Over the years I’ve learnt that, when it comes to packing, some trips are more forgiving than others. An all-inclusive trip to Dubai? Throw in a few bikinis and you’ll likely be okay. A trek up Everest? That’s a different story altogether! The Lake District sits somewhere between the two. There are a number of items that are vital for both enjoying your trip and staying safe on the trails. However, the number of hiking shops available in the area mean it’s not too much of disaster should you forget something! Of course, it’s always best to be prepared – that way you won’t be wasting precious exploring time trying on various pairs of walking boots! So, here’s the items that I consider a must when visiting the Lake District:
Something you probably take with you everywhere but that shouldn’t be taken for granted! Whilst phone signal is very hit or miss in the Lake District, especially when exploring outside, a mobile could be extremely important in getting emergency help should anything go wrong on a walk. It’s also a device to use to capture photos of the beautiful scenery!
If you’re really into your photography, you might want to consider bringing a more high quality camera with you. The area is renowned for its natural beauty and promises incredible photo opportunities. Just bear in mind that this could be heavy to carry around when walking up a steep hill!
3. Walking Boots
Walking boots, or at the very least high quality trainers, are an absolute must when visiting the Lake District. The best way to explore this beautiful location is to get outside, which you won’t be keen to do if your feet are aching from inappropriate footwear! If you’re only planning on doing shorter walks, trainers should be sufficient. But anything longer and I’d recommend investing in some proper walking shoes – just make sure to break them in before your trip!
4. Waterproof Jacket
The Lake District rains an average of 200 days per year, making it one wet place to be, even by British standards! Even in the summer months, you’re highly likely to experience some kind of downpour, so make sure to pack a good quality waterproof jacket to keep you dry and warm on your walks! Now is not the time for a flimsy pac-a-mac from Primark, functionality is key!
In terms of clothing, it’s best to think about outfits in terms of layers. You’re likely to be fairly warm when walking but much cooler when stopping for breaks or doing less strenuous activity. Make sure to pack some lightweight short-sleeved sports tops, as well as some warmer layers that you can add on, should you need them.
6. Map & Compass
Relying solely on your phone and google maps is a bit of a risky move when it comes to walking in the Lake District. There’s often very poor phone signal in the hills and you don’t want to find yourself completely stranded! I’d highly recommend bringing a map and a compass, or at least a printed copy of your route and any instructions!
A small rucksack is very handy to be able to take on your walks. Here you can pack all of your essentials and feel confident that you can enjoy the day without interruption! I personally love Osprey packs!
8. Water Bottle
Hiking is thirsty work and you’ll definitely be thankful for a cool drink of water at the top of the hill. It’s also much better for the environment to bring a reusable bottle with you, rather than buying single use plastic once you arrive. I love using my chilly’s bottle but I’ve also heard great things about hyrdo flasks!
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9. First Aid Kit
On any more adventurous trip, it’s wise to pack a basic first aid kit, including things such as painkiller tablets, antihistamine tablets, plasters, blister plasters, and bite cream.
You might be surprised at how often you don your swimwear in the Lake District! Though it’s no Costa del Sol, there are plenty of opportunities for wild swimming in gorgeous lakes and waterfalls. I personally always pack some swimwear in my daypack, just in case I find a nice spot of water! I’m often so glad I did as The Lakes offer some of the most magical swimming opportunities.
11. Microfibre Towel
Along the same lines, I also pack a microfibre towel. These are incredibly lightweight and can be packed up very small – perfect for your daypack! I like to have a towel with me so that I can dry off properly after swimming, that way I don’t get cold or uncomfortable!
12. A Good Book
When it’s rainy outside and you don’t fancy braving the downpour, curling up with a good book and a cup of tea is the perfect way to pass the time. The misty views can be enjoyed from the comfort of your armchair, whilst you wait for the rain to pass!