What You Will Need (Basics)
- Boots (With ankle support)
- Comfortable quick drying trousers
- Comfortable quick drying t-shirt
- Waterproof Jacket
- Rucksack (Between 20 - 40 Litre Capacity)
- Map & Compass
- Food & water
- Sun cream & sun glasses
- Head torch
- First aid kit
- Survival bag
Your boots should be waterproof and provide ankle support for walking on rough terrain.
Gaiters will keep your feet dry when walking through boggy & snowy terrain by stopping water, mud & snow from entering through the top of your boots.
A lightweight synthetic fabric is best, allowing unrestricted movement. A fabric that is breathable is also recommended allowing moisture to quickly evaporate keeping you cool and dry.
Again a lightweight synthetic fabric is also recommended for the same reasons as above. Avoid cotton, when cotton gets wet, it ceases to insulate you because all of the air pockets in the fabric fill up with water. When you hike, you perspire, and any cotton clothing touching your skin will absorb your sweat like a sponge. It takes a long time to dry and you run the risk of getting hypothermia.
You jacket should be light enough that it doesn't restrict your movement but heavy enough that it will keep you warm in a storm. It must be waterproof and have a hood. Preferably made from a breathable fabric and with a few good pockets.
You lose a lot of your body heat through your head so a hat will help keep you warm. It also protects your ears from the cold wind. Again try to get one made out of a synthetic, breathable fabric.
Gloves should be carried all year round. When your core temp starts to drop your body pulls blood away from your fingers to protect your core. Gloves will help keep the hands warm and the blood flowing.
The size of your rucksack will usually be determined by the length of your walk. You want it to be big enough to carry all the essentials but not to big where you start to bring things that are not needed. One with hip & sternum straps is more comfortable, allowing you to tightly secure it to your body. Try getting one with a few pockets to store thing like hat, gloves and food.
Map & Compass
A map & compass must always be carried when walking in the mountains. More importantly though, you must know how to use it. Its also recommended that you keep your map in a waterproof case to stop damage from the elements. Also, keep your compass away from strong magnets and electronic devices as they can interfere with the compass readings.
Food & Water
Water can be carried in a bottle or in a hydration pouch in your rucksack. Make sure you carry enough for the duration of your walk or know where you can replenish your supply on the way. Food should be small a light with a high calorie content to keep you going. Chocolate, nuts and fruit are a good choice and can be easily stored in your jacket pockets for quick access.
Sun Cream & Sun Glasses
Always apply sun cream before you start walking as you will be surprised how quickly you can burn even when the temp is low. Protect your eyes from the UV light by wearing sunglasses.
You don't wont to be stuck on a mountain in the dark. Always carry a head torch in your rucksack with spare batteries. Make sure it works before you leave.
First Aid Kit
Your first aid kit should be small and lightweight. Take plasters, small bandages, antiseptic wipes and pain killers. Make sure you have some basic first aid knowledge.
Lightweight and waterproof, this could save your life in an emergency. Made from plastic, it will keep you out of the wind and dry. Its bright colour is also easily spotted from a distance.
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