The great outdoors can be unpredictable but you can at least head to the hills confident in your own preparations and planning. We have compiled a check list of essential basic kit that should be your starting point on any hill walking adventure.
This comprehensive tick list is based on the Mountain Leadership training and can be adjusted according to fit the demands of your trip. Remember, even if you have the kit you need to know how and when to use it otherwise you are just carrying extra weight.
Day trip hill walking packing list
☐ Walking boots
☐ Liner socks (1 to wear plus 1x spare pair)
☐ Outer socks (1x to wear plus 1x spare pair)
☐ Comfortable underwear
☐ Sweat-wicking breathable base layer
☐ Walking trousers
☐ Mid-layer insulation (Fleece or softshell layer)
☐ Waterproof (hardshell) jacket with hood
☐ Waterproof (hardshell) trousers
☐ Compass (even if you have a GPS)
☐ Map (even if you have a GPS)
☐ First Aid Kit (in-date and replenished)
☐ Food (calculate the calories you might need and add some more)
☐ Sweets (for that much needed sugar and morale boost)
☐ Water (recommended 2 litres minimum)
☐ Rucksack (suggested 35 litres)
☐ Waterproof rucksack liner
☐ Whistle for emergencies (must be accessible. Know the SOS signal)
☐ Warm hat
☐ Sun hat (in the mountains you can have all 4 seasons in a day)
☐ Sunscreen or suntan lotion
☐ Insect repellant
☐ Cash / credit card
☐ Mobile telephone
☐ Torch and spare batteries (test before you leave to make sure it works)
☐ Bivvy bag
☐ Foil blanket
☐ Waterproof group shelter
Other tips from experience
- Have comfortable footwear waiting for you to change into after you walk. Your feet will thank you.
- Have a change of clothing waiting for you for a quick car park change to avoid travelling to the pub in wet, smelly gear and instead enjoy the fresh feeling of travelling onward in clean, dry clothes.
Overnight wild camping packing list
Day trip packing list plus...
☐ Tent (suitable for number of people & conditions)
☐ Larger rucksack (suggested 60 litres)
☐ Sleeping mat
☐ Sleeping bag
☐ Stove & fuel
☐ Cooking utensils
☐ Latrine trowel & way of transporting
☐ Biodegradable toilet paper
It is always good practice to leave your contact details and route plan with someone before setting out even if you are only heading out for the day. It can also be a good idea to leave a copy of your route card with your mobile phone number and estimated time of arrival in the windscreen of your car. Make sure all valuables are stored out of sight.