Packing tips for a walking holiday

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

Walking holidays are a brilliant way to explore new places and immerse yourself in the nature. However, since you spend the whole time carrying all of your belongings, packing well for walking holidays is particularly important. So, here are some packing tips for your next adventure.

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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Route and seasonal considerations

First and foremost, it is important to note that the specific items you pack will depend heavily on your chosen route and the time of the year. For instance, walking the West Highland Way in Scotland will present a completely different set of needs to, say, a walking holiday in Sicily. 

This is because the West Highland Way is known for its unpredictable weather, even in the summer. Therefore, you will most likely need to pack waterproof clothing and footwear. Insect repellent will also come in handy here, particularly if you decide to camp on your trip.

In contrast, a walking holiday in Sicily is a lot more likely to greet you with sunny weather, especially in the summer or spring months. Therefore, you can pack lighter, more breathable clothing. However, sun protection will be crucial here due to the intense Mediterranean sun. 

So, although the below section will guide you through the essential items and other packing tips, remember to consider your own individual situation and needs. 

Essential items to pack


The key to staying comfortable on a walking holiday is layering, particularly in milder climates. Having a base layer with moisture-wicking properties will keep sweat off your skin, while an insulating layer, such as a fleece, will keep you warm and a windproof / waterproof outer layer will keep you dry. This layering system allows you to adjust your attire according to the weather conditions.

Of course, you should invest in a good pair of walking shoes or boots for your trek. Ensure they are well broken in before your trip to avoid blisters. Waterproof footwear is a must if you anticipate wet weather conditions. Additionally, the socks you wear should also be high-quality, such as merino wool, to help with moisture management and cushioning.

Depending on the climate, you should also bring a sun hat or a beanie and globes. These items will protect you from sun exposure or keep you warm in cooler temperatures. 


A comfortable, well-fitting backpack is essential. The best options for walking will have padded straps of shoulder and a waist belt for weight distribution. A capacity of 20–30 litres is usually sufficient for day hikes, but you might need a larger pack for multi-day treks.

Moreover, staying hydrated will be crucial, particularly in hotter climates. Always carry a reusable water bottle or a hydration bladder. Aim to drink regularly throughout your walk.

If you are leaving your smartphone behind, then make sure you have a GPS device or a map available on hand. A basic first aid kit is also a must, including plasters, antiseptic wipes, painkillers, blister treatment, and any personal medications, such as allergy tablets. 

Other items

Although many walking holidays involve stops in local towns and villages, bringing some high-energy snacks is always a good idea to keep you going in between. Nuts, protein bars, dried food, and any other lightweight meals are the best options. 

When it comes to personal hygiene items, try to keep those only to the essentials. If you are staying in hotels, they typically provide towels and toiletries, so only bring the must-haves to keep your bag light.

packing tips for a hiking holiday

Final word

Your comfort and safety should always be the priority when packing for your walking holiday. As long as you have all the necessary items, try to keep the bag as light and efficient as possible.

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