Walking, Hiking & Trail Running

Hiking Gear And Equipment | The Essentials You Need For A Good Hike

Looking for the best hiking equipment list for beginners? Where can you find the best gear for sale in the UK? Look no further...

The right hiking equipment is the key to a successful day hiking

When going for a hike, there are a couple of basics you need to have prepared. Apart from knowing the UK’s best hikes, having the best equipment – from hiking boots, to hiking backpacks, to safety equipment –  is at the top of the list.

Anyone who has ever made the mistake of setting off hiking or trekking in jeans will know that investing in proper outdoor clothes is well worth it.

With a bafflingly wide range of possible weather scenarios to take into account, it can be hard to know what to wear hiking. The best outdoor clothing is durable, lightweight, and provides proper protection against the elements.

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Remember to invest in the items that secure your safety on a hike, things like direction and first aid cannot be skimped on! Here are eight of the most important things to take on your hike.

Hiking Trousers

trousers and shoes of a man hiking in the mountains at winter

The ultimate hiking trousers are three things – weatherproof, durable and ultra-lightweight. If you’re going to be wearing them all day long in changing conditions and terrains. they need to be sturdy and ready to take on whatever the hike throws at them.

Venting zips are included in most high quality hiking trousers to stop you from overheating and allow a comfortable fit over even the bulkiest hiking boots. Trousers made of Nylon, Polyester or Supplex should provide you with flexibility an comfort (but still protect you for the rain!)

Berghaus, Craghoppers and Rab are a great place to find high quality hiking trousers, with prices stretching for most budgets. Read our full guide to hiking trousers here.

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Hiking Boots

Hiking boots need to be durable, comfortable and waterproof

For obvious reasons, a pair of hiking boots can make or break a hiking trip, everyone knows that a blister in the wrong spot can make it near impossible to walk at all.

When buying a pair of hiking always remember to check the size with and without a decent pair of hiking socks on, boots that fit perfectly in the shop can suddenly rub on the mountain when you’re rocking thick technical socks.

When looking for good hiking boots, the main things you nee to consider three main factors – shock absorbtion, fit and breathability. Go into a good hiking store and find out what kind of boot is right for you (and don’t forget that there are some great hiking boots for women out there!)

There was a times when good hiking boots were technical looking and to be honest, not particularly good looking, but all that has changed. Thanks to brands like Aku, Berghaus and Keen hiking boots are finally as good looking as they are high tech.

Check out our guide to winter hiking boots here.

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Waterproof Jacket

When hiking in the UK, a waterproof is a key piece of hiking equipment

It’s a widely accepted fact that if you’re going to go looking for the UK’s best hikes, you’re going to get rained on – a lot.

This doesn’t have to be a problem, in fact hiking in summer rain can actually be really lovely, but it does mean that you need a reliable waterproof jacket.

The best rain jackets are lightweight, super waterproof and packable, so you can forget you even have it when the sun makes an appearance. Make sure you choose a jacket with good breathable material, it can be hot work climbing up those steep trails!

While you can get waterproof jackets from any supermarket for as little as a fiver, it’s worth investing in a more expensive number that will last you a little longer and doesn’t threaten to stop being so waterproof a coupe of hours into your hike!

Big brand North Face is still credited by many as the most reliable brand, but there are many amazing jackets out there – including some super stylish ones from cold water surf brand Finisterre, that won’t let you down.

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Hiking Socks

Don’t forget technical socks when buying hiking equipment

“Even my socks have to be technical?!” we hear you cry. The answer is yes, yes they do.

Any long hike has needs a good pair of hiking socks.  All those hours of stomping, heating up, getting cold – your feet are bound to start to rub is you dont have a pair of socks up to the job.

Hiking socks contain technology to give support and durability and let your feet breathe. The best socks out there will target the area of your foot that you use the most and give them extra support. Read our full guide to hiking socks here.

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Hiking Poles

Hiking poles are great for backpacking hikers

If you’ve not been on any major hikes before and you’re planning one now, a walking pole can be the difference between finishing the quest and turning back early.

Poles are sold individually most of the time, though many people do walk with two, and are used to take the weight and pressure off key areas when you’re tackling particularly tough terrain – whether that be consistent climbs over long periods of time or short bursts of challenging terrain.

A lot more tech goes into these things than you would imagine, with the poles coming either with or without anti-shock features. Anti-shock will cost you slightly more, but it’s the safe bet for longer hikes.

Mountain King Trail Blaze Poles and Leki Makalu Carbonlite Trekking poles are popular, proven options.

Hiking Torch

Losing sunlight is a danger when hiking,  always pack a torch in your gear.

This is a simple one. If you don’t have a proper torch that will work no matter what the circumstances, there’s a good chance you’re not going to be able to see when things get dark at night.

Don’t mess about with your torch. It’s great to bring both a battery-operated, heavy power torch that operates to a high standard as well as a wind-up torch back up for if the batteries die.

The Lifesystems Intensity 220 torch comes highly recommended at £25, while Lifesystems Intensity 80 headtorch at the same price is also a favourite. On the wind-up side of things, the Ventus Eco Pro torch is highly rated for it’s power to wind-up time ratio.

Hiking Backpacks

Good hiking equipment that lasts a long time will work out cheaper than paying less for your gear

Whether you’re going on a short hike, or a multi-day expedition, your hiking backpack is integral to the success you’ll have.

From the pack size, to the strap width, to the material – so many things affect your comfort when wearing a pack.

We suggest you go into a store and try a few different type of pack for a long hike. Focus on getting the right weight distribution for you’re shape and posture and make sure it has the right storage volume, and a good hydration system.

Bigger packs are usually gender specific, with women’s packs resting on a different area of the body, for more comfort. Go to you’re nearest Blacks and try on a few different styles!

Hiking First Aid Kit

First aid equipment is a must in your hiking gear

Hiking first aid kits are an imperative addition to your rucksack. Whether you’re hiking alone or note, your survival first aid kit could be what keeps you alive at the end of the day.

What do you want in your first aid kit? Well, for starters, a survival bag, whistle, bandages in various sizes, duct tape, antibiotic cream, anti-blister cream, pain killers, a surgical cutting tool, anti-allergens, sun cream, vinyl gloves, alcohol wipes, drying wipes, sterile dressing.

Lifesystems offer a range of first aid kits, but the best way to do this is really to buy a basic package and then build upon it with separate purchases of your own.

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