I always recommend lightweight walking boots with a good strong sole, not trainers for hiking, as some ankle support is important on the often rocky surfaces you will be walking on. A walking pole is helpful especially on downhill paths which can be slippery when very wet or very dry.
I always try to dress ‘like an onion’ with several thin layers, and always carry a breathable wind proof and shower proof jacket, as the weather can change very quickly, especially in the high mountains.
In most cases it is possible to walk in shorts, only on a couple of walks do I recommend long trousers - this information will be included in my guide 'Don’t Leave Gran Canaria Without Seeing It'. Always use a high factor sun cream as you are much closer to the equator here than you are in England or anywhere else in Europe, a good pair of sunglasses can also be helpful against eye strain.
I recommend a hat with a wide brim, also to carry gloves and a scarf.
Always carry a mobile phone, the coverage in the mountains is usually good, but not perfect. The emergency number here is 112, also have the phone number of your hotel or a friend with you. If walking alone, it is essential to leave a copy of your route with a friend or your reception.
The minimum amount of water you should carry is 1 litre per person, more is better and always have some energy giving food with you, such as fruit and energy bars, which are much better than candy bars. Carbohydrates are much more important than protein, to give you stamina on a demanding hike - remember that at breakfast time.
Many hikes pass through villages where there is a chance to purchase extra supplies, but remember siesta time is between approx 1.30pm and 5.00pm. You will need a good sized lightweight rucksack, and keep things in plastic bags in your rucksack. On one winter hike the rain started 10 minutes into the walk and never stopped, even the money in my wallet needed drying out!
Make sure that you have prepared a first aid kit and carry it with you at all times. It is also a good idea to carry a dry shirt, for when you have completed your hike.
Time is precious, so in my guides: 'Don’t Leave Gran Canaria Without Seeing It' I have tried to avoid long sections through dense forests which can be rather boring, and walks on tarmac. I have tried to concentrate on the best paths with the most spectacular scenery.
A map of Gran Canaria should be purchased to accompany my guide, to get the ‘big picture’, as even my new improved maps are only local to give a rough guide of the route.
The maps that I recommend are from Discovery Walking Guides (DWG) and you can find more detailed information about these maps on the Maps & Terrain page.
I always use the international standard of WGS 84, if you do not have a GPS you can still do all of my mountain hikes, but you should always carry a compass.
- Good boots with good sole
- The DWG Map
- Minimum of 1 litre of water
- GPS and/or compass
- Walking notes and Plan 'B'
- Energy giving food
- Money and ID
- Emergency contacts
- First aid kit
- Walking pole
- Sun glasses
- Sun protection cream
- Extra clothes
- After bite pen
- Hat with wide brim
- Gloves and scarf
- Digital camera
- Lightweight rucksack
- Plastic bags
- Mobile phone (112 = Emergency number)
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Plastic wallet for walk notes
A knife is also useful to have with you but not essential. A Swiss army knife always comes in useful, if they are allowed on the plane. A Spanish phrasebook, could be useful but not essential.