You will need the right kit

Your kit can make all the difference between a good day out and a disaster when climbing Snowdon. Having the correct items with you will make all the difference.

You should make sure that anyone else you may be walking with also has the correct equipment as they could put themselves and you into danger if you encounter bad weather or have some other difficulty.

Some of the kit listed may seem unnecessary at first but if you get caught without it when you need it you will certainly wish you had it. Always look after your kit.

 

Suggested kit list

Waterproof jacket/Waterproof trousers
Walking boots and spare walking boot laces
Rucksack, back pack, daysack to carry everything you intend on taking
Small first aid kit
Medication
Emergency whistle, bivvy sack, silver blanket
Sun cream
Map
Compass
Mobile phone
Hat
Gloves
Trousers
Mid layer
T shirt- under layer
Walking socks
Blister treatment
Head torch and spare batteries
Water carrying bottle or bladder (camelback type) to carry at least 2 litres
Food – a packed lunch and some high energy snacks
Money
Kit list

Other items
GPS
Walking poles
Sunglasses
Gators
Camera
Camera bag
High capacity phone charger

I make a small comission on any items readers buy through the links on firsttimeclimbingsnowdon.co.uk. This goes towards running the site and will not cost you any more than what you pay for any items you purchase.

Small first aid kit

You should carry a first aid kit to treat minor injuries blisters etc.

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Medication

It goes without saying but make sure you take any medication you need to take with you and some spare.


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Emergency whistle, bivvy sack, silver blanket

These items can make a real difference if you get stranded or injured while on Snowdon. They are relatively cheap to buy and are worth having in your bag in case the unexpected happens to you or someone else.

If you or someone else has a minor injury like a sprained ankle while on Snowdon and cannot be moved you can use the silver blanket to cover them to avoid losing body heat. The bivvy bag can be used also or if you get lost this can save your life. Many walkers use these if they get caught in bad weather as a place to escape wind and driving rain.  If you are waiting for help you are exposed to the elements and anything extra that provides shelter will help prevent exposure and hypothermia.

The whistle is used by walkers to signal for help, in poor visibility conditions this is particularly valuable.

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Sun cream

Sunburn can cause real discomfort when walking all day. If you are lucky enough to get a sunny day then you may need to use good quality sun cream to protect you from the suns effects.

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Map

You should always take a map with you whenever you walk in the hills. Snowden has very well trodden paths and there is usually many people around for you to ask directions. However in bad weather you may become lost or confused as to which path to take back. Having a map and studying it before you go will give you confidence in the route you are taking on the day. Getting the route right the first time saves you energy, if you need to turn back after going the wrong way it adds time and uses energy which can lead to problems. You may also end up walking in the dark if you take a lot longer by going the wrong way. Buying a waterproof map or waterproof map case is a very good idea.


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Compass

Having a good compass allows you to effectively use a map. You should learn to use a map and compass before you climb Snowdon.

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Mobile phone

Most people have a mobile phone. Make sure it is fully charged before you leave. If you do need to call for help this can be a life saver.

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Waterproof trousers/ waterproof jacket

One of the most important items you can have in your bag is a good quality preferably breathable set of waterproof trousers and a waterproof jacket. If you are unfortunate and get some rain during the climb you will need waterproofs.

If you don’t have them and you get wet you will be at the risk of exposure if the wind is cold it can rapidly decrease your body temperature and lead to hypothermia. In addition to this you could get some chafing and generally be uncomfortable if your clothes get saturated.




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Rucksack, back pack, daysack to carry everything you intend on taking

You should use a good quality daysack that has enough space to hold everything you are taking. Make sure that your daysack has a hip belt fitted. This is a strap that fits around your waist and allows you to carry the weight on your hips rather than your shoulders. You should also have a dry sack to put everything in to stop things getting wet if you get a rainy day, an outer rain cover is also a good idea. If your bag is not waterproof and does not have an outer waterproof cover it will become saturated during rain and may become much heavier.


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Hat

A warm hat is cheap and is a must in cold weather. A peaked hat in warm sunny weather to keep the sun out of your eyes.


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Gloves

Gloves give two forms of protection firstly from the cold and secondly they give protection if you lose your balance or need to do some scrambling. They are also good if you use walking or trekking poles as they help protect your hands from rubbing on a long day up Snowdon. Getting waterproof, breathable gloves is recommended.


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Trousers

There are many types of walking trousers available on the market. The most important things to look for are that they are quick drying or water proof, comfortable and allow a full range of motion. Your budget will have a bearing on which ones you go for.

Avoid wearing jeans and jogging bottoms as they dry slowly and can cause chafing.


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Mid layer

This is a layer you wear under your jacket for warmth. A mid layer should also wick sweat away from the body. Micro fleece tops are very good as they are light weight and quick drying.


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This is the base layer of clothing next to your skin. A good quality base layer will wick sweat away from your body and dry quickly.


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Walking socks

A good quality pair of walking socks will help prevent blisters and keep your feet comfortable during a long day walking. Merino wool socks are probably the best type.


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Walking boots and spare walking boot laces

These are one of the most important pieces of kit. It may be tempting to just use a pair of trainers but the terrain on Snowdon is quite rocky and rough. One of the most common injuries for people walking up Snowdon is ankle injuries caused by not having suitable footwear that supports the ankle. Boots that are waterproof and breathable are best, depending on your budget there are many to choose from. Good thick soles will protect your foot against blisters caused by walking over jagged rock.

Your boots should be tight around your foot to avoid movement but allow space for your toes, when you are walking down hill your feet will push towards the front of your boot and if your toes do not have enough space they will get squashed which becomes very painful after a couple of hours descending. If your feet move around in your boots at all you could get blisters so kick your heels into the back of the boot and do them up tight when you put them on. Make sure you have spare laces with you in case they snap. Remember a loose boot can cause serious blisters and discomfort!



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Blister treatment

If you do get blisters a good quality blister treatment will make you a lot more comfortable.

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Head torch or normal torch and spare batteries

This is another very important piece of kit. If you do end up walking in the dark then you will need a good quality torch or head torch. Even if you don’t plan on walking in the dark you should still carry one. Spare batteries should also be carried.


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Carrying sufficient water no matter what time of year it is is a must when hill walking. You should take at least 2 litres of water per person to make sure you have enough. You should also make an effort to hydrate yourself before you set off. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and other issues particularly if it is a hot summer day.

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Food

Take a small packed lunch with you and some high energy snacks.

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Money

This point may sound obvious but you should make sure that you have plenty of change particularly pound coins, 50p and 20p. Many car parks in the area need coins to pay as well as some of the public toilets.

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Kit list

Make a list of all the kit you intend on taking on the trip so that you check you have everything you need before you leave. If you lay everything out on the floor at home before you pack your bag it is easy to check everything off and make sure its all there before you actually pack into into your bag.


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GPS (global positioning system)

GPS is a device which is very useful in some weather conditions and good for collecting data on your walk but should never be relied upon alone for navigation. You should have a map and compass and be competent in using them. Having said that if it is foggy or dark or there is some other reason you become disorientated while on Snowdon or any other mountain a good GPS can show you exactly where you are and get you back on track. If you take a GPS then make sure you also have spare batteries.

Using your phone GPS with an app is an option but you do run the risk of running out of battery much faster when using the GPS function and if this happens you can end up with no means of navigating and no way of contacting help. The GPS receivers in mobile phones are not as large and may not get a signal where a separate purpose built GPS unit would.

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Walking poles

As mentioned on the am I fit enough page walking poles are great for taking some of the strain off the legs and spreading the work more over your whole body. They really  do make a difference.


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Sunglasses

On a sunny day a pair of sunglasses are useful.


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Gaiters are used to gap the space from below the knee to the laces on your boots. They are mainly used in snow. They also offer protection from plants or long grass, stop the bottom of your trousers getting dirty and wet and they stop small pieces of stone falling into your boot from your other foot (these can cause painful blisters).

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On a good clear day the views from the summit of Snowdon and the walk up and down are amazing and if you have a good quality camera you can take some really breathtaking photos. Action cams are also good for filming your progress on the way up and down.


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Camera bag

If you do take an expensive camera with you make sure it is well protected in a bag and held close to your body. If you just have it hanging around your neck you may hit it off rocks if you need to lean forward to use your hands.

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Phone charger

A phone charger is really useful if you are using your phone for pictures and video and maybe car satnav etc. A good charger can really keep you out of trouble.

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