Fast and Light Hiking Adventures: Essential Gear and Tips & 2024 Highlights

Woman walking and smiling for the camera

Embarking on fast and light hiking adventures is an exhilarating way to connect with nature while challenging your physical and mental limits. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a newbie to the world of outdoor exploration, the key to a successful fast and light hiking experience lies in the gear you choose.

In this article, we'll explore the essentials you need for your next adventure.

Lightweight Footwear

Starting from the ground up, your choice of footwear is critical for fast and light hiking.

Opt for Trail-running Shoes or Lightweight Hiking Boots that offer excellent traction and support without weighing you down.

Look for breathable and quick-drying materials to keep your feet comfortable during long treks.

Ultralight Backpack

When you're hiking fast and light, you need a Backpack or Running Belt/Backpack that can carry your essentials without becoming a burden.

Choose an ultralight backpack with enough storage capacity for your gear, food, and water, but keep it minimalistic. Features like adjustable straps, hydration compatibility, and a weight-bearing hip belt are essential.

Compact Shelter

Fast and light hiking often means minimising the gear you carry. Instead of a traditional tent, opt for a lightweight and compact shelter, such as a One-Person Tent, Bivy or Backpacking Tarp.

These options provide protection from the elements while keeping your pack weight down.

Sleeping Gear

Invest in a high-quality, Ultralight Sleeping Bag and a Compact Sleeping Pad. Consider the season and weather conditions you'll encounter on your adventure to choose the appropriate sleeping gear.

Sleeping quilts can be a great choice for saving weight without sacrificing warmth.

Clothing Layers

Layering is essential for fast and light hiking to adapt to changing weather conditions.

Start with a moisture-wicking Base Layer to keep sweat away from your body.

Add insulating Mid-Layers, such as fleece or down jackets, and finish with a lightweight Waterproof Shell Jacket for rain protection as well as some comfortable, technical Hiking Trousers or Shorts. Don't forget a pair of moisture-wicking, quick-drying Hiking Socks and a Hat / Bandana, depending on the conditions.

Hiking Poles

Don't underestimate the value of Hiking/Trekking Poles on your fast and light hiking adventures. Lightweight, collapsible hiking poles provide stability on uneven terrain, reduce strain on your knees and ankles, and help you maintain balance when navigating steep ascents and descents.

They can also increase your endurance by distributing the load and allowing your upper body to assist in propulsion.

Look for adjustable poles that can be customized to your height and terrain, and consider ones with ergonomic grips and shock-absorbing features for added comfort.

Hiking poles are a small addition to your gear but can make a significant difference in your overall hiking experience.

Water & Filtration

Staying hydrated is paramount on any hiking adventure. Carry a lightweight water reservoir, Running Belt/Backpack or collapsible, soft bottles to minimise weight.

Additionally, invest in a reliable Water Filtration System or purification tablets to source water from streams and rivers safely.

Lightweight Cooking Gear

If you plan to cook meals on the trail, choose lightweight cooking equipment like a Compact Stove and a Lightweight Cookware.

Freeze-dried meals and compact utensils can further reduce pack weight while ensuring you have nourishing meals.

Navigation Tools

Ensure you have the necessary Navigation Tools, such as a map, compass, and GPS device.

It's also wise to have a backup power source for electronic devices, like a portable solar charger or power bank.

First Aid Kit

A compact First Aid Kit should always be in your backpack.

Include essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, insect repellant, Sun Cream and any personal medications you may require.

Leave No Trace Principles

As you embark on your fast and light hiking adventures, remember to follow Leave No Trace principles. Respect the environment by packing out all rubbish, staying on designated trails, and minimising your impact on fragile ecosystems.


Fast and light hiking adventures offer a unique opportunity to experience the great outdoors in a dynamic and exciting way. To make the most of your experience, ensure you have the right gear and mindset.

By selecting lightweight and compact equipment and following best practices, you can embark on memorable adventures while minimising your environmental impact.

So, gear up, hit the trails, and savour the beauty of nature on your next fast and light hiking adventure.

Woman taking off her boots and smiling while in a log cabin

2024 Highlights: What to Watch Out For this Year

Montane Dart

Montane's Dart collection proves ideal for diverse, high-energy escapades whilst remaining lightweight, providing a range that features base layers, technical tops, thermal hats and more.

With a highly breathable construction that also delivers warmth, comfort and all-season performance, much of the Dart collection also includes Montane's Polygiene odour control, a silver-chloride-based treatment that inhibits bacterial growth, letting you wear more, wash less and enjoy multi-day freshness on the move.

Perfect for no-fuss clothing, you'll be able to dash up the trail and have all the time in the world to enjoy those scenic vistas.

Montane Lite

Montane's Lite collection also delivers exceptional performance whilst cutting down on unnecessary weight, as the name suggests!

From moisture-wicking fleeces to Gore-Tex jackets, quick drying shorts to breathable trousers, you can build an entire outer ensemble from the range, giving you a wardrobe that can cover whatever British weather throws at you.

These lightweight choices facilitate swifter movement without sacrificing performance, providing you with the opportunity to optimise your time in the mountains, especially during the warmer months.

Haglof L.I.M.

Haglof's L.I.M. collection offers enhanced performance whilst cutting down on weight, embracing their "Less Is More" philosophy, pushing the limits of technical trekking gear and letting you focus on carrying more of the essentials you need on your adventures.

Osprey Velocity

Osprey's Velocity emphasises the brand's renowned multi-sport versatility, elevating speed and efficiency for pursuits ranging from setting personal records to conquering peaks.

With ample breathability, dynamic weight transfer, top-cinch closers for compression and a myriad of other convenient, lightweight features, the Velocity series is the perfect all-activity backpack.

Check out our full Hiking & Outdoor Adventure Kit List today or explore all our Hiking and Camping departments!