Mountain Training's Hill & Mountain Skills Kit List Essentials
We’re proud to be the Official Skills Course Partner of Mountain Training, supporting people who take part in hill and mountain skills courses and providing expert advice on kit for every kind of outdoor adventure.
Mountain Training’s Hill and Mountain Skills courses are designed to build independence and confidence when exploring the great outdoors. You’ll learn how to choose the right kit, when you’ll need it and how to use it.
Together with Mountain Training, we’re sharing our exploration essentials for your days spent in the hills. Remember to check the terrain and conditions before you head out so you can customise your kit list accordingly on the day.
Make The Right Choice
Choosing the right fit is important and worth investing some time in. Although brands produce clothing to suit female and male body shapes, it doesn’t necessarily mean a particular gender design will provide the perfect fit for you. We recommend trying a range of clothing to see what feels best.
Hill & Mountain Skills Essentials Kit List
We’ve selected our best value and pro performance options so you can choose kit to fit your goals and budget. If you need to upgrade your kit, make sure you book an in-store boot & rucksack fitting, or chat with an in-store specialist about your ideal kit.
Waterproof jackets are one of the most important pieces of kit for a day in the mountains. The best jackets are breathable, lightweight and have a robust hood that you can adjust to stay firmly in place, even on the windiest of days. Taped seams are also an essential feature, preventing water from seeping through your jacket’s stitching.
Jackets should be big enough to fit over all your other layers and allow you to move freely. Additional features such as underarm zips can help you regulate your temperature which is great on more challenging uphill walks, but they’re not essential.
On a wet day in the UK & Ireland, waterproof trousers can make an uphill scramble feel a lot easier. Without them, you’ll feel the cold a lot more.
Unless leg zips are high-quality and waterproof, it’s worth avoiding them. However, zips do mean that trousers can be put on and off without taking your boots off, which could be helpful if you’re walking somewhere where the weather is changeable.
These are your most important purchases for safety and comfort. Your boots should extend above the ankle to protect against slips and trips, with a deep tread for better grip on slippery, uneven terrain. It’s vital they’re waterproof and comfortable, and you’ve worn them in slightly before the course starts.
A good pair of socks can keep your feet warm and dry on a long day of walking. Wearing your everyday socks could be uncomfortable, causing rubbing and blisters. Socks should rise above the ankle, be made of non-cotton materials, and be well-padded.
20-30 Litre Rucksack Or A Daybag
Rucksacks should be big enough to carry everything you need while fitting your body shape well. Most rucksacks aren't waterproof, so you’ll need a waterproof liner for the outside and a dry bag or rubble sack inside to keep your kit dry. A female-specific pack will be shorter in length down the back and more fitted around the chest.
All walking clothing should be quick-drying, lightweight and made from moisture-wicking fabrics that draw sweat and rain away from your body, keeping you warm and dry. Avoid cotton and denim clothing because they absorb moisture rather than wicking it away.
Wearing clothing that covers both your legs and arms protects you from the sun and wind, particularly when you’re at a higher elevation. By layering multiple pieces of clothing, you’ll have an effective system to help your body adapt to temperature changes with the weather and terrain.
Mid-Layer Or Fleece
A warmer layer that’s worn over the base layer. A warm, everyday jumper could be good enough, but technical fleeces are designed to withstand outside conditions.
An Extra Layer
Keep this in your rucksack in case of cold temperatures or high winds. An extra jumper that’s big enough to go over everything else will do the job, though a dedicated synthetic jacket is even better!