HEADING OFF TO THE HILLS IN SEARCH OF ADVENTURE IS (IN OUR OPINION) ONE OF THE BEST THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR SPARE TIME – BUT YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE KITTED OUT WITH THE PROPER GEAR TO ENSURE YOU STAY COMFORTABLE AND SAFE.
A WATERPROOF JACKET
Needed for keeping rain and wind at bay, a waterproof jacket is a must-have. Look for something durable, breathable and lightweight with a well-fitting hood that packs down small when it’s stashed inside your rucksack. It’s also useful if you can access the pockets without having to unbuckle your rucksack first. Pictured: Arc’teryx Zeta LT £330
B WALKING TROUSERS
Having suitable legwear can help protect you from wind, rain and cold, plus any scuffs from rough terrain. Flexibility is key with walking trousers as you want full movement in your legs, especially when scrambling or climbing. It’s rare that walking trousers will be waterproof, but they should be water- and wind-resistant with enough durability to withstand bumps and scrapes on rock. Pictured: Quechua Forclaz 500 Warm £40
C WALKING BOOTS
Good, solid walking boots with ankle support can go a long way to protecting your feet and giving you as comfortable a time on the hill as possible. It’s a matter of personal choice as to whether you wear traditional leather boots or lighter synthetic modern versions, but you should always ensure they have a strong and grippy sole, and enough protection to keep
your feet safe on tough mountain routes. Pictured: Berghaus Fellmaster GTX £140
You lose a lot of heat through your head, and even in fine weather you’ll face a big temperature
drop between sea-level and mountain top, so a warm hat is always worth keeping in your rucksack. And make sure you pack a spare on really cold days!
E WALKING POLES
One of those bits of gear you’ll never truly appreciate the benefit of until you’ve used them properly! Poles can take a huge amount of pressure off your ankles, knees and muscles during a big ascent or descent, which is great for conserving energy – especially if you’re carrying a heavy pack. Pictured: Leki Cressida £100
You need a rucksack big enough to hold all of the additional essential kit listed below.
Dedicated walking packs have lots of pockets that allow you to separate gear, while alpine-style designs usually have one main compartment and a lid pocket. Pictured:Osprey Talon 44 £100
G MAP AND COMPASS
Conditions can turn quickly in the mountains, making it essential to carry a map and compass (and know how to use them). Ordnance Survey and Harvey lead the way in terms of paper mapping, although it’s also possible to print your own maps with an online mapping subscription. Pictured: Harvey British Mountain Map £16
IN THE RUCKSACK...
- Extra warm layers
- Waterproof overtrousers
- First aid kit
- Mobile phone
- GPS device
- Food for the day
- Plenty of water
for more information on the essential outdoor gear you'll need for exploring the outdoors, click here to view our complete kit directory