In the nearly twenty years of walking my equipment has changed significantly.
Where they exist for established paths then route planning books were initially used. e.g. Offa’s Dyke Path South, Chepstow to Knighton. A National Trail Guide. Ernie and Kathy Kay and Mark Richards, Aurm Press 1994 and Offa’s Dyke Path North, Knighton to Prestatyn. A National Trail Guide. Ernie and Kathy Kay and Mark Richards, Aurm Press 1995.
Elsewhere Ordnance Pathfinder and/or Explorer two-and-half inch maps were used with cotton and ruler to find distances (I have map measurers but they never seem to work for me).
Currently use Ordnance Survey Explorer maps on a Memory Map program on my PC. Routes can be interactively defined and route mileages, route maps and elevation profiles printed off.
Navigation initially purely by map reading (plus useful signs on established long distance paths). Eventually used a simple Garmin GPS with grid point display in conjunction with physical map. Since start of South West Coast Path have been using iPhone with the Memory Map App. This gives visual display of Explorer map with current position and also allows Tracking of route taken. The end of navigation really but saves the frustration of getting lost. Keeping the iPhone dry is a major pre-occupation and I have various covers for it – all of which inhibit use to varying extents. Keeping a charge on a long day is difficult as Memory Map is very greedy so I carry an EasyAcc charger (charged up on the mains it allegedly will recharge the iPhone 4 times, but it is slow).
Early photographs taken with an old 35mm film camera. Eventually found it easier to use disposable film cameras. Went digital and currently use a simple Sony Cyber-shot and occasional use of the iPhone.
I have reached the conclusion that all that really matters are boots and socks. I currently wear Meindl boots and Bridgedale Endurance Summit heavyweight socks (£19 and worth every penny). Rohan trousers as they are lightweight, dry very quickly and have many zipped pockets. Berghaus jacket although I seem to get very wet in it mainly from sweating. A woollen hat completes the outer clothing. I intensely dislike carrying a rucksack and so try to carry everything in coat and trouser pockets. I have a walking stick and find it very useful on steep climbs/descents but otherwise a real encumbrance.
I use a simple digital recorder for recording details of each walk. Earlier tape versions were much harder work in transcribing and an earlier digital device got waterlogged.