Hiking 101 – What to wear/pack

Planning a hiking trip? Make sure you are fully prepared for whatever the elements may bring and don’t leave home without ticking the following items off your packing list:

Base layer

A decent base layer for hiking is one that is breathable and lightweight. Specially engineered outdoor or sports clothing is ideal as it is designed to conduct moisture away from your skin, so your clothes stay dry and your temperature stays regulated.

Insulating layer

Once again, lightweight layers are key – as is breathability. Choose an insulating fleece or body warmer that will trap air in pockets, down or fluffy fibres while allowing moisture to be conducted out and away from your skin.

Waterproof/windproof

A good waterproof jacket will make the difference between a sad, soggy finish and a jubilant journey’s end. Make sure your outer layer is windproof too, particularly for coastal and mountain walks.

Socks

For hiking your socks need to be warm, breathable, and comfortable. You don’t want them to rub inside your boot, roll down or leave your feet feeling hot and clammy.

Boots

Lightweight boots with the right level of grip and flexibility for the kind of hiking you will be doing are an investment you won’t regret. If in doubt, talk to the experts in your local outdoor equipment or sports shop.

Backpack

The size of backpack you go for will depend on the length of your hike and how much equipment you will need to carry. Whatever you decide, make sure it has good back support, padded straps, plenty of pockets and decent waterproofing.

Sunglasses

Out on the peaks, the sun can be incredibly bright and if you are hiking directly towards the sunlight you need to be able to look ahead without being dazzled. Get a good robust pair of sunglasses with an elastic strap so you don’t lose them over a long drop!

Multi-tool

Essential for everything from opening tins of beans to whittling spears, a good multi-tool in your pocket will have you feeling ready for anything.