What to wear and take on a walk | Start points for guided walks |

What to wear and take on a walk

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!

What to wear for walking in the Lake District fells


  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over-trousers Always be prepared for a sudden change in the forecast.
  • 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.
  • 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 day sack 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Countryside 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.