Winter hiking is wonderful but of course, it does differ from summer hiking. The weather in the UK can be random at the best of times but even more so in winter, which is why it’s a good idea to get the right winter walking gear.
In the space of three weeks in January, I hiked up Mam Tor in the Peak District. The first time it was clear and cold, the second time there were 45 mph winds (this was my Peak District beginner hike haha) and the third time there was snow and ice!
But just because it’s colder doesn’t mean you can’t get outside and enjoy some beautiful walks in our National Parks. Now before I continue, I’m talking about winter walking, not hiking in the mountains – this requires a completely different skill set and more technical equipment. You might want to check out my beginner tips for hiking in the snow.
This is walking that you can safely do but with a few added pieces of essential winter gear (and some colder weather) to make it a little more fun.
Here are my five winter walking gear recommendations that won’t break the bank but they will make winter walking more fun (and warm!)
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Winter Walking gear
(Essential Items for Winter Under £25)
These are all items that I own, some newer than others but I’d happily recommend them to you to make your winter walking experience more toasty!
Some items were gifted for review but others I have purchased myself. I’ve added details under the products that this applies to. Feel free to ask me any questions, I will always be open and honest :).*
I admit, I’m not a huge fan of gaiters, probably because the last pair I had were too small, which ultimately meant too tight and uncomfortable. Buying the right size is more important than you realise. I have now bought a large pair, this size relates to your height more than shoe size. I have size 8 hiking boots and I’m 5″7.
Why wear gaiters? In snowy conditions, gaiters mean you can walk in the snow without deeper snow drifts going over the top of your hiking boots. This might not seem a big issue, but when that snow melts and you get wet and cold feet, it’s really not comfortable at all!
And they also stop your trousers from getting muddy so you can go hiking more and do less washing, a bonus! Oh, and you will look like a professional hiker too 🙂
Where to buy them? Any outdoors shop, I bought mine from Blacks – Peter Storm Gaiters only or you can buy via Amazon to get them delivered straight to your door!
Cost: From £10.00-£12.00
A very new piece of equipment for my winter walking kit. If you love getting outdoors in winter but not at the level where you will need full crampons then these micro-spikes are the perfect alternative.
Why buy instead of crampons? Easy to put on when you need them, lightweight to carry and most of all they aren’t ridiculously expensive!
To be honest with you guys, after buying mine all the snow melted haha, so I’m yet to try them out myself. But I have numerous friends who have worn them whilst I’ve been on hikes with them and they really are handy and light to have with you.
Where to buy them? Amazon has a few different options, they all seemed similar so I went with the cheapest option with the best reviews!
Cost: From £17.99-£21.99
Flask for Hot Drinks
When it’s cold there’s no better way of warming up than with a hot drink. I’ve been using my Sigg Hot & Cold for nearly two years now and I am totally in love with it, yes I’m a weirdo haha! But seriously, having a lovely warm drink on a cold winter’s day is a great way to keep warm.
There are various sizes available, 0.3 litres and 0.5 litres (and different colours too!)
*My Sigg Hot and Cold was gifted to me by Sigg UK.
I’ve also written a super-duper review about some of the features and why I love it. You can take a read here Sigg Hot and Cold review.
Where to buy them? Go direct via Sigg UK website or can you order via Amazon too
Cost: From £18.99-£22.99
I had no idea how amazing these would be until I tried them out on a trip to the Lake District. At first, I was thinking, hmm these are rubbish, obviously expecting it to work in a nanosecond but after a few minutes, they were lovely and toasty and lasted ages (I mean several hours).
How long do they last? The Hand Warmers can last for several hours, so a full day in winter conditions. My only criticism is that they aren’t reusable, I carry them in my rucksack in case of a cold hand emergency situation but I’d rather have good gloves to stop my hands from getting cold in the first place!
*My HotHands were gifted for review but then I also won some more hand warmers from Haago (although I personally found the HotHands ones better)
Where to buy them? I’ve seen hand warmers at local supermarkets, you can also buy online direct or via Amazon
Cost: From £1.00 (depending on how many you buy) or £7.60 for 10 packs
My last item for a winter list might seem a bit random, bear with me! More and more people are using their phones for navigations in the mountains. You can read what I think about that below:
However, you might have noticed when using a phone in winter, that your battery drains at the speed of light. One minute you’re in the green the next that flashing red button!
I have paper maps when I hike but I would also recommend a power bank too. In the case of an emergency, being able to call for help is the most important thing.
Where to buy them? Most electrical stores and supermarkets sell them. But if you’re buying the other items from Amazon you may as well add this one too hehe.
Cost: From £21.99
Have you done much winter walking or are you worried you don’t have the right gear? Ask me any questions in the comments below