What will I need to wear?

What your wear is important. Here’s a guide! Take into account personal preferences and apply common sense based on your own experiences. It’s advisable to wear thin synthetic or wool layers that wick moisture away from your skin. Cotton clothing isn’t generally suitable for outdoor activities.

Why do we wear synthetic fabrics?

Always choose wickable fabrics over cotton. Cotton holds moisture and takes a long time to dry. If moisture is held next to the skin, it is unpleasant and can contribute to a drop in body temperature as well as weigh you down. Synthetic fabrics however dry quickly and draw moisture away from your skin keeping you warmer and more comfortable.

What is the layering system

Layering breathable clothing can help you to keep warm, dry and comfortable through varying conditions, allowing you to add or remove layers depending on how you feel and the conditions you’re in. All the items should be lightweight and packable, and should fit inside your rucksack easily. It’s easy to think that when the temperature drops, wearing the thickest clothing possible is the best idea, when in actuality most climbers, runners, cyclists and hill walkers can all benefit from some variation of a layered clothing system. Carrying extra layers in your rucksack can help to keep you safe – the weather may be mild when you set off on your walk, but the temperature can and will take a sudden drop, and conditions can change in an instant!

At its most basic level, the layering system will consist of three layers, including:

  1. Baselayer helps to regulate your body temperature and wick away moisture
    from your skin.
  2. Midlayer used to trap the warmth your body generates. Depending on the
    weather this can be a fleece, a softshell or even a down jacket.
  3. Outer layers usually this is a protective layer. For example, a waterproof jacket in
    the rain or a windproof or down jacket in the cold/dry.

Wet wet wet

Choose a decent waterproof jacket and trousers to ensure you are comfortable on the hike, in any weather. Key features to look out for in a waterproof are breathability, weight, whether it has an adjustable hood as well as plenty of pockets. Ideally go for high up napoleon pockets that you can fit a map into and access above the waist belt of your rucksack. Trousers should ideally have zips up the side to aid putting them on and taking them off, especially over muddy boots.

Caring for your waterproofs

It’s important to regularly wash your waterproofs as dirts and oils can make them less waterproof. Never wash with standard detergents or washing powders as this blocks the pores and damages the hydrophobic coating causing your waterproofs to “wet-out”. If you can see dark patches appearing on your waterproofs, then they’re wetting out. A mild soap or Tech Wash and re-proofer will help retain the hydrophobic and breathability of your jacket/trousers.


Good walking socks can be the key to an enjoyable expedition and help to avoid blisters. The best walking sock for you depends on the type of footwear you’ll be wearing.

For thick leather boots, more protection around the toe of the sock offers warmth and padding.

For a lighter weight boot, a lighter weight walking sock may be an option. Look for walking socks that have padded areas that act as a cushion on key zones of your feet which are prone to get tired or sore. We thoroughly recommend wearing a merino or synthetic liner sock to help prevent blisters. The material of theses types of liner are moisture wicking which makes your feet less sweaty. Dry skin is less prone to blistering.

Walking boots

The Cheshire Hike unsurprisingly takes place on foot, so getting the right walking boots and having them fitted for you will make a big difference to your journey. Feet come in all shapes and sizes, so different boots may suit different kinds of feet. When choosing your walking boots, you’ll find a huge range of different fabrics, styles and soles.

Leather boots are soft, durable and waterproof and highly abrasion resistant, making them long lasting. Importantly they are more breathable reducing the moisture in your shoes which can really help with blisters. Fabric boots are lighter, cheaper and a good option if your feet are still growing.

Before you buy

Before you buy

  1. Try on boots while wearing expedition socks and walk around in them.
  2. The boots must have ankle support to protect you while walking with a heavy
    rucksack, and check there is a deep tread for grip.
  3. Think about how often you’ll use your boots and spend money appropriate to
    that use.
  4. You need to get your boots well before your expedition as you will need to wear
    them in to reduce rubbing and improve comfort.

Nature and the outdoors are languages that can be learned. Once you identify a beech tree, tie a clove hitch or cook a simple meal over a fire that you’ve built yourself, you’ll never forget it.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls