Whether you’re escaping to a National Park for a weekend of hillwalking and camping or going for a day’s rambling in the countryside, you’ll need more than a map and compass to comfortably and safely enjoy Britain’s remote and rugged landscapes. Rory McCrea from Snow+Rock Covent Garden lists the essential kit you should have in your pack before heading for the hills.
A pair of light- or medium-weight boots with soft to medium flexible soles are a good choice. If you’re reasonably experienced and fit, you could use walking or trail running shoes, although your feet might get wet. Note – not all walking shoes have tread suitable for UK mountains, like Five Tens.
If you’re scrambling, something with a stiffer sole is recommended. A less flexible sole will also provide more stability and support, particularly when you’re tired. Check out our blog on how to find the perfect walking boots.
A water bladder and a 1L water bottle should suffice for a day.
Theoretically anything around 0°C to -5°C should be fine for late spring, summer and early autumn. If you feel the cold easily, choose a bag with a slightly warmer limit or comfort rating. Synthetic bags are great value but are heavier than down bags. You can always help add warmth and comfort with a sleeping bag liner.
Gas canister stoves are generally simple and require very little maintenance, unlike liquid fuel stoves. We recommend the ‘remote canister’ models which have a hose running from the canister to the stove (these are more stable and easier to protect from the wind).
If you’re relying on freeze dried meals or food that is easy to prepare, then it’s worth considering a compact, all-in-one stove. If you’re trekking abroad, liquid fuel stoves are a better option as gas can be difficult to buy in some countries and regions.
There is always a chance of finding a dead animal in your water source, so either chlorine dioxide tablets is a good