According to the Ramblers Association, walking is by far Britain's most popular outdoor recreation activity. Wherever you are on our little island, you're never more than a short drive or train journey away from our beautiful countryside. 

Whatever your age, a long walk in the great outdoors is the perfect way to unplug from the pressures of modern life, catch up with friends and family and reconnect with nature.

To help you to enjoy your next hike, we compiled a list of the essential hiking gear you mustn't forget. So, grab your backpack, pick up those walking poles and get ready to hit the trails. 

Lightweight packable jacket

You can never be too sure about the weather. Don't let a great day turn miserable should the heavens open. A lightweight waterproof can pack down small so you can stow it away, just in case.

You'll also be grateful for the extra layer at higher altitudes or in open spaces where the temperature can quickly change.

First aid kit

Trips. slips and falls are always a risk, especially if you are walking with youngsters. Don't forget first aid supplies so that you can keep those grazed knees clean and free of infection and get on with enjoying the day.

Walking shoes

A good pair of walking shoes is essential to keep you comfortable on those long days out. Look for grippy soles and ankle support which will help you to avoid injury. 


Fruit, nuts and energy bars will keep your energy levels topped up. Make sure you carry enough fuel to last the day - out on the trail, shops are generally few and far between. 

Trekking poles

Once you get a pair of trekking poles, you'll wonder how you got by without them! They provide great support, particularly on steep hills, so your legs won't get as tired. They'll also give you a bit of stability which means you're less likely to take a tumble. 


Remember to stay hydrated. Even in cooler weather, you'll be losing moisture through perspiration. Aim for one litre every five miles. 


A well-fitting pair of socks will provide cushioning and support and help to prevent blisters. Merino blends are popular because they are anti-bacterial and breathable so your feet will feel fresh all day.

Head torch 

If you are out after dark, a head torch is essential to light the way, hands-free. Remove the batteries while it's in your bag so that it doesn't come on accidentally. This way, you'll have plenty of power left for when it gets dark.

Sun cream

Even in the dappled light under the trees, you need to protect your skin from harmful rays. Look for sport-specific products that are sweat-resistant and stay put even when wet. 


About the author

NChamanian's picture
Nassrin Chamanian
Published on: 13 Aug 2019

Interests include riding my bike, talking about my bike, watching bike racing...