With summer officially ending this week as August ends we need to start thinking about what discount outdoor gear we will need for autumn and winter. The weather might not be that bad at the moment but this gives us a great opportunity to check all our gear and see what needs replacing. Whether you are the most experienced mountaineer or the novice looking to take your first steps in the outdoors, the following is a list of items to have in your rucksack, but many can fall into the ‘just in case’ category and depend on the type of outdoor activity you are undertaking, but it is always better to be over prepared when dealing with the British weather. In a perfect world the following would be taken with you.

Waterproof Jacket: Whatever the time of year it is always useful to have one of these in your rucksack if it isn’t already being worn as part of your walking outfit.

Accessories: With the onset of autumn, and winter then its time for a hat and gloves to be included, again if not already being worn.

Map and Compass: Even with the increased use of GPS systems, a map of the area you are walking in is no bad thing, and remember to keep it in a waterproof case and may be stored in other kit you are wearing.

Torch: The onset of evening and the lack of light can happen very quickly in the autumn and winter months, so a torch (with charged batteries!) is a life saver if you get lost. Head torches are a great addition to your kit so you have the hands free effect too.

Whistle: A must have, and remember the appropriate signals if you do get lost, six blows on the whistle is the cry for help, three blows signals that you have heard someone else’s cry for help. We all might carry mobile phones these days but up in the hills you can’t always get a signal.

First Aid Kit: Obvious, but make sure it holds the right sort of items that will help for your choice of activity, and check it regularly so that you replace old with new.

Swiss Army Knife/Multitool: It might be a cliché, and I have yet to use the bit for removing boy scouts from horses’ hooves, or is that stones? But it is a useful piece of kit to have.

Survival Bag: You might go for years not needing one of these, but it could make all the difference if you get into trouble, and there other uses, including, picnic basket, waterproof cover for other kit, sit mat. Ask any seasoned walker and they will all give you a story of what this item has been used as, some I couldn’t possible mention here.

Food: In addition to your day’s requirements of packed lunch, always include something extra just in case you need a boost late in the day, or in my case earlier. You can’t go wrong with some traditional Kendal Mint Cake or modern equivalent.

Bits and Bobs: A little section that includes camera, because a picture paints a thousand words, as someone once said, notepad and pencil/pen, binoculars.

And last but not least a spare pair of boot laces, because even with the modern materials we have grown accustomed to being hardwearing and durable, you just never know.

So with all this you are likely to get no further than the front door or require a team of Sherpa’s to help you scale the smallest hill, wrong. It is likely you have most of this anyway and if not most of it is available to go with your discount outdoor gear at little extra cost. So lets enjoy the outdoors, but be ready because it is very capable of springing a surprise when you least expect it.