Countrywide Hillwalkers Association

Enjoying healthy exercise in beautiful countryside.

Equipment for hill walking

What to wear

Countrywide Hillwalkers Association ‘A’ , ‘B’ and 'B minus' walks involve mountain terrain which includes wet boggy areas, crossing streams, walking across rocks and scrambling up the sides of peat hags. For these walks good sturdy waterproof walking boots with good grip are essential. In wet conditions many of our walkers find using gaiters helps to keep their feet dry. For ‘C’ and ‘D’ walks the underfoot conditions will not be as demanding so sturdy walking shoes might suffice. Many of our walkers find walking poles to be of great assistance, especially in boggy areas and on slopes. For all walks you will need waterproof jackets and overtrousers as the weather is unpredictable and you might be out in the rain for several hours.


Don’t let the description of weather conditions deter you from hill walking. It is a fact that many of us find real enjoyment in walking in poor weather conditions; the challenge, the company and the occasional glimpse of a distant hill sparkling in sunshine more than make up for the difficulty of keeping dry.


A whistle should be carried by all walkers to attract attention if they get separated from the group or get into difficulties. In winter time, with shorter hours of daylight, ‘A’ and ‘B’ walkers should carry a suitable torch with spare batteries in case the walk is delayed and ends in poor light. A reflective jacket is advisable when walks include road sections and poor visibility can be anticipated.

What to carry

You will need a daysack to carry clothing, food and drinks. A warm hat, gloves and a spare jumper are essential in cold weather. Most walkers carry a flask with a hot drink, especially in wintertime. We recommend you do not wear jeans. A map and compass are recommended for the harder grades. A piece of plastic or a foam pad can be used to sit on for lunch breaks. It is very useful to have a change of clothing available, especially after a very wet walk.

The leader has the discretion of telling walkers who are not properly equipped ( proper footware, raingear etc.) that, in their own best interests, they may not join the walk in question.