What to Pack for Hadrian’s Wall

a backpack sits on Hadrian's wall with a dramatic sky in the background
by Anisa // 0 Comments

Hadrian’s Wall was our first big hiking adventure, and I spent ages figuring out what we’d need to bring. We found some gear that definitely made things easier. Now that we’ve finished the hike, I can share what worked and what I’d do differently next time.

This packing list was created for Hadrian’s Wall, but a lot of the stuff will be handy for other hikes too. Keep in mind, this list assumes you’ll be staying at B&Bs, not camping.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Please see disclosure for more information.

selfie of Anisa and Russell at Sewingshields Crag on their Hadrian's Wall Walk
All the research we did paid off as the gear we brought played a huge role in helping us conquer Hadrian’s Wall!

Importance of Packing Well for Hadrian’s Wall

Packing properly for Hadrian’s Wall is crucial; it can make the difference between completing the walk and having to cut it short. Much of the route takes you through remote areas where shops are few and far between. This isn’t the time to pack light—it’s better to bring a bit too much than not enough. Remember, some items will need to be in your daypack while you’re walking, while others can stay in your suitcase.

**If you are thinking about doing Hadrian’s Wall, join the Facebook group Hadrian’s Wall First Time Walkers’ Community here.

view looking to milecastle 39 on Hadrian's Wall
Being able to experience the scenery and historic ruins make Hadrian’s Wall a special experience definitely worth the effort.

What to Pack for Walking Hadrian’s Wall

I’ll share what we packed for our Hadrian’s Wall walk, which included seven days of hiking and one rest day. Be sure to adjust the quantities of items based on the number of days you plan to hike.

Please don’t wait until the last minute to get your gear. You need to make sure that you use it all and are comfortable with everything before you set off.

Essential Hiking Gear for Hadrian’s Wall

Hiking boots

Anisa's hiking shoes next to Russell's hiking boots

You’ll need a good pair of hiking boots or shoes for the walk. Make sure these shoes are well broken in before you start on your Hadrian’s Wall adventure.

Initially, I considered wearing sneakers on some of the flatter days, but I’m glad I didn’t. Each day had muddy sections, and I was always thankful for my hiking shoes.

The hiking shoes I wore were similar to sneakers but more sturdy and waterproof with better traction on the soles. Russell chose to wear hiking boots to give his ankles more support. You should choose whatever feels more comfortable for you.

We only brought one pair each and regretted not having a spare. Russell had issues with his insoles, which he fortunately managed to fix. If he hadn’t, he could have been stuck hiking in running shoes.

Check out hiking shoe options for women on Amazon US here.

Check out hiking shoe options for women on Amazon UK here.

Check out hiking shoe options for men on Amazon US here.

Check out hiking shoe options for women on Amazon UK here.

Hiking clothes

some of the hiking clothes that we packed for Hadrian's Wall

Wearing the right hiking clothes can make a big difference on your Hadrian’s Wall walk. Everyone has their own preferences—Russell preferred hiking pants, while I opted for leggings. We both layered our tops, as it could get chilly even in June. Layers are essential because the weather can be unpredictable, and you need to adjust to changing conditions. Additionally, you likely won’t have time to do laundry, so ensure you pack enough clothes for the duration of your walk.

Check out hiking clothing options for women on Amazon US here.

Check out hiking clothing options for women on Amazon UK here.

Check out hiking clothing options for men on Amazon US here.

Check out hiking clothing options for men on Amazon UK here.

Good socks

some of the socks we used for our hadrian's wall walk

We can’t overemphasize the importance of choosing the right socks for your walk. The wrong socks can cause blisters, making it difficult to complete your journey. Make sure to test out the socks you plan to wear before you set off. This isn’t the time to go for the cheapest option—investing in high-quality hiking socks, compression socks, or mohair socks will make a big difference.

See hiking socks available on Amazon US here.

See hiking socks available on Amazon UK here.

Waterproof gear

Anisa's black waterproof jacket shw wore to do Hadrian's Wall

It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll encounter rain during your walk, so being prepared with the right gear is essential. The rain won’t bother you as much if you have proper waterproof equipment. I had a waterproof jacket and a poncho for heavier downpours.

Russell's pancho in its carrying case

Our panchos also came in handy to keep our backpacks dry and could be used to sit on wet surfaces. If you’re worried about staying dry, consider putting spare clothes in your backpack so you can change if you get wet.

See waterproof jacket options for women on Amazon US here.

See waterproof jacket options for women on Amazon UK here.

See waterproof jacket options for men on Amazon US here.

See waterproof jacket options for men on Amazon UK here.

See pancho options on Amazon US here.

See pancho options on Amazon UK here.

Backpack

yellow and gray small backpack for hiking Hadrian's Wall

A backpack is the best way to carry all the essentials while walking, such as water, your phone, food, and a first aid kit. Choose a size that’s not too big (ours were 23L) but spacious enough to hold your necessities. Look for a backpack with multiple pockets for organization, side compartments for water bottles, and external straps to attach additional items. This will keep your gear easily accessible and your load manageable.

See backpack options on Amazon US here.

See backpack options on Amazon UK here.

Hiking poles

hiking poles with accessories

When we decided to walk Hadrian’s Wall, a friend recommended getting hiking poles. Many people swear by them for providing extra stability and reducing strain on the knees during long hikes. I went with the Trail Budding trekking sticks because they are lightweight and easy to adjust.

Although I didn’t personally enjoy using them while walking, they proved invaluable in certain situations. For instance, when we walked through fields with cows near the paths, holding the poles gave me peace of mind, knowing I could use them to scare the cows away if needed. Luckily, I never had to, but having the poles made me feel safer.

See hiking pole options on Amazon US here.

See hiking pole options on Amazon UK here.

Reusable water bottle

the pink metal reusuable water bottle that Anisa used for her Hadrian's wall hike

It’s essential to stay hydrated during your walk, so carrying a reusable water bottle (or two) is key. While there are some places to refill along the way, it’s wise to have at least a liter (or two) with you. I prefer a metal bottle because it keeps water cooler for longer.

Alternatively, if you drink a lot of water or you might prefer a hydration bladder which will hold more than a water bottle. Plus, it makes it easier to drink as you are walking. Check them out here.

See different reusable water bottles available on Amazon US here.

See different reusable water bottles available on Amazon UK here.

Hydration Packets

the hydation sachets that we used to stay hydrated on our hadrian's wall walk

To make it easier to stay hydrated without carrying a lot of water or needing frequent bathroom breaks, I decided to use Liquid IV. This powder helps replenish electrolytes lost during physical exercise and hot weather. Our favorite flavor was lemon lime and we didn’t need to use very much to notice a difference. We typically went through a pouch per day for both of us.

See different hydration powders available on Amazon US here.

See different hydration sachets available on Amazon UK here.

Snacks

a few of the snacks we took for our hadrian's wall walk - trail mix and grenade protein bars

While there are places to get food along the trail, it’s a good idea to bring snacks just in case. Although we didn’t eat many of our snacks due to the large breakfasts and lunches we had every day, it was reassuring to have something on hand. Our snacks included protein bars (my favorite are these Grenade ones), trail mix, and dried fruit. These provided a quick energy boost and kept us fueled between meals.

Find hiking snacks on Amazon US here.

Find hiking snacks on Amazon UK here.

Travel Insurance

You should always make sure you have travel insurance for any trip. Accidents, illnesses, and unexpected events can happen, and having travel insurance ensures you’re covered for medical expenses, trip cancellations, or lost belongings. It provides peace of mind, knowing that if something goes wrong, you have support to handle it. Investing in a good travel insurance policy can save you a lot of stress and financial burden during your trip.

Find the best travel insurance for you here.

First Aid Kit Items for Hadrian’s Wall

Blister protection

The blister prevention products we used for our Hadrian's Wall walk - blister stick, blister bandaid, and liquid bandaid

Dealing with blisters is a common challenge for those walking Hadrian’s Wall. Even with the right shoes and socks, the long miles can take a toll on your feet. Without the right products to manage blisters, they can become a major issue, causing pain and potentially stopping you from completing the walk.

Fortunately, there are many effective blister treatments available. I used this blister stick generously on my feet as a preventative measure before putting on my socks and shoes. Russell also used blister bandages to help prevent blisters.

Despite our precautions, I still got two small blisters and used a liquid band aid to keep them from worsening. Russell ended up with more blisters and found regular blister bandages worked best for him.

For our seven days of walking, we brought two blister sticks, one liquid band aid, and four packages of blister bandages. We did go through these supplies quickly and ended up buying an extra pack of blister bandages at a gift shop along the way.

Check out the different blister protection and treatment products on Amazon US here.

Check out the different blister protection and treatment products on Amazon UK here.

Lip Balm

lip balm/chapstick which we packed for Hadrian's wall

I usually don’t get chapped lips, but the wind and not drinking enough during our Hadrian’s Wall walk made it a problem. Be sure to carry lip balm with you and apply it several times a day to keep your lips protected.

Get lip balm on Amazon US here.

Get lip balm on Amazon UK here.

Sunblock

sunscreen must be on your hadrian's wall packing list

Since you’ll be outside for most of the day, it’s essential to apply sunblock to any exposed skin. The sun can be intense, and without protection, you risk getting sunburned, which can make the walk uncomfortable. Plan to bring enough so that you can reapply when you get hot and sweaty.

Get sunscreen on Amazon US here.

Get sun cream on Amazon UK here.

Bug spray

bug spray that will help keep the midges away when you do the hadrian's wall walk

During the summer in this part of the UK, you’re likely to encounter midges, some of which bite. To avoid discomfort and potential bites, I highly recommend applying bug spray every day. It can make a significant difference in keeping these pests at bay and make for a more pleasant walking experience.

Check out bug sprays to fend off midges on Amazon US here.

Check out bug sprays to fend off midges on Amazon UK here.

Antiseptic wipes & band aids

a few antiseptic wipes and bandaids that are individually packaged for your Hadrian's wall first aid kit

It’s common to get cuts and scrapes during a hike like this, so it’s wise to be prepared for these minor injuries. Bring antiseptic wipes to quickly and easily sanitize any wounds before applying a band-aid. Having these supplies on hand will help you handle any cuts or scrapes and prevent infection.

Find antiseptic wipes on Amazon US here.

Find antiseptic wipes on Amazon UK here.

Find band aids on Amazon US here.

Find plasters on Amazon UK here.

Over-the-counter medicines

bottle of Advil and box of imodium

Since you won’t have easy access to many drugstores, it’s a good idea to bring along some over-the-counter medicines. We packed pain relievers (Advil) and anti-diarrheal (Imodium) medication so that we could deal with any minor issues before they got to the point where they could make it hard to complete the trail.

Find pain medicine on Amazon US here.

Find pain medicine on Amazon UK here.

Find anti-diarrheal medicine on Amazon US here.

Find anti-diarrheal medicine on Amazon UK here.

Hand Sanitizer

travel size hand sanitizer

I think now most of us carry hand sanitizer with us wherever we go. When you are doing Hadrian’s Wall, you’ll often find yourself in remote areas where soap and water may not be readily available. Hand sanitizer allows you to quickly clean your hands before eating, after using public restrooms, or touching any surfaces.

Get hand sanitizer on Amazon US here.

Get hand sanitizer on Amazon UK here.

Technology and Navigation

Phone

Anisa's iphone 11

You need to bring a phone for emergencies and navigation. With google maps (or other similar apps) you can see exactly where you are along the trail. Additionally, your phone is perfect for capturing photos and memories of your trip. Be sure to also bring your charging cable and plug.

If you are traveling from abroad, you should either purchase an international plan from your carrier or consider an eSim like Airalo to save money.

International Adapter

If you are traveling from outside the UK to walk Hadrian’s Wall, you should bring along a travel adapter so that you will be able to plug your electronics into the UK sockets. I would recommend that you get a international one so that you can use it on future trips to Europe and Australia too. Some will also have multiple USB ports to make charging your electronics easier.

Get a universal adapter on Amazon US here.

Portable battery charger

portable power bank we took with us on our Hadrian wall walk

Bringing a portable battery charger is always a smart idea when traveling. On the Hadrian’s Wall walk, you’ll often be in remote areas, making it even more important. A dead phone can leave you without navigation, communication, and access to important information, so ensure you have a portable charger to keep your devices powered up.

Find a portable battery charger on Amazon US here.

Find a portable battery power bank on Amazon UK here.

Watch (with tracking capability)

Anisa's Garmin Venu sq 2 watch

You’ll want a tool to track your progress and ensure you’re on schedule to reach your destination each day. Russell and I both use Garmin watches, but an Apple Watch, Fitbit, or any other brand can work just as well. While these devices might not be 100% accurate, they provide a good sense of your location and how much further you need to go. Also, be sure to pack the cord you need to charge it!

See fitness watches available on Amazon US here.

See fitness watches available on Amazon UK here.

Guide book

our Hadrian's wall guidebook was extremely helpful

We initially received a guidebook from the company that organized our accommodations, but I found it a bit difficult to follow. We decided to purchase the Henry Stedman Trailblazers guide, and I’m so glad we did. The detailed maps were incredibly helpful, and we gained a lot of valuable insights about the trail and its history. It has information for walking Hadrian’s Wall in both directions.

Find the Trailblazers guide on Amazon US here.

Find the Trailblazers guide on Amazon UK here.

Comfort and Convenience Items that are helpful for Hadrian’s Wall

Collapsible stool

collapsible stool expanded so you can sit on it

When you’re walking 10 or more miles a day, you’ll definitely want to take breaks and rest your feet. While there are a few benches along Hadrian’s Wall, they are sparse. Initially, we considered shooting sticks but ultimately opted for collapsible stools, and we couldn’t be happier with our choice.

Our collapsible stools allowed us to take breaks wherever and whenever we wanted. They are lightweight, compact, and fit easily into our backpacks.

stool in the closed (collapsed) position

We loved them so much that we’re considering replacing our camping chairs with these stools for all our outdoor activities. If you’re planning the walk, we highly recommend bringing collapsible stools—they made our journey much more comfortable and enjoyable.

Find a collapsible stool on Amazon US here.

Find a collapsible stool on Amazon UK here.

Tupperware container

You might be wondering why a Tupperware container is on my Hadrian’s Wall packing list. For most days, we ordered a packed lunch from the places we stayed so we wouldn’t have to worry about finding food along the trail. Although the packed lunches came in a paper bag with a handle, we needed to put them in our backpacks to keep our hands free.

Without the Tupperware containers we brought, our lunches would have been smushed by the other items in our packs. The containers kept our food intact and fresh. In hindsight, we wish we had brought larger ones to also fit the fruit and chips that came with the lunches.

Get a tupperware container from Amazon US here.

Get a tupperware container from Amazon UK here.

Ponytail holder or Hair Clip or Hat

plain tan baseball cap

Regardless of the direction you walk Hadrian’s Wall, it will probably be windy so it could be challenging keeping your hair under control. If you have long hair like I do, you’ll want to keep it up and out of your face. That’s why ponytail holders and hair clips are essential. Alternatively, a hat can help keep your hair in place and provide extra protection from the sun.

Cash

a few one pound coins on top of £20 bills

Be sure to bring along some cash. I recommend having around £100 in small bills and coins, as finding an ATM can be challenging. Not all places accept credit cards, and you’ll encounter honesty boxes along the trail that only accept cash and do not provide change. Also do not try to pay for anything with US dollars.

Clothing for Evenings and Rest Days

Evening and Rest Day Clothes and Shoes

After hiking all day, taking a shower and changing into clean clothes will feel amazing. Since you’ll only be wearing these clothes for a few hours in the evening, you can re-wear them over multiple days. Just keep in mind that it will likely be chilly in the evenings, so plan accordingly. Also, bring a pair of comfortable shoes to put on once you take your hiking shoes off.

Underwear

Bring enough underwear for each day of the trip, plus a spare or two in case of emergencies. Since you likely won’t have time to do laundry, it’s important to have enough clean pairs to last the entire trip.

PJs

Bring comfortable pyjamas for a good night’s sleep after a long day of hiking. After spending hours on the trail, having cozy sleepwear will help you relax and rest up for for the next day’s adventure.

Toiletries

our toiletry bag with a few items like deodorant and bath gel in front of it

Make sure to bring basic toiletries like toothpaste, a toothbrush, deodorant, and soap. You’ll also want to bring shampoo and conditioner, especially if you have longer hair, as well as a hairbrush or comb. Additionally, pack any personal items you may need, such as feminine hygiene products, a razor, and any prescription medications.

Other Items We Considered Bringing

While planning our Hadrian’s Wall walk, we carefully considered what to pack. Here are a few items we debated bringing but ultimately decided to leave at home. Consider these suggestions to see if they might be useful for your own journey.

Camera

our sony a6000 camera

We debated bringing our bigger camera (Sony A6000) but decided to leave it at home to keep our load as light as possible. Instead, we relied on our phones for photos. This decision allowed us to travel more comfortably without the added weight and bulk of a camera.

Modern smartphones have excellent cameras, and we were able to capture all the beautiful moments and scenery along Hadrian’s Wall without any hassle. Looking back, I think we made the right decision.

Camera Clip

camera clip box next to the two pieces that will clip your camera to a backpack strap or belt

When we were considering taking our camera along, we bought a camera clip that would attach it to the backpack strap (or your belt if you prefer). This clip allows for easy access to your camera without the hassle of digging through your bag.

If you decide to bring your camera, we highly recommend getting one of these clips. It keeps your camera secure and ready to get those special photos along Hadrian’s Wall. While we didn’t take our camera and clip with us for Hadrian’s Wall, we plan on using it for others hikes.

Get the camera clip on Amazon US here.

Get the camera clip on Amazon UK here.

Drone

We did think about taking our Mavic mini drone with us on our Hadrian’s Wall walk, but in the end decided to leave it at home. Even though it is pretty small, it wouldn’t have fit in our backpacks and we didn’t want another bag to carry. Plus, I wasn’t sure how much spare time we would have to fly it.

If you can fit the drone (and the drone accessories) in your backpack, you can probably capture some pretty amazing scenery if the weather cooperates. Just remember to do your research and comply with the applicable drone regulations.

Female Urinal

We considered getting a female urinal for our Hadrian’s Wall walk to make bathroom breaks easier, especially in remote areas with limited facilities. However, after some thought, we decided against it because I didn’t want to deal with having to clean it and I wasn’t sure I would be comfortable using it. With the long stretches between bathrooms, you may find it helpful.

Check out female urinal options on Amazon US here.

Check out female urinal options on Amazon UK here.

Packing Tips for Hadrian’s Wall

Planning ahead and packing properly will help make your experience doing the Hadrian’s Wall walk amazing. Here are some additional tips to help you prepare:

  • Stay Organized: Using packing cubes can help keep your belongings organized and easily accessible.
  • Luggage Transport: Consider using Hadrian’s Haul to transport your luggage to the next accommodation so you don’t have to carry it all while hiking.
  • Manage Luggage Weight: You need to keep your large bag under 20 kilograms if you want to use Hadrian’s Haul. Also, keep in mind, many B&Bs have rooms located upstairs and you will probably have to carry your luggage upstairs.
  • Plan Supplies: Newcastle and Carlisle are the main places to replenish supplies along the route, so ensure you have enough essentials before departing.
  • Be Ready For All Weather Conditions: Be prepared for changing weather along the route, including rain and wind. Pack layers that can be easily adjusted.
  • Footwear Comfort: Break in your hiking boots before the trip to avoid blisters and discomfort during long walks.
  • Navigation Tools: Bring a paper map or guidebook, as mobile phone signal can be unreliable in some areas.
  • Cash and Cards: While many places accept card payments, you will need cash if you want to make purchases at honesty boxes.  Bring coins and/or small bills!
  • Emergency Contact: Carry a list of emergency contacts, travel insurance documents, and any relevant medical information with you.
  • Respect Nature: Follow Leave No Trace principles by disposing of waste properly and respecting wildlife and local habitats.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we will receive a small commission for some purchases made using links in our blog with no additional cost to you.  Please be assured we would not promote any product unless we believe that our readers will also benefit.  The commission does not influence the editorial content of this site.

Two Traveling Texans is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.ca. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Last Updated on July 16, 2024

About the Author

Anisa is an experienced international traveler with extra pages in her passport and stamps from 41 different countries across 5 continents (and counting). She was born and raised in Texas. After a 13 year stint in NYC, she moved to England to live with her husband.

>