back to listing

What’s in my backpack? Winter Hiking.

As we transition into the colder and darker months, the gear in our backpacks is changing too. With that, we have come up with this gear list to help you pack for your bags and get outdoors this winter!



The specifics of footwear will of course change depending on your hike. Suffice to say that a good pair of appropriate footwear is essential for adventures all year round but specifically important in winter!

Scarpa Rush Trek Hiking Boots For long Treks on High Paths


In the same vein, a good pair of hiking socks will prevent a lot of avoidable issues in the hills. Say bye to blisters! If you want to know more about the importance of good hiking socks check our blog!


Merino or synthetic, it’s up to you! Having a good, wicking, comfortable base layer is of critical importance when the temperature begins to drop.


It should really go without saying! However, we will say it. Having a set of waterproofs is vital for all outdoor activities in winter in Ireland. Even if it says it won’t rain on your weather app of choice!

Waterproof Jackets from The North Face at Great Outdoors

Mid Layer – Fleece / Softshell

As the name suggests a mid-layer is your middle layer. Depending on conditions this layer could be a lightweight fleece or a softshell.


Again, depending on conditions this could be a thick down jacket or a micro baffled jacket. Key piece of kit if the weather plummets or if you stop for some food. 


Hat & Gloves

It may not be true that you lose 80% of your heat through your head, but it is true that you do lose a lot of heat out of your head. It is also true that it is 80% harder to enjoy a hike if you have cold hands!


A buff or other similar neck gaiter is a great multi-purpose item to have. Keep your neck warm, cover any exposed skin on your face or use as extra insulation on your head!


Having a good backpack to store everything is perhaps one of the most important items of the kit. We recommend a day hike bag 20 to 30 L in capacity foremost hiking applications.


Dry bags are a great way of organizing your gear as well as making sure that things need to stay dry.


Many backpacks come with built-in rain covers. If your bag does not have one it may be worthwhile investing in one

Hydration & Nutrition 

Water bottle / Hydration Reservoir

A water bottle or hydration Reservoir is essential. Either or great Depending on the distance of your hike, how much water you normally consume, and your personal preference.

Filtration / Purification

If you intend on being out for a longer hike a purification or filtration solution may be required check out our range here.

Lunch / Snacks

Make sure that you have more than enough food to complete the hike you intended to do.


A bit of a luxury piece of kit. But well worth bringing on very cold winter hikes.


First Aid Kit

A well-supplied first aid kit can come in very handy for yourself or for others you may encounter on the hills. 

Space Blanket / SOL bivi

Many first aid kits will come with a space blanket included. Having an emergency shelter when out in the hills is a great idea. 


Map & Compass

Having a map and Compass in knowing how to use them can prove very useful if you take a wrong turn or are unfamiliar with your route. 


We list this secondary as one should not rely on GPS alone for navigation. A GPS-enabled device is a brilliant backup for navigation, however. 

Extra Accessories






With the right gear, there is no reason why hiking should be a fair-weather activity!

If you would like a video walkthrough of what we take out in the hills for a winter hike check out our video here.

Do you have any questions about hiking equipment feel free to reach out to us on social media or pop into our store on South Great George’s Street.


we have a wealth of adventure experience between us, let us share it with you

ask the expert