Lake District Kit List

Here at Lake District with Kids we’ve spent a LOT of time in the Lake District, enjoying all it has to offer. Over that time we’ve learned what works for us and what doesn’t, what we like and don’t like, and what has been really useful.

I’ve brought together all our favourite products that we use or have used here in the Lake District.

Essentials

Flask

Everyone who knows me in real life knows my LOVE of a flask. I’ll take one anywhere, and I now own quite a few to use at various different times! My absolute favourite all rounder though, is this Thermos flask. It’s big enough to hold enough hot chocolate for 5 of us at the top of a hill/by the side of a lake, but still fits in a backpack really easily.

Water Bottle

We all have the ion8 water bottles in our family, in various colours and sizes. They are lightweight enough that they are pretty easy to carry, and fit in all cup holders so they’re great for the car. I also love the fact they are easy to clean, which is great after a trip to the lakes.

Head torch

In our experience, head torches are a great addition to your outdoor kit. There’s just something so adventurous about them! We’ve never bought specific head torches for children, we’ve just always used generic ones that we can share between us. We love this LED headtorch because of it’s motion sensor and the fact that it’s rechargeable.

Binoculars

We love taking the binoculars with us whenever we’re out and about in the Lake District. We use them for spotting wildlife like birds and deer, for checking out one part of the coast when we’re across on another part, and for finding our van when we’re right at the top of a fell! We like these National Geographic Children’s binoculars before children grow enough to use adult sized ones.

Nature book

A decent book to help children make sense of what they can see, and for us it helps with keeping up interest when they are less than keen on coming out for another walk! There are lots out there, but we really like these National Trust Out and About Spotter range of books, with a few different options depending on their interests.

Activity cards

Great for primary aged children, these Hello Nature Activity Cards make exploring in nature extra fun! They’re lovely for little ideas and things to focus on that children (and grown-ups!) perhaps wouldn’t otherwise.

Seat pads

These are essential to me, and I tell as many people as I can about them. We carry these seat pads on every walk we do, and I absolutely love having a clean spot to perch on for a snack or a drink. I recommend the ones that come with a bag, so if they get wet or dirty you can tuck them away safely for the rest of your walk. These are a gamechanger!

Walking

Waterproof jackets

I have found, through lots and LOTS of experience, that there is a different between ‘waterproof,’ and ‘Lake District Waterproof!’ I cannot remember the number of supposedly waterproof jackets that I have bought, only to find them soaked through even on the school run.

However, I have now found a few waterproof jackets for children that do actually keep the rain out. This Didriksons Kids Waterproof Jacket is available up to age 10 and keeps children completely dry.

We have had this waterproof jacket recently (my middle child had just outgrown it) and it has stood up to plenty of rain. We also love the choice of colours and the fact it goes up to age 13.

Warm jackets

For a straightforward warm padded jacket, we really love this Chill Kids padded jacket which is also water resistant.

I would recommend if you’re looking for super warm AND super waterproof, to put a base layer and a fleece on underneath the waterproof jacket. Lots of jackets are available with both the fleece and waterproof layer, then you can wear either or both together. We love this 3-in-1 jacket which goes up to age 13.

Waterproof all in ones

How much of a lifesaver are waterproof all in one suits when you have little children?! Its amazing how your little one can stay warm and dry underneath them. My children have outgrown these now but I work in a Reception class, and the parents love these two brands in particular:

This waterproof eco suit from Kidunk, where the top and trousers can be zipped together or worn on their own, and they go up to age 7/8,

This Patrol Insulated waterproof splashsuit from Spotty Otter, which is both warm AND waterproof, and goes up to age 5-6.

Walking boots

Walking boots are super personal for each person, and while I don’t believe you have to spend a fortune to get a pair that works for you, I would recommend that children try on plenty of walking boots to find a well fitting pair. Here in the Lake District I can recommend the following shops to visit (I have bought shoes and boots for my children from all of these shops):

For us, we’re finding these Merrell Moab Boots are working really well at the moment. They give enough ankle support without being too restrictive, and have proved waterproof in plenty of rain and at the edges of lakes, so we’re happy!

Socks (I’m obsessed)

Ok, I feel like socks are my specialist subject. I absolutely love a good pair of socks and we all have different ones for different activities. Here are my favourites…

Base Layers

Base layers are always on my children’s real life school trip kit list, and we now find them so useful for lots of outdoor activities. Layer under a t shirt and a fleece, then a waterproof jacket and you’re prepared for anything!

We always buy these Peter Storm thermal base layers, and they last long enough to hand them down too.

Wellies

Wellies are an absolute staple of a Lake District wardrobe! I love these Hatley wellies for younger children as there are so many prints to choose from. For older children I love a pair of Hunters – they last for ages, can be passed down and hold their resale value.

Sling

I think a sling is one of the most useful pieces of baby equipment, and if you can make a sling work for you then it can give you so much freedom. Slings are another things that are very personal, and I would always recommend visiting a sling library to try out loads if that’s possible.

The slings that worked for me and my husband were the Boba Classic, and then the Lenny Lamb Pre-School Carrier. The pre-school carrier felt like an assisted piggy back for my youngest when her little legs couldn’t quite make it round a walk! Both of these slings were super comfortable for us.

Back carrier

If a sling isn’t for you, or you want more choices than just the sling, the alternative is a structured back carrier. I used to love using mine, not least because of the waterproof cover you can pop over it and the pocket to put essentials in.

This LittleLife Cross Country S4 Baby and Child Carrier is the exact carrier we had for our children, and I would highly recommend it. It is definitely on the expensive side, but they hold their value really well so you can sell it on when the time comes.

Pushchair

There are plenty of walks in the Lake District that are suitable for a pushchair, check out the Miles without Stiles range of walks for inspiration. Even with a flat route, there are some pushchairs that are more suited to walks in the countryside than others.

The pushchair that you’ll see again and again in the Lake District is the Out n About Nipper All Terrain Pushchair. We’ve had both the single and double versions of this pushchair over the years, and they are so lightweight and easy to push that we were able to take them all over the place.

Watersports

I received this Stand Up Paddleboard as a gift for my 40th birthday, and I honestly love it. It has stood up to 3 busy years of paddleboarding here in the Lake District. I have used it with my younger children on it with me, and my 12 year old can control it with no problems.

Paddleboarding and kayaking on Derwentwater

Kayak

Kayaks can provide plenty of fun on the lakes in the Lake District, and they’re often easier with children than paddleboards because of the sides, and the fact that you’re sitting down! We have a Sevylor and would absolutely recommend this brand for decent, robust kayaks.

Buoyancy aid or life jacket

A well fitting buoyancy aid or life jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you can get. It’s really important to make sure the buoyancy aid is suitable for a child’s weight, and if they are a non-swimmer/weak swimmer, they need a life jacket with a neck float.

Wetsuits

This is one of those areas where you can spend very little, or spend a lot. For us, we’ve always found the range at Mountain Warehouse to have what we need, and they last well, so we can hand them down as the children grow.

Changing Robe

Changing robes are a gamechanger, and can help save the day when your child gets wet and cold. If you have a big budget, you could go for the original Dryrobes which are always popular.

For less than half the price, this changing robe from Two Bare Feet is highly rated, and comes with a changing mat to stand on when you’re getting changed. This one is on my shopping list for the kids this year!

Camping

Tents

I LOVE a bell tent. I think they’re easier to put up than other tents (I’ve put ours up on my own plenty of times) and I love the look of them, both inside and out. My tent was from Glawning which is actually a drive away awning bell tent for our van, but if you want a stand alone bell tent I would look at Boutique Camping.

If you are in the traditional tent camp (like all my friends, who always laugh at my bell tent obsession), you have so much choice. Once you have decided between air or pole support, you then need to look at the size, and which footprint would suit you. For a huge choice of tents along with a really helpful website, I would look at Go Outdoors (remember to sign up for their membership card before you purchase anything, it’ll save you ££££).

Sleeping Bag