Hiking is one of the oldest extreme sports in existence.

Before we had fell-running, rock climbing or even mountain biking – we had hiking.

There was a time, not so long ago, when the stereotype of a hiker was depicted as essentially a grown up Boy Scout; kitted out with heavy looking leather boots, a green canvas army surplus rucksack and a pair of beige shorts. Back then, the whole idea of hiking was to get as far away from technology as possible and to do so using equipment that was ideally a few decades old and weighed an absolute tonne.

Things have changed a little bit since the hey day of hiking in the 70s and the outdoor pursuits industry has expanded to adopt numerous technological advances, making every step that much easier for the hiker willing to spend the money. Each year outdoor activity manufacturing companies compete to combine the best materials possible with the most innovative of designs, in order to attract the attention of hikers eager to update their gear and drop some cash.

The following products probably won’t be considered essential by everyone, either due to their slightly superfluous nature or expensive price tag, however, if you look online in the right places you might well be able to pick yourself up a bargain:

The Under Armour Compression Shirt

Once a garment that was solely reserved for professional athletes, this slippery base layer has slowly made it’s way into the hiking world after gaining traction within the football and rugby communities. A compression shirt is essentially a tight fitting Lycra top that acts as a second skin, insulating the wearer better than any cotton shirt would.

Since the explosion of the leisure wear market a couple of years back, you can find shirts made by a whole range of good companies. You’ll be able to find an Under Armour wholesale distributor that suits your price range by taking a quick look online at either eBay or other online marketplaces.

Exposure’s £120 Head Torch

A decent head torch is a must-have item for any hiker who’s thinking of tackling a long distance ramble and might risk losing sunlight towards the end of the day. It’s up to debate (and personal opinion) as to whether you can justify spending £120 on such a small item, but you can pretty much guarantee that if you take the plunge with Exposure’s powerful, yet lightweight, head torch you’ll never need to buy another.

Berghaus’ Ultra-Light Hyper Jacket

The Berghaus brand has been synonymous with quality hiking gear for decades now – indeed, some older hikers still swear by their ancient walking boots, claiming that they’ve never lost their waterproofing, despite years of use.

Whereas more mature hikers might well be happy staying put with their outdated models, those who are ready to embrace the new generation of walking gear should look no further than the brand’s excellent Hyper Jacket. At under £100, this super-lightweight shell is a must buy for any hiker who needs to move at a rapid pace.

Suunto’s Unbelievable Adventure Watch

Last, but not least, we had to mention this excellent piece of kit. Although we’re sure most hikers would happily get by without dropping the £250 for Suunto’s highly adaptable adventure watch, this is a gadget that could prove to be an absolute lifesaver in so many situations. The list of features that they’ve packed into this timepiece are almost too numerous to mention: everything from GPS navigation, route planning, altitude meter and step counter is provided with a tonne of other features that communicate with your phone as well.