How to Buy the Right Hiking Gear For Your Trek - Big Mountain Training

How to Buy the Right Hiking Gear For Your Trek


So, you've made the decision to go on a trek, something like Annapurna Circuit, Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp! And perhaps it's your first time in the big mountains, and that can be confronting right? You probably have questions like... Which outdoor brands are the best? What outdoor shops are the best? What hiking gear do I need to buy here and what can I get more cheaply in other places? 

All these questions will be answered in good time! By us!

So just relax, we got this! By the end of this article you'll have a clear idea on what to do.

Let's cover the 3 most important pieces right now!

Here are some specifics to consider in each category....


  • What is the terrain you'll be covering? 
  • Will you be walking in/around snow? If so, you're boot will need to be fairly warm, insulated and definitely have a waterproof layer such as Gore Tex. This will help release perspiration while keeping your feet dry in creek crossings or on wet days.
  • Do you have weak ankles or are you prone to ankle injury? If so, then you'll need a more supportive boot and you'll need to strengthen those ankles!
  • Will you be carrying a pack heavier than 6-8kgs? If you are carrying the majority of your own gear then you may want to wear a fairly rigid and very supportive boot. If you are employing a porter, it may be ok to wear a lighter boot if you'll be more comfortable.


  • What type of climate and temperature will you be experiencing? 
  • It's not unusual for people to go through a process of trial and error - purchase one pair or set of socks/liners and test them before purchasing the amount you'll need on your trek, socks are much cheaper so this is not too expensive to test.
  • In terms of quantity - consider the number of days you'll be trekking, are they likely to get wet etc. Ensure you have a fresh pair saved for your hardest day/summit night.
  • You can find more information on socks and blister free trekking in this post.


  • Consider the weather/terrain will you be covering. Will you be pushing through thick scrub? Is it likely to be raining often? If so you’ll need a very durable canvass pack to put up with these conditions. If it’s a fairly well trodden path you’re on, you can go with a lighter fabric.
  • Does it have a thick comfortable waist harness? Up to 80% of the packs weight can be distributed into your centre of gravity, your waist. You don’t want the pack weighing down on your shoulders all day, you’ll tire out very quickly and you’ll be sore the next day.
  • Test your pack with weight to make sure it's comfortable.
  • Tossing up between two sizes that are equally comfortable? Remember more space is better than not enough! You can always compress a pack with straps but you can't make it bigger.

So, the first steps are:

Make hiking boots, trekking socks and a backpack your first purchases. Why? 

Because everything else is trivial. These are the 3 pieces you need to be wearing in on your trail based training from day 1. This will give you the time to identify any problems and rectify them as soon as possible.


Yes, thats true, but put it this way, if you spend the time and money on getting the right fit for you AND your trek and you'll save time and money in the long run by not having to buy a good product to replace a shitty one. 

Do it right the first time by following the steps in our FREE FITTING GUIDE so that you make the right choice, the first time. By following this guide you'll be knowledgable in store, meaning you won't get sold the wrong gear, meaning you can have an awesome, like changing journey in the mountains!

Don't waste your time and money buying terrible boots! Get our FREE FITTING GUIDE 

Now that you equipped with five questions to ask before you buy hiking boots, the next step is to learn how to get the best fit. You can download a pdf Fitting Guide here


P.S. If you have a question or a comment, post it below and we'll answer it!

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