What to pack

Adventure Smart!

The Lake District is proud to be an Adventure Smart area, helping you have a great time and stay safe. Before your trip, ask yourself these 3 simple questions:

  1. Do I have the right gear?
  2. Do I know what the weather will be like?
  3. Am I confident I have the knowledge and skills for the day?

Learn how to be adventure smart at AdventureSmart.uk

1. Do I have the right gear?


Layers are the best idea, whatever time of year you visit. Even in summer, it can be cool in the evenings and if you're on the water the breeze can make it cooler than on land. A good waterproof jacket is invaluable.

If you'd prefer to buy once you're here, Ambleside and Keswick have many outdoor clothing stores to chose from, as do many of the smaller towns and villages.


If you're just planning to stroll around the villages and towns, then flat comfortable shoes are a must. Most places have surfaced pavements but check if you're staying further afield. Often it's good to wear sturdy shoes and bring a torch for those walks back from the pub in the evening!

Jeans, trainers, a light jumper and a fleece will be fine for most seasons, with a coat and warm hat during autumn and winter.


The temperature drops one degree for every 150 metres you ascend. So even if it's relatively warm in a valley, it can be pretty chilly on top of a high ridge with windchill adding to how cold you feel. A wind and waterproof jacket and over-trousers will make your walks a lot more comfortable. You should always carry extra clothing, an extra top layer and spare socks, and a warm hat and gloves. For a full list of clothes and equipment to take on a Lake District walk read our walker's checklist.

If you're doing fell walks, it's best to wear walking boots which are waterproof - even in summer, fell paths are often very muddy and cross areas of peat bog. Walking boots also give ankle support and grip on rocky paths in a way trainers don't.


If you're heading into or out on the water, most outdoor activity centres will provide wetsuits and lifejackets, but do check with them. Bike hire places will usually provide helmets, but again, do be sure to check.


Mobile coverage can be patchy with all those mountains getting in the way! But you should be able to pick up signal when you get closer to the larger villages and towns. So pack your charger!

4G is also sporadic, so don't rely on getting signal everywhere you go.

You might find the UK Mobile Coverage website useful too, to check possible network coverage.

Food and supplies

Take some food and drink with you to keep you fuelled and hydrated all day. There are supermarkets in Windermere and Keswick, and smaller convenience stores in places like Ambleside and Grasmere. Do be aware that many stores have shorter opening hours on Sundays, often 10am - 4pm.

2. Do I know what the weather will be like?

The weather in the Lake District is very unpredictable. Sometimes we can have four seasons in one day! Temperatures can plummet in a summer rain storm. And even on a clear, crisp blue sky winter day, you can still get sunburnt. So it's best to be prepared.

Check the weatherline forecast, which will show you the different temperatures forecast for different points on the fells.

3. Am I confident I have the knowledge and skills for the day?

Being Adventure Smart simply means that you are thinking about your own experience and skills. Choosing an adventure that you know is within your skillset is part of the fun – and if you want to do something that goes beyond this, there are many ways to find a guide or instructor to help you. Our guided walks range from 'easy' family friendly rambles, to 'very hard' day long fell walks to the highest summits in the Lake District fells.

Our Miles without Stiles routes are 50 accessible walks. They're mostly in low lying areas, some with stunning lakeshore scenery, and others summit small fells that give big views.

Learn how to read a map

Knowing the basics of map reading, using a digital map like OS Maps as well as a paper map that never runs out of battery, will help you plan a great route and keep safe.

OS Maps beginners guided to map reading

This video, created by the Lake District Visitor Safety Group and Mosaic Outdoors, gives top tips to help everyone who ventures onto the fells and in the lakes to enjoy the Lake District safely.