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.

GENERAL:

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

Paper map 

Compass

Whistle

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…

LINKS:

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…

Author

Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published

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