes is asking for trouble. Getting lost on Tenerife is all too easy and common.
Hat – either a beanie for warmth or a sun hat for protection.
Sun bock – I never leave home without applying sun screen but I also carry sun block for nose and lips.
To stay warm:
Neck warmer – light and small but hugely effective in adding extra insulation at altitude or if the wind whips up when it also doubles as a face warmer.
Lightweight fleece – depending on the season or if I intend walking at altitude.
To stay dry:
Lightweight waterproof jacket – I only carry this if the forecast is for rain and I can’t postpone, or if I’m going anywhere that’s prone to low cloud (such as the Anaga Mountains or the upper Orotava Valley) which is tantamount to rain.
To stay comfortable:
Tissues – for comfort breaks, plus a small plastic bag (a sandwich bag usually!) to bring used tissues home for proper disposal. Please don’t litter the Tenerife landscape with soiled tissues!
Hand wash – I know there are divided opinions as to the effectiveness of hand wash but if nothing else, it refreshes.
Plasters – even trusty old hiking boots that have taken you over hundreds of kilometres of paths can suddenly and inexplicably develop a rubbing spot. At the first hint of discomfort, I place a plaster over the point of contact to prevent a blister forming. I also carry a small sponge which I can cut or tear to form padding between boot and foot if it’s needed.
Pain killers – I always carry a packet of paracetamol and one of Ibuprofen (for any muscular discomfort), just in case.
Knee supports – Tenerife’s rugged terrain can play havoc with knee joints. Wearing knee supports whenever a significant descent is involved is a very effective preventative measure to ensure knee ligaments don’t suffer.
Lip balm – walking at any kind of altitude means excessively dry air. I always carry a small tin of Vaseline to prevent my lips from cracking.
To stay energised:
Sandwiches, fruit and energy bars – unless you’re walking to a lunch venue, re-fuelling your body at regular intervals helps to ensure you have the energy necessary to enjoy Tenerife’s trails.