We advise you should wear/ bring all of the items listed below. If you arrive unprepared our guides have the right to stop you from participating in the event. Please note our winter events require additional equipment. The recommended kit list for these events can be downloaded here.
Walking shoes / Boots
It is important to have a good supportive shoe or boot. A walking shoe differs from a trainer as it provides a stiffer sole which in turn provides more support and protection for your foot. Preferably you should have a pair of walking boots which you have been previously worn so you know that they are not going to hurt your feet and give you nasty blisters. A boot provides essential ankle support which comes into its own when on bouldery or rough terrain, like that found on Scafell Pike, Striding Edge and many other mountains.You do not need to spend a fortune on your boots, there are many on the market from about £50 which will be suitable. It is always worth getting a comfortable pair that fits properly, otherwise you may put yourself off of walking all together! Many outdoor shops such offer a great fitting service and have a wide range of hill walking boots. We recommend Cotswold Outdoor or The Keswick Boot Company for this.
Waterproof clothing (Top & Bottoms)
This is an essential piece of kit when walking in the hills! It is probably the piece of kit that if it is forgotten it is most likely to kill you. When the body is wet you will cool down 20x faster than if it was dry, so hypothermia comes knocking much quicker. As well as keeping you dry, a waterproof is windproof so it will of course keep you warmer. There are all sorts of waterproofs on the market, and with that comes a big variety of prices. You can get a basic waterproof jacket for about £30, and once you spend around £90 you are looking at a better quality, more waterproof, more breathable option. if you are willing to spend over £150 ish you can start to look at a Gore-Tex Jacket which again offers more protection.
Waterproof trousers start at around £15. If you are looking at a pair to last then we recommend the Berghaus Deluge trouser. At £50 they are great value.
Lightweight clothing for walking
Walking trousers are made of a lightweight fabric which dry fast and also very breathable. Sports trousers also work well. DO NOT WEAR JEANS.
On your top half it is wise to avoid cotton. Instead of wicking away sweat cotton holds it. This in turn means that you are wet and will be cooled quicker by cold temperatures or wind. As we say in the industry, 'Cotton Kills, Synthetic thrills!'
Synthetic T shirts (football shirt style material) are very breathable and lightweight-they can be bought cheaply too. If you wanted to spend a bit more money then a merino t shirt has many advantages over synthetic and we highly recommend the Merino products by EDZ Layering.
Spare Warm Layers
Please ensure you have a warm layer with you for the activity. It is always worth having a spare layer just in case the first gets wet. If you have all of your layers on at the start then you will have nothing to put on to stay warm when we stop for lunch.
Hat & Gloves
Even on a warm sunny day you can find yourself needing to cover up your fingers and ears. In winter or wet days it is worth carrying multiple sets for when they get wet.
Ensure you have plenty of food with lots of energy/ calories in it. Hillwalking can burn a lot of calories so it is always wise to pack that extra choccy bar!
In summer you must have water with you as it is very easy to dehydrate when working hard to make it up the hills. A flask in winter is invaluable as it gives you that much needed injection of warmth!
A small handheld LED torch can be purchased for around £5 and you can pick up a head torch for about £10 in some shops. Please make sure you have one as you never know what might happen to keep us out after dark! We recommend looking at torches by Petzl
Are we being melodramatic? We don't think so. Although we try to eradicate as much risk as we can from our events, unforseen accidents can still happen, so it is best to be prepared. The above items may well save your life, and you won't even know you're carrying them...
Walking Poles (Optional)
We often get asked our opinion on walking poles and whether we feel people should be bringing them along on our events. There are many benefits to having a set of walking poles, but for some they can be a bit of a nuisance. A set of poles can take about 20-25% of pressure off of your knees on a descent, so if you usually struggle with painful knees then you may well find them useful. As well as this, on the ascent you are engaging your arm muscles, which in turn saves your leg muscles from tiring, plus of course it gives you more stability. If you aren't sure about them then don't spend a fortune on your first set. Get a cheap set and see how you get on, and then if you like them it would be well worth investing in a pair of Leki walking poles. We like to use them, but like I say, they're not everyone's cup of tea!
In the unlikely event there is an accident, a fully charged mobile phone is likely to be required. If you own a smart phone we recommend you also:
Register your phone with the Emergency SMS service. This means you are able to text the emergency services in the event where there is not enough signal to make a phone call. You cannot text 999 unless your phone has been pre-registered. It takes 10 seconds. Info can be found here.
Download a Grid Reference App to your smart phone. A Grid Reference is an individual set of letters and numbers which will provide a location. Should you need to notify someone of your location, this app will come in very handy. There are many free Apps like this in the 'Play Store'.
We are all increasing the usage our phone cameras as our main camera, so why not make the wise decision to protect your phone whilst out with a fully waterproof case? Also great if you need to use your phone GPS, make a call or play Angry Birds whilst on the hill. Check out Aquapac for their range of phone cases. We've used ours for years and love it!