Clothing and equipment
What should I take, bring, wear when I go hiking?
Something suitable for what you're doing so sturdy hiking boots for trips to the mountains and highlands and ideally specifically designed walking footwear for day hikes in the South East. Boots give more support and help avoid twisted ankles and really come into their own in steep, mountainous terrain where the extra grip and support really matters.
The golden rule is no jeans! They're hard to walk in and very uncomfortable and slow drying if they get wet. Beyond that bring clothing suitable to the conditions so warm layers in winter and something lighter for the summer. Craghopper make light, fast drying and cheap walking trousers. Layering is important with outdoor clothing and rather than finding one heavy large jacket, it's better to make up your insulation out of layers of clothes. Personally I find a wool base layer is good for wicking away moisture and then one or two insulation layers on top. In windy and cold weather a waterproof jacket can make an ideal windproof top layer. Don't forget a hat and gloves especially in the colder winter months.
Essential if rain is looking likely and as with so much you really do get what you pay for. If your budget stretches to Goretex or EVent both give a good level of breathability whilst providing a high level of resistance to water ingress. Sadly even the most expensive items will not keep you fully dry in the worst weather, but as well as a jacket and trousers, Gaiters can help keep water from getting into your footwear.
RucksacksRucksacks are invaluable for carrying your water, food, equipment and even extra layers. They range from cheap day sacks which are frameless up to top end ones with frames that are ventilated to allow air flow between the rucksack and your back. We'd recommend about a 20 to 30 litre rucksack for typical day hikes. It's well worth trying one on and with some weight and loading in it. Rucksacks come in different frame lengths to suit the length of your back and a poorly fitting ruck sack is going to make for a lot of discomfort.
Portable phone/electronics equipment charger
Portable phone and electronic device charger. The below device works with most modern mobile phones and many other devices with a selection of charger inputs (please see the item listing for full details of compatible devices). Invaluable when you're away on a trip and unable to access a power socket and also useful when you're staying in a hostel and aren't able to always get access to a power plug in a crowded room.