Outdoorwear 3 min read

Don’t Run Before You Can Walk! Hiking Essentials for Beginners

a couple hiking up a hill
Published on Apr 14, 2022
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Since the pandemic began and everything closed, we all went outside! Here in the UK, people have started to embrace the great outdoors and walking more than ever before. 

At one point, going outside was pretty much the only thing we were able to do for a period of months! 

Because of this, we’ve found that walking and hiking have actually become more popular than ever before. Google searches and purchases for hiking equipment and gear have absolutely skyrocketed over the past couple of years.  

But if you’re a newbie to the great outdoors and want to make it a regular thing, then it can probably feel quite overwhelming knowing exactly where to start. 

So we’ve decided to outline some of the most essential hiking equipment you should begin with so that you don’t buy everything and spend a small fortune…


Probably the most daunting thing to consider when planning your first hiking trip is how to kit yourself up for every weather and terrain! We’ve compiled some of our top essentials below.

Waterproof Jacket

We all know how unpredictable the British weather can be, so a good waterproof jacket from a store like Mountain Warehouse really be an absolute lifesaver as you venture through the great outdoors.

This will help keep you dry and protected, no matter what the clouds throw at you. Look for a jacket with a good waterproofness level and ensure it’s breathable and flexible to help you navigate through forests, hills, and lakesides.

A Mid-Layer Top

Of course, you’re going to need a t-shirt or other base layer underneath your waterproof jacket. But depending on how cold it is, you may decide to add another layer with a mid-layer top from a store like Blacks, they have some great quality clothing for all your outdoor needs.

This is especially important throughout the colder months or hikes at high altitudes, as it will keep your body heat in and stop you from becoming cold. A fleece jacket could be a great, low-cost option for this.

Walking Trousers

If you’re going out in difficult conditions and bad weather, then walking trousers will be an essential way to help keep you dry and comfortable. Check out stores like Regatta for waterproof trousers and other waterproof clothing. 

They’ll also feel much more flexible when you’re navigating your way zigzagging your way through different routes. A pair of trousers with zipped pockets could also be an added bonus! 

And if you can’t find the pair that’s right for you check out Jack Wolfskin where you can pick up products to make your clothing waterproof!


A thick pair of socks will be a lifesaver if you find yourself trekking through large amounts of water or mud. 

They’ll also make your feet much more comfortable in your boots when you’re walking on uneven or hard terrain. You should try to avoid cotton socks when walking as these can soak up any moisture from either sweat or rain and can cause blisters. For socks that are fit for purpose, we recommend checking out Cotswold Outdoor.

Waterproof Walking Boots

It’s so important not to rely on simply a pair of trainers when you’re heading off on your first hike!

When out on a long hike, with rocky terrain, hills, and bad weather – your feet are really going to thank you for some sturdy walking boots. For sturdy and reliable outdoor waterproof hiking boots you need to stop by Trespass and check out their collection. 

Opt for waterproof boots with a good grip on the bottom and good support inside to help keep you comfortable and protected. 


A Good Rucksack 

If you’re going to be out for a while, then a rucksack will be essential in holding all of your possessions without restricting your hands. 

Be careful not to choose a rucksack that’s going to be too big that restricts movement or weighs you down – but it is important to pick one that’s big enough to fit everything you need in. We, therefore, suggest you write a list out in advance of everything you need to take with you before choosing, then take a look at stores like Berghaus who have a great selection of bags and rucksacks.

A Large Water Bottle

Even if it’s freezing cold in the winter, it’s so important to take a large bottle of water with you!

Should anything happen and you become lost or have to stop off for a while if the weather becomes dangerous, then having a good amount of water with you is absolutely essential. You can pick up an inexpensive durable water bottle from stores like Craghoppers that will keep you going on your travels. 


A packed lunch or small snacks are really important to take with you on a long hike.

Especially if it’s a warmer day, then you could become dehydrated and will need a high-sugar snack to give you that extra boost of energy you need.

A Map

Yes, that’s right, paper maps do exist!

If you find yourself out in the middle of nowhere, then you may lose your phone signal. But a traditional paper map will never let you down. 

First Aid Essentials

A small first aid kit should be the first piece of equipment to make its way into your rucksack.

Stick with the basics. You’re going to need plasters, a foil blanket, bandages and cleansing wipes. 

If you’re taking the kids with you too, then don’t worry – we have you covered for all their hiking essentials too, check out Outdoor Look where you’ll find everything you need.


Charlotte Marshall

Lead Editor

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!

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