Having the right kit will make your time outdoors safer and more enjoyable and this checklist will help you to make decisions when planning your trip. Some items are classed as Needed, you shouldn’t venture out without these. Some are Suggested and can make you more comfortable. Others are Extras – nice to have but your choice on the weight versus benefits.
Walking boots. The varied, rough terrain and remote locations of mountain walking require strong, supportive walking boots with a good grip. Boots that fit snugly around the foot and ankle will reduce the risk of injury.
Rucksack – we would suggest a 30 litre or bigger size bag. Look for one that can be adjusted to ft comfortably and supports weight well. Small additional pockets are useful for storing important items.
Waterproof Jacket and trousers. Important at any time of year in the mountains where getting wet can happen easily and have serious consequences.
Warm & weatherproof clothing – use a system of thin layers rather than bulky items that can be easily adjusted as needed. Use a wicking and quick drying fabric next to the skin, insulating layers and waterproof outers for poor weather. 100% cotton is a really poor choice for walking as it holds moisture making you uncomfortable and potentially making you cold and at risk. Synthetics are great as are modern wool fibres.
Spare clothing – an insulating layer to pull on when you stop. Spare dry socks.
Warm hat & gloves or sun hat – retain heat and protect your hands/keep yourself safe from the sun. Carry spares.
Solo Survival bag or Group Bivvy bag – an emergency shelter.
Rucksack liner/ dry bags – keep everything in your bag dry and organised. Use one large liner bag or several small bags to organise everything.
Drinks bottle or reservoir – it’s important to stay hydrated even on a short walk in mild conditions. Carry 1-2 litres of water and top up when available.
Personal First Aid Kit – carry a selection of plasters, blister plasters, a crepe bandage and any medications you may personally need.
Head Torch – useful for planned or unplanned walking at night! Carry a spare and/or spare batteries.
Map & Compass – know how to use them and find your way. A spare compass is a good idea.
Snack Bag – carry your lunch for a full day out or snacks to keep going. Carry an Emergency snack selection in case you end up out longer than anticipated.
Mobile Phone – most people have and carry a mobile phone but not everyone so it’s on the suggested list, however, it could be vital in an emergency. Make sure it is fully charged before you leave and maintain battery power by limiting use.
Flask – a hot drink on a cold day can boost morale and energy.
GPS – make sure you carry and know how to use a map and compass. But, GPS units can be useful as an additional aid.
Walking Poles – really useful when carrying heavy loads or doing long descents. Poles will save your joints by spreading the load.
Camera – capture the highlights of your trip.
Binoculars – great for a closer look at the wildlife you’ll encounter and useful for plotting a route.