So, when you’re out on the hills what should you take?
Firstly, get a good pair of walking boots/shoes.
Up until recently I used Haglofs Vertigo approach shoes which are great for all but the most challenging terrain, for that I’ve got some Mammut boots.
Once the Haglofs eventually died, they were replaced by Scarpas and more recently, Mammut approach shoes (reviews soon!)
There is a huge choice in jackets,
Generally a softshell will cope with most weather you get in England but a hardshell is needed for more extreme downpours.
I use the Arc’teryx Beta LT hardshell and an Arc’teryx Gamma MX softshell (my second one!)
When I do over night trips, it’s either the Coleman Cobra 2 tent, the Wild Country Zephyros or the Robens Arch 2.
I recently got an MSR Elixir 1 tent. Due to the lockdown, I’ve not had chance to try it properly but I’ve posted an review based on a garden pitch!
I’ve also tried the much larger Vango tent.
You’ll need a rucksack to stuff all this gear into.
A day sack of around 20-30 litres is sufficient for most day trips and provides enough room for layers, hardshell, food and drink.
For multi day trips 50 – 70 is preferable.
I currently use an old Lowe Alpine day sack (with some Vango dry sacks to keep my warm layers dry) and a Lowe Alpine 65 litre expandable to 75 ( reviews to follow!)
Food and drink is a must. I always take a Sawyer water filter as it’s so light and easy to carry. My meths burner or Jetboil and Alpkit mug are used for brewing a welcoming coffee during cooler days and night walks.
Finally, a map and compass. It may seem obvious but there have been several times when I’ve had to help people with ‘all the gear and no idea’ who’ve just headed off with no idea of a route!
A GPS device or a smartphone can be a useful addition, but you should never solely rely on them. I use Viewranger on my phone and have a Spot tracking device.