The Ultimate Hill Walking Kit List

Getting out into the hills is one of the best ways to leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind, but having the right kit is essential to staying safe and enjoying your adventure. It's important that you know exactly how to use everything you take into the hills, and that you're confident your kit will perform when you need it to. 


Below is a list of some of the items that we’d recommend taking with you when heading for the hills.

Waterproof Top And Bottoms


Waterproof clothing is essential when exploring the outdoors, and not having it is guaranteed to ruin your day if the weather takes a turn. A waterproof jacket will keep your core dry, which is a key part of keeping warm. Your waterproof top and trousers should be breathable, with some venting to allow your sweat vapour to escape.

Hats, Gloves & Buffs


Bringing the right accessories will help you adapt your kit to the weather conditions. In the summer, windproof gloves are ideal for breezy summits, while a sun hat and lightweight Buff will protect you from the sun. In the winter, warm and windproof gloves, a thick hat and a fleece Buff are essential to keeping warm.

First Aid Kit, Whistle And Torch


A first aid kit is essential for any hill walker. If you choose to buy an ‘off-the-shelf-kit’ make sure you know exactly how to use everything in it. If you do choose to build your own, consider all situations as well as the quantity you will need if you’re heading out in a group.

You may never have thought of packing a whistle, but if you encounter any issues and need to attract attention, it takes a lot less effort to blow a whistle than to scream and shout.

Even if you plan to still be out when it gets dark, plans often change without prior warning - for example, you might have taken longer than expected to complete your route. If a rescue team needs to come and find you, it will be much easier with a signal from a torch.

A Hearty Hill Walker's Lunch


Prepare a lunch of slow-releasing carbohydrates which will replenish the energy you use on your adventure. A well-filled sandwich or pasta in sauce are great options. When packing your snacks, consider the temperature: packing chocolate when it's warm will only lead to it melting all over your rucksack! A trail mix combination of nuts and dried fruit is a great source of energy and relatively heat-resistant.



Keeping hydrated is the key to a great day on the hill. Between 1.5 and 2 litres is always a good place to start, but it’s entirely dependant on the length of time you plan to be walking and if it is likely to be a warm day. In winter conditions, be careful of your drink freezing - non-insulated bladder tubes are notorious for this!

Eye Protection And Suncream


Eye protection may be top of your priority list in summer, but don't forget that the sun is still there, even when you can't see it! Sunglasses are normally enough to protect your eyes, but if you're going to be hill walking in snowy conditions, a pair of ski goggles offer extra protection against the light reflecting off the snow's surface. And, no matter the season, always remember to wear suncream!

Map And Compass


Even if you think you know the area like the back of your hand, always take a map and compass or GPS device out with you. You never know when you might have to change track, and you can end up stranded if you can't find an alternative route.

Spare Insulating Layer


It’s always worth taking a spare insulation layer with you, but the conditions dictate what type you need. In the height of summer, you'll oly need a spare microfleece to fend off the winds at the summit. In winter, pack a lightweight down or synthetic insulating layer to provide warmth and weather protection. Keep the layering system in mind and you can't go far wrong - check out our guide here.

Walking Accessories


Walking poles are great for helping you to move more confidently over difficult terrain, or to provide support to your knees if needed. They can also come in handy for crossing streams or uncertain-looking bogs!


For hill walking in winter, you should consider whether you will need to carry an ice axe and crampons, and always err on the side of caution.

Hill Walking Packing Top Tips

1. Pack your essential items where they're easy to reach - check out our guide to packing your rucksack here.


2. Pack your kit in lightweight dry bags to separate it and protect it from the rain.

3. Ensure your boots and rucksack fit you correctly. Visit our in-store experts for free boot and rucksack fitting services, or if you already have them at home, check out our boot fitting guide and rucksack fitting guide.

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