The travel kit list: the best gear for mountain adventures

Embrace the big outdoors equipped with the best kit for every kind of adventure.

By Rob Stewart
Published 7 Mar 2023, 07:00 GMT
Clockwise from top left: LEKI Cressida FX Carbon Trekking Poles, The North Face Summit Torre Egger ...

Clockwise from top left: LEKI Cressida FX Carbon Trekking Poles, The North Face Summit Torre Egger jacket, Lifestraw Go 1L water bottle, Scott Defined Merino mid-layer, Salomon Outpulse Mid Gore-Tex walking boots.

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller UK

1. The North Face Summit Torre Egger jacket

Designed for mountaineers but light enough for hikers, this three-layer shell made with patented Futurelight technology — highly waterproof and breathable — is right up there with the best technical outerwear available. The fabric is lighter under the arms for better ventilation, with extra zips to open on hotter days. Recycled material is used in production and the two bright colours, blue or red, suggest this is a serious bit of mountain guide-style kit. £515.

2. LEKI Cressida FX Carbon Trekking Poles

It’s crucial to get the right size of trekking pole for mountain hiking and Leki’s Cressida is made especially for women or adults with smaller hands. The extendable adjustment range is 100-120cm, and they pack down to 40cm. The carbon construction is both light and strong, and the handle designed with an inclined angle and rubberised grip. The Makulu pole range is the same, built for larger hands. £199.99.

3. Lifestraw Go 1L water bottle

Simply fill up this bottle and rehydrate from any water source as it filters almost all (99.9999%) bacteria, parasites and microplastics, as well as reducing chlorine and organic chemical matter. For easy acccess, the bottle can also be worn on a belt thanks to its carabiner clip. It’s a great option for lovers of all mountain activites, notably outdoors swimmers, hikers and bikers who can use it to fill up from streams, lakes and rivers. £49.95.

4. 1,000-mile Fusion Repreve socks

Blisters can appear in minutes on a hike if the set up isn’t right, and these Fusion Repreve walking socks pretty much guarantee you won’t get them, thanks to the double layers, which include Repreve nylon, acrylic and wool. The idea is to combine two thin layers for less friction, with enough padding for more comfort; essentially two socks in one. This one is mid-calf length, so is made to fit hiking boots easily. £18.

5. Salomon Outpulse Mid Gore-Tex walking boots

Remember when hiking boots needed years of breaking in? Welcome to the 21st century, when ultra-lightweight, breathable and watertight boots like Salomon’s Outpulse feel like slippers right out of the box, and help you bound over rocks like an ibex. They’re packed full of patented high-tech features including Fuze Foam for less impact, Contagrip for less slip and Gore-Tex membrane for ultimate dryness. Smart and modern looking, they work as well on rocky outcrops as they do on slippery city streets. £155.

Clockwise from top left: Halti XPD Finland tent, Fjallraven Keb Hike 30 backpack, 1,000-mile Fusion Repreve socks, Picture Robust Shorts, NXIS Evo Keen shoes. 

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller UK

6. NXIS Evo Keen shoes

This lightweight, breathable waterproof hiking shoe is based on Keen’s classic Targhee hiking boot. These shoes have an ample, rounded toe and well-fitted heel, which should reduce squash or friction on the inside, while the meshed outer layer offers excellent protection. Deep-sole grips make these good for most terrains. They come in designs for both men and women. £129.99.

7. Halti XPD Finland tent

At just over seven pounds, this lightweight tent packs down small enough to fit into a backpack and has a wedge shape structure offering extra protection from the wind. The waterproof outer is breathable and designed for summer use, although it can handle wet weather, too. The clever thing is that the inner and outer tents can be erected at the same time, making that job a bit easier in rough conditions. £420.

8. Fjallraven Keb Hike 30 backpack

Since 1960, Fjallraven has been designing outdoor clothing and equipment with distinctive Scandinavian style and innovation. This 30-litre pack works well for summer trekking with its tough material, water bladder pouch and generous pocket spaces. There’s a laptop section for more urban forays and a padded back panel for comfort. Overall, it’s a pack that’s as technical as it is cute. £215.

9. Picture Robust Shorts

Outdoor brand Picture started life with sustainability at its heart. The organic cotton is oeko-tex tested, which screens for over 350 potentially harmful substances in the fabric before production. The tough but lightweight, quick-drying fabric and stylish lines work for hiking, biking and climbing in the mountains. Lots of added detail includes side- and cargo-style pockets, belt loops and rear reflective print. £65. 

10. Scott Defined Merino mid-layer

Lightweight and versatile, this merino wool jacket is blended with polyester and elastane. It’s the kind of go-to garment for every outdoor occasion — a mid-layer in the wet, an outer in the dry and a spare in the backpack when weather looks changeable. DUROfresh Merino technology allows the material to breathe, meaning it stops odours if you’re hiking or biking, and the sporty but smart cut means it doesn’t look out of place in the evening either. £135.

Published in the Alpine 2023 guide, distributed with the April 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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