Guest Author - Elizabeth Brennan
When you are out walking the less you have to carry with you the better. It is important to have your hands free, in case you slip or trip, to maintain your balance. However at times it is necessary to carry some essentials with you such as keys, cell phone, tissues or water.
Many walking pants and shorts have deep pockets which may suffice to carry minimal requirements. Jackets too, have various pockets which are useful. Using leg pockets for large items such as water bottles, however, can be uncomfortable as the bottle will rub and bang against your leg and may even cause chafing. The constant rubbing noise, too, can be irritating
If you have found pockets unsuitable this is where the use of a waist bag can be very helpful. These bags are usually multi-pocketed and are worn around the waist. They come in many different shapes and sizes and are designed to carry most of the essential items which you might need. However, be selective in what you must carry. Water is a necessity especially in warm weather.
Before you purchase a bag decide what you want to carry. Shop in a large store where there is a large selection and helpful staff to discuss your needs.
Buy the smallest and lightest bag which is sufficient for your needs. If the bag is too heavy and large it will become cumbersome, you will be tempted to put in extra items and carrying this unnecessary weight will take from the enjoyment of your walk. Take the items you intend to carry with you to the store when you go shopping for a waist bag. In this way you can try out the bag and decide if it meets your requirements.
Ensure the bag is waterproof, that the waist strap is large enough and fastens securely. Narrow waist straps can be uncomfortable as they may crumple and dig into the body. Many bags have an internal clip for securing keys which could easily slip out when the bag is opened. This feature is especially useful for car keys and house keys and gives a sense of security.
Should you need to carry extra items such as snacks, skin cream, umbrella or extra clothing consider a light day pack. Again the best advice is to try on the bag before you buy. Make sure the straps are wide and fit comfortably on your shoulders and that they are adjustable. A strap across the chest keeps the back straps in place and prevents them sliding down. An outside open pocket which is deep enough to take a water bottle and which is easily accessible is most helpful as you do not need to stop and break your rhythm and stride to drink.
Waist bags and daypacks are useful pieces of walking gear and will help in a practical way to make your walk enjoyable if you choose them with care.
Below is a link for a waist bag and backpack which you might find useful