We guide you through the essential clothing, gear and equipment needed for hiking. Understanding what to put in your backpack or waist pack can be the difference between an enjoyable experience and one to forget! Not packing a waterproof jacket when it is due to rain or wearing trainers on rocky uneven paths will make you not want to go out again. Hiking should be a fun thing to do, wearing the right clothes and bringing along the right gear just enhances your day out on the mountains.
If you already know what you would like to look for, you can use your table of contents below to skip the relevant section. Don't see what you need? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will update the page.
- Hiking Clothes
- Waterproof Jackets
- Hiking Boots
- Hiking Equipment
- Walking Poles
- GPS for Hiking
- Hiking Maps
- Hiking Accessories
- Walking Apps
- What Should I Wear For A Hike?
- What Hiking Essentials Do I Need To Take?
Walking and Hiking Clothes
A key item for taking out on hikes is a waterproof jacket, it helps protect you against the wind and the rain which is a necessity if you’re hiking in the UK. With multiple options to choose from we have broken it down into 4 categories to make things a little easier. Although you can use different layers to keep warm during colder weather a winter jacket can still come in handy in really cold conditions.
- Spring Hiking Jackets: A versatile mid-weight jacket that offers some warmth for cooler mornings, but is also breathable and resistant to spring showers.
- Summer Hiking Jackets: Something lightweight and breathable as an outer layer that will protect you from the elements without making you overheat.
- Autumn Hiking Jackets: A layer-friendly jacket that provides warmth, but also features water resistance for those unpredictable showers.
- Winter Hiking Jackets: For colder weather, you’ll need a waterproof jacket that is also insulated to keep you warm.
Do you need a hiking jacket? Find our tops picks here in the Best Walking Jackets Guide
Hiking and Walking Boots
An important piece of equipment that you’ll need for walking is a good pair of walking shoes. Walking shoes are different from standard trainers in a few ways and help make your walk more comfortable. If you invest in a good pair of walking boots they will last a long time, especially if you care for them properly.
- Supportive: Specialist hiking boots typically have thicker, more durable soles than trainers.
- Waterproof: Many walking boots tend to be made from water-resistant materials, which can help keep your feet dry in wet weather.
- Comfort: Most walking boots and shoes come with cushioning around the ankle and shock-absorbing insoles and soles.
Interested to learn more? Check out our guide to the Best Walking Boots
Hiking and Walking Equipment
Hiking and Walking Poles
You might have seen people out on the hills or even in the streets with walking poles and not quite understand the hype about them. If you buy them for the right reasons they can be very useful and benefit you in several ways. They are popular with Nordic Walkers but can be used on every day walk or mountain hikes.
- Stability and Support: Walking poles provide balance and stability on uneven terrains, which helps to reduce the risk of injuries or falls.
- Reducing Strain: They help decrease the impact on your legs, knees, ankles, and feet, especially during downhill hikes.
- Improved Workout: Using walking poles engages upper body muscles, creating a full-body workout and increasing calorie burn.
Interested to learn more? Check out our guide to Walking Poles
Hiking and Walking GPS
When you are on top of a mountain or in the middle of the countryside a GPS can mean the difference between finding the right path and getting lost. We always recommend you learn to read a map and take compass bearings but having a GPS can be really handy when you want confirmation that you are on the right route. They can help in several ways;
- Navigation and Safety: A Walking GPS will ensure you stay on track, helping to prevent getting lost in unfamiliar terrain. It will also boost your confidence for future hikes.
- Collecting Data: Many devices provide useful stats like distance covered, elevation gain, and pace. This can be useful to understand when you are planning more walks.
- Points of Interest: They can show you features or points of interest, providing information about nearby landmarks, attractions, or facilities.
Keen to get a GPS? We explore more about them and show you the Best GPS for Walking
Walking and Hiking Maps
Learning to read a map is an essential skill when walking. Understanding the terrain around you, the route length and the path taken is paramount for your safety and anyone else you're walking with. We would recommend finding a good course to learn map reading skills or buying a map of your local area so you can walk a familiar route and match it up on the map.
- Detailed Information: Walking maps provide a comprehensive view of the terrain, including contours, landmarks, and paths, this is critical for planning and navigating your hike.
- No batteries: Unlike your phone or a walking GPS, a physical walking map doesn't run out of battery or lose signal! This makes them one of the most important things to take with you.
- Broad Overview: They offer a wide view of your surroundings to help you understand the layout of the land, spot alternative routes, and find key landmarks.
Want to know where to start? Find a great map over at OSMaps
Hiking and Walking Accessories
Apps can transform any walk into a well-planned hike. Whether you're looking to track your path, monitor your fitness over time, or ensure your safety during your walk, these apps have got you covered. Here are three standout options:
- MapMyWalk: A comprehensive tool for tracking walks with features like route tracking, duration, speed, elevation, and calorie count.
- Strava: It helps map routes, track progress, and provides insights on pace, elevation, and calories burned. The app also features a heatmap function for finding popular routes and allows connections to various wearable devices.
- Outdoors GPS: Offers access to a variety of free Open Street Maps, with an option to pay for OS maps. It's especially useful in areas without a signal or internet.
Want more to choose from? We have compiled a list showing 7 of the Best Walking Apps
What Should I Wear For A Hike?
When planning a walk, understanding what to wear for a hike is essential. Nature can be unpredictable so learning about hiking clothes can play a vital role in providing comfort and safety on your hike. We have created a guide to help you learn about the 8 best things to wear for a hike
What Hiking Essentials Do I Need To Take?
When packing for a hike, consider the duration, distance, and weather conditions to decide on essentials. It's crucial to avoid overpacking for short hikes while ensuring you're prepared for unexpected extensions or weather changes. Read our guide on the 10 Essentials and Emergency Items for your next hike.