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The Ultimate Dales Way Packing List

The Dales Way Packing List

This packing list is designed to cover the daypack essentials for walkers like yourself who are walking the Dales Way with luggage / baggage transfer.

The UK has temperamental weather made up of rain, rain and more rain. Just ask the locals. So, when you’re packing for the Dales Way make sure to check the forecast ahead of your visit and pack for the worst weather.

Dales Way Packing List

Picking the correct rucksack

Choosing a decent rucksack is essential for any long distance walk. Make sure you don’t go for a budget offering which may hold up for your first few long distance walks, but will eventually fail (usually on the zip) after a short while. Usually when you least want it to!

Walking Boots or Shoes

An increasing number of hikers are opting for walking trainers instead of walking boots. Regardless of your preference, make sure to pack a sturdy pair of walking boots or shoes.

Waterproof lined shoes are helpful, especially in wet weather, with a sturdy sole. Also, don’t forget to wear them in if they are a new pair!


A good set of waterproof trousers, and of course a jacket is essential for your long distance walk on the Dales Way.

Like most other kit, the waterproof / shell you pick is really down to personal preference. Some people like heavy GoreTex shells, while others prefer lightweight fabrics.

My personal preference is to pick something in-between, for example a Gore Packlite, or a 2.5 layer Pertex shell which offers enough protection for Spring/Summer/Autumn is a great choice. It packs small enough to be easily carried, and doesn’t feel so flimsy that it will leak in the lightest shower.


Gaiters are really down to personal choice, but for this particular walk, with some walking in areas which are prone to being water logged, I suggest gaiters. A lightweight pair will suffice.

Baselayers & Midlayers

Baselayers and Midlayers are without saying.

Simply pick lightweight, comfortable baselayers. Please please please don’t use a lightweight down layer as a baselayer – they simply are not designed to be used in this way.

Instead pick breathable fleeces – microgrid technology is great, especially when paired with a good baselayer.

First Aid Kit

There are some remote sections on this trail. Like it or not, someone in your party will probably get a blister, cut or graze at some point. Your Dales Way Packing List first aid bag should also include regular plasters, antiseptic cream, bandages, pain killers, splints, slings and of course, sunscreen. Outdoor shops sell packs with everything included.

Maps and Guidebooks

Despite being a well-marked trail it’s always best to carry a guidebook, map and compass in case you get stuck.

Nutrition & Hydration

Your Dales Way packing list should include a couple of essentials when it comes to nutrition; weight and shelf life.

Dried fruit, nuts, jellybabies, flapjacks and any essentials you find on the way will do. Keep your tummy full and eating little and often is helpful.

Make sure to pack a good quality bladder or bottles which won’t leak along with some hydration pouches for hot and hard days.

Lets put it in a list

  • 1x Bag
  • 1x Raincoat (2.5 layer shell 😉)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Baselayer and spares unless you like to pong
  • Lightweight walking trousers
  • Gaiters
  • Antibacterial undies
  • Wool socks (merino wool socks are great)
  • Sports bra for ladies
  • Well broken in shoes or boots
  • Evening shoes. I recommend crocs as they are lightweight, and versatile
  • Evening wear
  • Camera – don’t just rely on your phone. Keep that junk in your bag so your not tempted to check your emails while walking!
  • Gloves & hat – lightweight for spring/summer/autumn
  • Lunch box
  • Water bottles or bladder if possible
  • Suncream
  • First aid kit with blister packs or foot tape
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Map
  • Tissues or baby wipes
  • Music player
  • Headtorch
  • Drybags for packing your kit in your bag

Final words

The Dales Way isn’t the longest route, and there are exit points in the instance that you are short on light and ill-prepared. However a good quality supply of kit will aid you in most instances. Make sure not to skimp on technical essentials (bag, waterproofs, headtorch etc) and to carefully plan out your bag so you know where everything is.

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