A concise and comprehensive kit explanation and links to suppliers for walking and backpacking/wild camping. We’ll publish every month on fb so really there is no excuse to be wet and miserable on a cold day on the hill.
Think about kit by starting at your feet and working your way up and try to purchase items good for a range of weathers, so, layering is a good bet unless you want a wardrobe full of specialist gear you only wear a few times a year.
In general the more you spend the better the kit is. There are a few cheats that save money but if you want long life and reliable then do spend as much as you can afford. This will save you money in the long run. Buy from companies, where possible, that give a lifetime guarantee and be prepared to use that guarantee. My thermarest sleeping mat was replaced with no argument by Cascade Designs after two years of use…
Remember, if you won’t be winter mountaineering in Scotland then you don’t need a £450 waterproof jacket! Your usual use of the kit is what matters. If it’s weekend walking in the Brecon Beacons then a mid range waterproof will be fine.
Think about weight. Lighter is good but will be less durable. Are you solo backpacking? If so lightweight is very important. If not it’s not such an issue.
No boots are waterproof. Some resist water ingress a little better than others but the will all leak over time. Go buy some ‘Sealskinz’ waterproof socks. They are amazing.
WALKING KIT LIST:
Socks – Sealskinz
Boots – Cheap to expensive
Lightweight walking trousers – Mid range is best
Tights for under the trousers in winter
Base layer top – Cheap
Fleece layer top – Cheap
Fleece jacket – Mid range is best
Waterproof trousers – Cheap-ish as rarely worn
Waterproof jacket – Mid range is best
Gloves – I prefer mittens
Hat – Warm and won’t blow away in high winds
Daypack – 25-30 litres and waterproof is best
Hydration system – It’s good to drink on the go but a water bottle is fine
Head-torch – A quality waterproof head-torch is good
Personal first aid kit
Repair kit (needle/thread)
OS Online Maps – OS maps on your smartphone for about £20 a year for all of the UK
Two trekking poles – Lightweight and mid range
BACKPACKING KIT LIST:
55 litre backpack – Simple with as few zips and pockets as possible
Sleeping bag – You know how warm you need to be. Best to get a 4 season if you only intend to own one bag. Go for the best bag you can afford as pack size and weight will matter
Sleeping mat – Thermarest is best as they have a lifetime guarantee
Cooker – Lots of options. Consider pack size and weight.
Pots – Lots of options. Consider pack size and weight.
Tent – If solo backpacking go light and expensive. If car camping go cheap. Do contact us for advice if intending to buy a tent as there are so many variables and so many options…
Visit our Kit Store for some tried and tested bargains
Other vital software or links to recommended retailers:
www.maps.me – a basic and free map with footpaths and roads for smartphones
https://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk – top of the range lightweight kit
https://rockrun.com – sign up to the newsletter for notifications of excellently priced sale items
https://www.alpkit.com – great UK company offering no nonsense and quality mountain kit
https://www.gooutdoors.co.uk – unbeatable price match promise and no quibble returns policy
https://www.ospreyeurope.com/gb_en/all-mighty-guarantee/ – lifetime guarantee!
https://www.cascadedesigns.com – lifetime guarantee!
https://www.sealskinz.com/…/why-sealskinz-100-waterproof-so… – socks!
If we’ve missed anything or you have advice that can improve this then please do let us know… It’s a work in progress…