Hiking Tips – What to pack for a day hike?

Salomon Packpack with Mam Tor Patch

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Welcome to my second mini guide on hiking tips in the Peak District. Here I’ll share the all important items that I pack in my backpack for my hiking trips. 

I will pack almost the same kit for every hiking trip, amending items according to what the British weather is doing!

Here are my essential items that I pack for my day hikes in the Peak District, whether I’m doing a short or long walk. The only difference for longer walks is more food!

What do you pack for your Peak District walks? Tell us in the comments below.

What to pack for a day hike


Ok, an obvious one, but an essential item to keep all your kit in. For a day hike, a backpack between 20 – 35 litres is perfect to keep everything for your trip. Depending on the weather and time of year you might want to opt for a larger backpack to keep extra warm layers in!

I also use a pack liner to keep my gear in, a lifesaver on rainy day walks to keep your kit dry!

Waterproofs (top + bottoms)

A waterproof jacket one item I will always pack, whatever the weather. Kinder Scout is renown for throwing all sorts of weather at you, even when it’s sunny in the valley!

A waterproof jacket is not only a lifesaver on rainy days but it also doubles as a windproof layer so perfect to pop on when you reach the summit and the temperature drops!

Waterproof pants aren’t always essential but if it looks like rain or you’re hiking up high then waterproof pants will ensure you have a much happier hike! And again, they double as a windproof layer on colder days.

Food and water

Maybe an obvious one, but make sure you pack a good amount of snacks, a mix of sweet and savoury, plus lunch if you’re doing a longer hike to keep your energy levels up on your walk.

If you walking in a remote area, up on the Kinder Plateau, Black Hill or Saddleworth Moor then I’m afraid there aren’t any shops to restock supplies! If in doubt, take extra snacks and you’ll have a happier hike.

Water is another essential item, get yourself a good water bottle and fill it to the top! A hydration pack with a tube is great for longer hikes or alternatively, get yourself a filter water bottle to keep topping up from streams as you go. I use a Water-to-Go bottle.

First aid kit

Whether you’re off on a solo hike or planning a trip with friends a small first aid kit is always a handy thing to take when you’re off exploring the Peak District. Even on the shortest walks you’re a distance from shops so a first aid kit if worth carrying for minor injuries.

Make up your own kit with items from your local chemist or Wilkos is good too. Or you can buy a small travel kit for all your adventures.

Map and a compass

Whether you know the route or not, a map and compass is an essential item for all your day hikes. A paper map won’t lose battery or break (although it can blow away on windy days!)

Check out the maps you need for the Peak District here. 

Extra layers + warm clothes

A extra warm jacket or top, as well as a hat and gloves are part of my essential kit. I get ridiculously cold hands so even on warm days I sometimes wear thin gloves.

A lightweight down jacket is perfect and a great layer between your waterproofs if it gets cold. 

Also, a buff is a great item to keep your ears or head warm. And it also doubles as a face mask, in case you’ve forgotten yours.


The main point here is to take a phone that is charged up, so if you need to use in an emergency you have enough battery to make a call! You’ll notice under ‘Optional extras’ I also pack a power bank and cable so that might be handy depending on the length of walk you’re doing.

If you also use your phone for navigation as well as photos then it’s worth treating yourself to a waterproof case. I’ve tried a few but the Aquapac waterproof case is my favourite.

Toilet kit

I carry a small bag which has a few tissues, hand sanitiser and also some dog poo bags (for used tissues). And for longer hikes I also carry a small trowel in case I need dig a hole for a poo.

If you’re unsure about going to the toilet outdoors or want to know the right toilet etiquette then you can read my detailed guide here.

Optional extras

Here are a few other things I carry in my backpack, they aren’t essential but over the years I’ve added a few extra items to my kit list!

  • Sit mat – lightweight and handy for damp days or making that rock comfier!
  • Dry bags – I use these to organise my kit (they come in different sizes) but they are also brilliant to keep everything dry on wet days.
  • Power bank + charging cable – best one I’ve bought is the Anker Power bank
  • Camera – if you want to save your phone battery take a camera to capture your pictures.
  • Survival shelter – if I’m going to a remote area, especially in bad weather I’ll pack in case of an emergency.
  • Suncream + sunglasses (depending on the weather).


Are you planning a hiking adventures soon? Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below.

More hiking tips

New to hiking? Read our other hiking tips on other common queries

And if you have a question about hiking then be sure to drop me an email and I’ll be happy to help.

Peak District walks

Planning your first Peak District walk? Here are a few classic walks you can do.


If you still need help finding the right walk to do then pop me an email and I’ll try to help 🙂


Need more help planning your Peak District trip?

Join our Peak District walks Facebook page, follow us on Instagram and Twitter for inspiration.

More information on the Peak District, including transport options, where to stay, best Peak District pubs + other useful resources.

Check out the 7 YHAs in the Peak District and find the best walks direct from your accommodation.

Find out what maps you will need for your trip here.

Top tips - Read our useful guides on hiking tips here.

Guided Walks with an introduction to map reading (see dates here).

Visit our hiking recommendations page, (footwear, clothes + kit).

Or get in touch and I will help as best I can :).

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