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.

Footwear

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 use.

Socks

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.

Backpack

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.

Emergencies

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
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • 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

Clothing

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.