Lake District walking: What to wear and bring
Our beautiful English Lake District offers some of the best walking in the world. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely low level stroll or a classic mountain hike, our National Park has an amazing choice of routes.
While our mountains (known locally as fells) are relatively small, conditions especially on the summits can be challenging - and at any time of year.
Heading out for a walk? What you wear and what you take is important to make sure you have a pleasant and safe day out. Our recommended kit list aims to keep you prepared at all times, even in summer so stay safe and have fun!
Here's our recommended basic list of clothing for a great day on the fells.
- Insulating and breathable layers It's easy to cool down quickly while stopping on a walk so pack an extra layer just in case.
- Comfortable trousers Avoid fabrics which might take time to dry out if they get wet, such as cotton and denim. Pack a pair of waterproof over-trousers too.
- Hat and gloves Even in summer we recommend you keep these in your rucksack.
- Walking boots We recommend boots rather than walking shoes as a boot offers ankle protection. Always make sure your footwear has a good tread or sole pattern. There are different types of footwear available for summer and winter walking, so do check before you trek. Please note that on many of our guided walk routes, walking boots are essential.
- Walking socks A good breathable pair will help keep feet warm, cosy and comfy.
What to bring with you on a walk
- Comfortable daysack or rucksack Adjusted to fit you and a size to suit the walk.
- Walking poles Poles can help you maintain a good balance and reduce stress on knees and backs. Be sure to know how to use them.
- Gaiters Not essential but useful if you want to keep your trousers and feet dry.
- Food, water and a warm drink There is little shelter on the fell tops so check the forecast and bring what you need to keep hydrated and your energy levels up.
- Emergency food Keep a high energy snack stashed in your pack.
- Mobile phone (fully charged) or a watch to keep an eye on the time.
- Sun protection Protect your skin and eyes.
- Map and compass Be sure to know how to use these. Your GPS might not work. We offer fun, informal basic navigation courses.
- Whistle and torch Remember the international distress signal: six short whistle blasts or flashes with your torch, repeated at one minute intervals.
Be prepared for all situations
Emergency situations are rare on the fells, especially if you’ve planned well. Pop these in your pack for added security:
- First aid kit Knowing how to give basic first aid treatment is a useful hill skill. Look out for our competitively priced one day courses.
- Survival bag or group shelter Survival bags for one person are relatively cheap. If walking with a group then consider taking a group shelter.
- Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
- Know the Highway Code.
- Take pictures and share them with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Forgot to bring it with you? There are lots of fantastic outdoor shops in the Lake District and Cumbria, all with expert staff who can help advise you on your ideal kit. You will find plenty of choice and expert staff to assist you.