Wrap up warm for your cold weather hikes

If you want to go hiking but there's a nip in the air here's a buyer's guide to make sure you can enjoy the countryside in comfort.

Woman walking with dog in winter with pine trees

by William Austin-Lobley |
Updated on

The British countryside is strikingly beautiful all year-round, but there's just something about the colder weather that takes it up a notch. Whether you are a novice stroller, weekend fell stomper or seasoned mountain goat, you’ll want to get out there and enjoy it.

Even though it can look incredible, winter can feel pretty miserable if you're not correctly prepared - sudden showers, brisk winds and quagmired footpaths can scupper the unprepared. Changeable weather can lead some people to think that the only way to be ready is to pack absolutely every piece of equipment under the sun. This simply isn't the case - doing so will only lead to bulky, heavy packs and unhappy hikers.

To help you get out there and enjoy yourself, we’ve put together a quick guide on the essential equipment and clothing that'll keep you warm, comfortable and dry. Scroll further down for a check list of everything you need.


Autumn Walking

Mountain Warehouse Merino Mens Long Sleeve Thermal Baselayer Top1 of 15

Mountain Warehouse Merino Mens Long Sleeve Thermal Baselayer Top

A Merino top which fits well and keeps you warm. Suitable worn as a single top, or underneath jumpers or jackets during those colder moments.

Mountain Warehouse Merino Womens Thermal Baselayer Top2 of 15

Mountain Warehouse Merino Womens Thermal Baselayer Top

A Merino top to keep the chill at bay. Great to be worn solo when it heats up, great under layers.

HAINES Softshell Trousers Men's Waterproof Windproof Fleece Lined Trousers3 of 15

HAINES Softshell Trousers Men's Waterproof Windproof Fleece Lined Trousers

These autumn trousers are made of a fleece-lined waterproof softshell. They're extremely comfortable and they won't let you down when the weather (inevitably) does.

Marmot Women's Wm's Limantour Softshell Trekking Pants4 of 15

Marmot Women's Wm's Limantour Softshell Trekking Pants

These Limatour constructed wind-repellant trousers are super-flexible and water-resistant. With five pockets and an elasticated waist, these trousers aren't ones to skip.

Columbia Men's Insulated Jacket5 of 15

Columbia Men's Insulated Jacket

This lightweight jacket will keep you happy on the trials. The Omni-Heat insulation is heat reflective, so all your body heat stays in, while the water-repellant lining keeps the damp out. It's also lightweight, so there's no unnecessary bulk for you to carry.

Mountain Warehouse Seasons Womens Padded Winter Jacket6 of 15

Mountain Warehouse Seasons Womens Padded Winter Jacket

A seriously warm jacket. This insulated option will keep you warm even during sub-zero temperatures, and the water-resistant fabric outer will keep you dry. There's no extra bulk to carry as the jacket is also super-lightweight.

Regatta Men's Pack It Jkt Iii Jacket7 of 15

Regatta Men's Pack It Jkt Iii Jacket

A lightweight pack jacket which is easy to stow into a bag and easily thrown on to protect you from a downpour.

Lomon Women's Waterproof Jacket8 of 15

Lomon Women's Waterproof Jacket

A lightweight pack jacket which is easy to bundle into a bag and can be grabbed quick in the event of those sudden, and inevitable, British autumnal showers.

Adventure Austria Merino Wool Beanie9 of 15

Adventure Austria Merino Wool Beanie

A hat that takes advantage of Merino Wool's natural properties to keep your noggin' warm.

TAGVO Fleece Running Beanie10 of 15

TAGVO Fleece Running Beanie

A low-profile beanie designed for winter running that will serve you well on an autumn or winter season hike. Made from synthetic material and technical wizardry, this beanie is both windproof and breathable.

Berghaus TwentyFourSeven Plus 20 Litre Rucksack11 of 15

Berghaus TwentyFourSeven Plus 20 Litre Rucksack

This day pack is constructed from durable materials, meaning it can stand up to all the scuffs, scraps and catches that your environmental throw at you. There are internal organising pockets, the back panel is breathable and there is a chest-strap to add carry-support.

Osprey Talon 22 Hiking Pack12 of 15

Osprey Talon 22 Hiking Pack

The Talon has everything you might need on your autumn hike. The main compartment is amble for food, equipment and jacket storage. There's also a quick access top pocket, side stretch mesh pockets, external trekking pole clips and a pocketed waist belt for ultimate comfort and weight support. If you're after something a little bigger, consider a 30-35L rucksack.

Trekology Walking Trekking Poles 2pc13 of 15

Trekology Walking Trekking Poles 2pc

These aluminium poles are sturdy, strong and lightweight with comfortable EVA foam grip handles. The flip-locks make the poles simple to set up and adjust, and there're five changeable pole-tips to suit your terrain.

Buff Original Multi-Function14 of 15

Buff Original Multi-Function

This synthetic neck gaiter acts as a great windbreaker, saving your face from windburn and preventing cold wind from reaching your body via your exposed collar. Buff gaiters are also available in Merino wool. Available in loads of colours and patterns. (Pictured: Afghan Graphite)

Karrimor Munro Gaiters15 of 15

Karrimor Munro Gaiters

This simple item securely sits around the base of your trouser legs to protect against mud and damp. This prevents water from the terrain slowly seeping into your lower trouser legs, which is an under-appreciated factor in heat-regulation and comfort while walking.

Check List:

Merino Wool top

Merino Wool is a natural material which is soft, fire-resistant, heat regulating, moisture wicking and offer natural UV protection. These properties also make them great for hiking socks. We’ve got a roundup of the best men’s base layers available too.

Walking trousers

This is one down to personal choice. Some people will be okay in their quick drying all-season trousers, some people will just need some trouser base layers, but some will want something a little more substantial to keep the chill off. Softshell trousers will keep you warm in the higher winds and lower temperatures, but they aren't too thick to weigh you down if they get wet.

Walking boots

You’ll need weather protection, ankle support and some monster grip. Luckily, we’ve already done a roundup of the best three-season boots so you can find what you need.

Synthetic jacket

Wind breakers for higher winds and insulators for lower temperatures. Not too bulky and they're still breathable.


Something not-too-bulky to throw over yourself and protect from those sudden autumnal showers.


They don’t take up much room and they keep your head warm.

Day pack

Each person on the hike will need one of these. Colder weather equals more items to carry. You’ll need at least 20-litres. If you feel like you need something a little bigger, consider a 30 to 35-litresoption.

Trekking poles

A good option for those who will be walking over rocky and wet terrain. A little extra support goes a long way.

Neck gaiter

Like scarves, only lighter, versatile, quick drying and bulk free.

Ankle gaiter

Late autumn walkers are bound to encounter some long, wet grass and muddy fields. Protect your trousers from getting muddy and sodden with these ankle wraps.

Extra equipment

Depending on the length of your walk, you may be stopping somewhere for a quick bite to eat. If you are, why not take a small portable stove and have yourself a hot cup of coffee? We can guarantee that it will be one of the most delicious cups ever to grace your pallet.

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