The ultimate hill walking kit list



18 Oct 2021

Get prepared for one of the most enjoyable ways to immerse yourself in nature and leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind

If the past few years has taught us anything, it’s the mental and physical benefits of getting outside and enjoying a daily walk. Ready to take it up a notch? We asked the experts at Cotswold Outdoors for their advice on everything you’ll need before heading out for a great day on the hill.

young lad in ski jacket

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A Hearty Hill Walker's Lunch

A lunch of slow-releasing carbohydrates will replenish the energy you use on your adventure. A well-filled sandwich or pasta in sauce are great options. A trail mix combination of nuts and dried fruit is a great source of energy and relatively heat-resistant (packing chocolate in the heat could end up in a melted mess).


Keeping hydrated is the key to a great day on the hill. Between 1.5 and 2 litres is always a good place to start, but it’s entirely dependent on the length of time you plan to be walking and if it is likely to be a warm day. In winter conditions, be careful of your drink freezing - non-insulated bladder tubes are notorious for this.

Walking Boots

Having the right boots for your adventures will ensure you stay supported and comfortable for many years in the outdoors. But it's not just about having the correct boots: the right fit is essential too.

Pop into any Cotswold Outdoors store for a free fitting. You’re aiming for waterproof, breathable boots.


Your rucksack goes everywhere with you in the outdoors and making sure it’s fitted properly is vital to evenly distribute the weight of your load and reduce the strain on your back. The Cotswold Outdoor team can offer a free rucksack fitting service to get your straps, hipbelt and back system perfectly snug.

Waterproof and insulating layers Top and Bottoms

Waterproof clothing is essential when exploring the outdoors, and not having it is guaranteed to ruin your day if the weather takes a turn. With hillwalking, it’s always worth taking a spare insulation layer with you, but the conditions dictate what type you need. Check out a handy guide here to build the perfect layering system for your adventures.

Hats, Gloves & Buffs

In the summer, windproof gloves are ideal for breezy summits, while a sun hat and lightweight Buff will protect you from the sun. In the winter, a few pairs of warm and windproof gloves, a thick hat and a fleece Buff are essential to keeping warm.

Eye Protection and Suncream

Eye protection may be top of your priority list in summer, but don't forget that the sun is still there, even when you can't see it. Sunglasses or even ski goggles in snowy conditions are great for offering extra protection. And no matter the season, always remember to wear suncream.

Map And Compass

Even if you think you know the area like the back of your hand, always take a map and compass or GPS device out with you. You never know when you might have to change track, and you can end up stranded if you can't find an alternative route.

Walking Accessories

Walking poles are great for helping you to move more confidently over difficult terrain, providing extra support to the ankles, knees or hips on particularly long or strenuous walks. They are great too for stability and judging the depths of potential obstacles.

First Aid Kit, Whistle and Torch

Hillwalking can take you to some remote places, so a first aid kit is essential for any hill walker, just in case things go wrong. You can buy an ‘off-the-shelf-kit’ (but make sure you familiarise yourself with exactly what it contains and know how to use it.

A whistle and torch are also useful if you encounter any issues and need to attract attention, or if plans change and you need to find your way in the dark.