When you’re heading out into the hills, there’s a freedom in leaving behind the clutter and getting out there in nature.
There’s very little you really, really need for an invigorating hike – as long as you have a good pair of walking boots and you’re dressed for the weather, you’re all set for a walking adventure.
But, if you want to enhance your experience, there are some great little extras that will make all the difference.
Here’s our top five recommendations for the best hiking accessories, so you can get out there prepared for ultimate comfort and enjoyment!
We’re pretty sure there’s a primal instinct to pick up a long stick when you take on the challenge of a tough climb! You somehow feel emboldened to reach the top with a branch in-hand, right?
Specialist walking poles offer many more benefits for hikers – not only do they improve your endurance, they also provide extra stability, aid balance on uneven trails, increase your speed, and reduce the stress on knees, legs, feet and your back.
Out top pick is the Leki Serpa Lite walking pole because it’s a really lightweight, three-part trekking pole, designed for comfort as well as performance.
If you’ve never heard of gaiters before, they’re like the functional version of a 1980’s legwarmer! An overgarment that’s worn on the ankle to seal the top of your boots and the bottom of your trousers from mud, water, stones, or any other unwanted debris that gets kicked up en-route.
They may not be ultra-fashionable (unlike those neon numbers) but they’re extremely practical. Ask any hiker who’s ever had to stop mid-hike to change soggy socks or unlace their boot and dig out an uncomfortable pebble!
Take a look at the Rab Trek Gaiter for ripstop nylon and ankle reinforcements that provide extra durability.
You may think a backpack would be a burden to carry when you’re hiking, but if you choose one that’s lightweight, contoured, and offers good breathability, you’ll find it really easy to wear. It’s useful to transfer your pocket-jangling items into a comfortable back carrier and you’ll be more inclined to pack some great little extras to help you enjoy the walk.
This Deuter Futura backpack is a brilliant choice, especially for taller hikers because it’s been specially designed to suit those over 185cm in height. It features an Aircomfort system that creates maximum airflow across the back to reduce perspiration and increase performance.
Compass & map
Mobile navigation and GPS are definitely a great achievement in technology, but we always recommend you carry a traditional compass and map whenever you go hiking.
Signals can be unreliable and battery life can be deceptive, but a good old Ordnance Survey and compass will never let you down.
This Silva Ranger Compass is basic yet functional, so if you’re looking for peace of mind without breaking the bank, this is a great friend to have in your pocket. It’s affordable yet still has some great features, including a magnifying lens, luminous markings and a range of map measuring scales.
Make sure you reach the summit – and find your way back down again!
Have you ever set out in fair weather and been surprised mid-hike with an unexpected turn in the skies? If there’s nowhere to take cover, you’re vulnerable to the elements and this can be very unpleasant!
An emergency shelter may seem a burdensome accessory, but if a storm suddenly hits or you get caught in a heavy downpour it’s a real game changer. They’re often lightweight and made from windproof fabric like this Rab Group Shelter, so you can take a break and safely resume your hike when it’s passed.
This one also features recesses in the roof so you can use your walking poles as a brace – we love it when two hiking accessories combine to make one awesome invention!