Hill Walking Equipment
This page provides general information on the basic equipment, including advice
on what to go for and what to avoid. Smaller, more specific equipment lists are
given in each challenge section.
The most important part of your equipment for these challenges is certainly what
you wear on your feet. To some this is obvious, but a surprising number of people
climb Snowdon in trainers. If you are considering the
National Three Peaks or the
Yorkshire Three Peaks, or certainly the
Welsh 3000's, you need good solid walking boots.
Proper walking boots tend to be quite expensive which might put some people off,
but they last for a long time if you take care of them. Boots that fit correctly
will not give you blisters, and should remain comfortable after hours of continuous
Almost as important as your walking boots, is the socks that you wear inside them.
Many have a habit of wearing one pair of socks covered by a larger pair, to prevent
blisters. As long as the walking boots being worn fit correctly, a single pair of
walking socks should be perfectly comfortable.
Provided the boots fit correctly, a pair of walking socks will be infinitely more
comfortable and should prevent any blisters. A pair of specially designed walking
socks will be very thick, with towelling on the inside, and a smooth outer layer.
Also take a spare pair with you up the mountain - if your socks should get wet,
they'll become uncomfortable to walk in.
A small lightweight backpack needs to be taken on all the challenges. A hydration
pack can be particularly useful - with a built in water bladder and straw over the
shoulder, generally with space to carry some kit and food.
Possible emergency situations should be considered and planned for, and certain
kit should always be taken on a long distance hike, walk or endurance challenge
- everyone in the group should know how to use the equipment.
- Map, even if you know the area well
- First Aid kit
- Survival blanket
- Emergency shelter
- Mobile phone
- Optionally: Walking poles, if not already using them, to help with a sprained ankle
Ideally, you should also have someone in your group with good First Aid knowledge,
and you should all read up on what do to if someone collapses, falls, breaks something
or starts shaking. In an emergency you should dial 999, or 112, as soon as possible
and alert the Police.
If required, the emergency signal for help is six one-second long flashes in a row,
with all six repeated once a minute.
Communication should certainly be thought about beforehand if you'd like to ensure
that you're always able to contact the outside world. Mobile phone reception varies
greatly in mountain ranges and can be very unpredictable
Varying greatly depending on the walkers preferences and the challenge being undertaken,
it is impossible to sum up clothing. Generally, most scenarios would call for lightweight
walking trousers, certainly not jeans, and perhaps a breathable sports top.
Depending how serious you are, you may consider a sports compression top
- a tight first layer to help protect against the elements. This can actually be
your only layer if the weather's reasonable. A compression top will also dry quickly
and not get in the way. You'll also look very sporty.
You might consider thin running gloves if you're walking in the cold, or
at night. These will help keep your whole body warm, so your energy can focus on
other things. A hat of the same type might be useful.