KIT LIST: BRITISH HILLWALKING ESSENTIALS
Heading to the hills for a fast-paced day hike or spending a weekend under canvas carrying everything you need? Wherever a venture into Britain's remote and rugged landscape takes you it requires more than just a map and compass (although you need that, too). Here's our list of essential kit for taking on the British hills - just remember to adapt and add to it to suit your needs.
Choose a pair of light-to-medium-weight walking boots with flexible soles to ensure the tread is suitable for the UK's varied terrain. If you're going scrambling, or need more support for feet, ankle or knees, footwear with a stiffer sole would be better. For more information check out our walking boot buying guide.
Often overlooked, socks form an important part of your walking setup, and it's important you get the right ones to help you stay comfortable for the duration. Mid-weight merino hiking socks are a great options as they provide cushioning and wick away sweat to keep your feet comfortable, dry and blister-free, but for more options check out our guide to technical walking socks.
Top tip: Don't forget to take additional pairs for multi-day trips.
Conditions on the hills change frequently. One minute you can find yourself battling strong winds, only to turn a corner and be greeted by sheltered sunny conditions, so it pays to be prepared for everything. Out on British hills you'll need your complete layering system - base layer, mid-layer and outer - and you'll also want to ensure you have enough options to alter your layers as the weather changes. Check out our guide to layering for hiking here.
Your pack size depends on the length of your trip, and how much you're willing to pack light. As a general rule, 20-35L is a good size for day hikes, while 40-60L is great for multi-day adventures. If you're camping, you'll naturally need to allow extra room for the additional gear. Visit us in-store for expert advice on the right pack for your adventures, and to have your pack fitted for ultimate comfort.
Head over to our pack buying guide to discover more insider tips for choosing the perfect pack.
Most backpacks are water resistant and come with rain covers, but aren't completely waterproof. Dry bags for valuables, electronics and down insulation can help save valuable gear from the damp, if the weather takes a turn.
How much hydration you need to bring depends on how fast you're moving, how much you sweat and your size. However, a general rule of thumb is that a hydration bladder and 1L water bottle will give you enough water for a day.
Always keep extra accessories for warmth in case the weather turns, including a hat or Buff, gloves and an extra warm layer. You should also carry an emergency whistle, first aid kit, head torch and thermal bag in case you or one of your group run into trouble, and always keep an eye out for places to shelter.
Bring Just In Case
Poles offer added support and stability on steep downhills, and are great to have for people with knee pain.
Whether you opt for a handheld system or the latest mart watch, GPS makes navigation much easier, and offers some peace of mind too. It’s still essential to carry map and compass though, and to know how to use them!
Top tip: Check out our smart watch buying guide for more inspo on choosing the best system for your activities.
A lightweight two-person tent which packs down small will be top priority for backpackers. Look for geodesic or semi-geodesic models which are designed for extra stability, and always check the rules on wild camping in your area before you pitch up.
New to camping? Don't worry, we've got you covered with advice on all the features to look out for here.
A good night's sleep can make all the difference to your adventure, so it's important you choose the right sleeping bag. Look for a two-season or three-season sleeping bag with a lower comfort limit of around 0°C to -5°C, unless you feel the cold easily, in which case look for a lower comfort limit.
When it comes to choosing down or synthetic it depends on where you're heading and what you'll be doing, and for more advice we recommend heading to our sleeping bag guide.
Sleeping mats come in a variety of types; for the perfect balance between light weight and comfort, we'd recommend an air-filled sleeping mat, which you blow up yourself then deflate when you're done. Other options include a simple foam mat, which is easy to roll away and attach to your pack, or a self-inflating mat, which is more comfortable than a foam mat but takes up a lot of space when packed.
Stoves fuelled by solids are the best for weight saving, while gas stoves offer great heat output for not much extra weight (although you will have the additional gas canister to carry, too). Liquid fuel stoves offer a more reliable heat source at altitude or in extreme temperatures, but require a lot of maintenance and care and aren't the most practical option.
Still not sure? Fear not, we look into the pros and cons of different types of camping stoves here.
You never know what your limits will turn out to be in terms of water sources, so carrying a purification method with you is necessary to ensure you always have access to safe drinking water.
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