To get the most enjoyment out of walking you will need to keep warm and dry.
To this end here is some handy advice on what you should have with you:
This is essential on Dartmoor – merely shower proof will not be sufficient. A breathable jacket will be much more comfortable . They are becoming increasingly affordable.
If you are buying a pair of walking boots for the first time, you will have the choice between fabric boots and leather boots. Fabric boots should have a waterproof lining, and will often be more immediately comfortable. Leather boots are more naturally waterproof, although many will have a waterproof lining as well, but need to be looked after properly. Some people also find it takes a little longer to "walk them in".
In recent years there has been a trend towards 'approach shoes', which resemble trainers but give slightly more support. They are fine for low level dry walks but as the ground gets wetter, steeper, rockier and more slippery you will need the waterproofing, warmth and support of proper boots.
You will need some sort of daysack - a smaller rucksack in the region of 20 to 30 litres. Make sure it is comfortable for long periods. Always try out backpacks with a realistic load in them.
On short summer walks it's possible to get away with a belt-bag and some people find them more comfortable - but make sure it's big enough. Choose one to accommodate your kit, food and drink - not the other way round.
Carry enough warm layers! A number of thinner layers are warmer and more adaptable than fewer heavier layers. Fleece materials dry out quickly and are much lighter to carry (whereas wool can be very warm, but needs to be kept dry).
Even in summer it can be quite cold on hilltops or in the rain, so always carry a spare layer. The best layers are wicking ones - wicking t-shirts start at ~£15 and they quickly become your best friend! (It's fine to start out wearing cotton as a base layer but it can absorb and hold large amounts of water (i.e. sweat) which will then cool when you stop moving. In summer this may feel uncomfortable, in the winter it can make you feel very cold quickly).
They should be light-weight and loose fitting - so they dry out quickly. Waterproof trousers provide much better protection but for low-level walking they are not essential.
Jeans are not recommended because, when wet the denim doesn't retain your body heat so you get cold quickly - and it won't dry easily, so you stay that way. It also gets very heavy and uncomfortable.
They protect your lower legs and ankles and are great for keeping the mud off and if you go through long wet grass, or shallow streams.
Warm Gloves and Hat.
Outside of the summer always carry gloves and a warm hat. Again, fleece is better than wool. Hats are great for keeping you warm when you stop for lunch.
Sun Hat and Sun Block.
Walks may involve long stretches with little or no cover and if you don't slap on the cream and a hat it's easy to get burnt when you're out all day. Sun glasses are often handy too.
First Aid Kit.
We can't guarantee that there will be one on every walk so it's sensible to carry a small personal first aid kit with you.
Food and Drink
We generally stop for a drinks break with in an hour of setting out and for a lunch break when we normally consume food we have brought for personal use. Occasionally, we may stop at some kind of eatery but this is normally mentioned in the Walk Details.
Always take sufficient fluids, preferably water, particularily on hot days.
Finally, most specialist walking gear shops will give you a 10% discount if you ask them nicely and show them your Ramblers Membership Card.
Ramblers have a particular arrangement with Cotswold Outdoor. who offer 15% discount.
Thank you to Hants 20s and 30s Walking Group for providing much of this text