Planning a hike? Unsure of what to carry? We’ve teamed up with Osprey Europe to bring you a shortlist of all the essential kit you might need for a long day on the trail.
Your backpack should be roomy enough to carry all your required kit, be it a brisk day hike or something longer, and have all the features you might require for your trip. If you’re unsure of which pack is right for you, head over to Osprey’s Pack Selection blog for more information.
Some additional items that can help organise and protect your pack are:
- Packliner – An added layer of internal protection if rain is a serious possibility.
- Drysacks - Useful for organisation, protection and easy to stack and pack.
- Stuffpack/light day pack – There may be times you want to venture away from your camp. A stuffpack/ daypack is the perfect light companion – allowing you to leave your backpack behind.
Your clothing requirements will definitely vary depending on seasonal climate and location specific weather. Research the area you plan to hike and prepare accordingly.
Here’s an overview of recommended clothing to get you started:
- Footwear – You’ll be spending hours on the trail so it is important to have support for your feet - adequate protection, is incredibly important. Hiking boots (or something more flexible like approach shoes if the climate that footing requires it) are a must have.
- Gaiters – Gaiters are a useful item if the ground is going to be damp or muddy. They won’t make footwear waterproof but they will help you avoid splashes and rainfall running onto your socks. No one needs soggy feet!
- Hiking socks – Breathable hiking socks keep your feet ventilated as much as possible and provide some cushioning. A spare pair ensures that a little rain doesn’t dampen your spirits.
- Base layer – The ideal base layer will wick away sweat when your engaged in strenuous activity but will also keep you warm in windy or cold conditions.
- Mid layer – Your mid layer’s breathability and thickness should be chosen based on the location and weather. It will help retain and bounce back the heat that wasn’t captured by your base layer.
- Outer layer – Your outer layer is your wind break or your waterproof layer (probably both). Pick up something light, breathable and check the waterproof rating if you’re expecting rain.
- Underwear – It sounds obvious but no one wants to hike in the same underwear for more than a day. It’s also important to make sure they’re comfortable for walking in.
- Trousers/Zip off shorts – Water resistant hiking trousers are a useful item to own and can be made more useful by buying zip offs. This will allow you to match changing weather. Waterproof trousers to go on top are essential if expecting rain.
- Sunglasses – If it’s sunny there’s a good chance you’ll be needing to protect your eyes.
You’re going to be relying on your core kit at both the best and worst of times. It’s your ‘day-to-day’ but also your safety net.
- A map – You may be familiar with the route but it is still important to be prepared. A hard copy map is essential for both your safety and for the enjoyment of your hike (remember, technology has a habit of running out of power!).
- A compass – Weighing next to nothing, a compass
is an incredibly important tool to have around. Whether in an emergency or just
orienteering your way to your destination, be sure to pack a compass.
- Hydration – A hydration reservoir or a sturdy water bottle sounds obvious but be sure to think about how much water you may require. Dehydration is a commonplace ailment while hiking so always carry more than you require.
- First Aid Kit – Premade first aid kits are relatively cheap and light to carry. They can be vital in a sticky situation but also make a trip more comfortable (blister plasters, we’re looking at you).
- Toiletries – Deodorant, soap, you know the drill! Some common added extras could be Vaseline for rubbing/ footcare and sun cream if you are lucky enough to have sun.
- A torch/headtorch – As well as a useful tool for overnight trips this is also an important piece of safety kit in case you get lost or misjudge your timings.
- Snacks – Although not technically kit, snacks still deserve a mention. Having dense, easy to stow, high energy snacks will be necessary if you’re planning on hiking any distance.
- Sleeping bag – Be sure to match your sleeping bag to your seasonal requirements. Compact design and breathability are features to look out for.
- Sleeping mat – A sleeping mat is essential if you’re camping. Inflated mats add an extra layer of comfort and insulation from the cold on the ground.
- Shelter– Whether you’re carrying a lightweight tent or using a bivvy and tarp, be sure to take shelter.
Win the ultimate hiking kit with Osprey Europe and OS
This fantastic prize is perfect for walkers of all abilities and includes:
- An Osprey Atmos or Aura 65L rucksack (worth £190), plus a range of accessories to keep your kit dry and secure.
- A 12 month subscription to OS Maps – the award winning digital mapping service from Ordnance Survey. Complete with full OS Explorer and OS Landranger mapping for the whole of Great Britain, OS Maps is perfect for people who love exploring.
- Find inspirational walking routes in an area of your choice with an OS Pathfinder walking guide.
- A personalised OS Custom Made map, centered on any area of your choice with your own title and cover image.
- Stay warm with an exclusive OS GetOutside Tech Top – not available to buy!
- OS GetOutside enamel mug – perfect for a 'top of the summit' tea stop.