The weather is always unpredictable and my advice is be prepared. This allows you to be comfortable and protected from the elements.
Shopping outlets and places like Go Outdoors provide all the outdoor gear you need to buy. I enjoy a good browse of the latest designs and innovations.
The right gear makes the difference between enjoying and enduring your day on the mountains.
Spare warm layers, waterproofs, and plenty of food and water are vital to let your body cope with the ever-changing demands the mountain environment places on it.
Keeping dry is nice, but keeping warm is vital. Waterproof jackets keep rain off, but also block the wind, and trap warm air inside. Take care not to overdress underneath as they can’t get rid of all the condensation your body can throw at them.
Cold hands are painful, it is hard to carry out normally easy tasks like operating a compass and eating snacks. Thin windproof gloves are useful all year round. My hands tend get very cold so I make sure they are well protected from the cold.
The best walking trousers are stretchy, quick-drying and water-resistant, with reinforcement on knees and bum, and a comfortable waistband that does’t rub with a rucksack waist-strap done up over it.
Good quality walking socks provide insulation, padding and moisture control, and help improve the fit of your walking boots.
Help reduce the risk of foot and ankle injuries on rough terrain, provide grip and waterproofing. There are different boots made for varying walking conditions. I prefer lightweight and breathable.
It may be warm in the valley, but it’ll be a different story on the summit. I don’t have much hair on my head so a hat makes a huge difference keeping my head warm.
The layer nearest the skin, designed to transport moisture away before it can make you cold or uncomfortable. I wear both short and long sleeve, wicking and anti odour.
Made from synthetic fleece, they all keep you warm by trapping warm air. The latest ‘soft shell’ designs also offer water- and wind-resistance in differing combinations, but are more expensive.
Map & compass
A map and compass are as good as any GPS when combined with a sound knowledge of how to use them – essential before you venture into the hills.
Stop the bottom of your walking trousers getting soaking wet and water getting into your boots over the ankle cuffs. Not essential, but messy when you step in the bog.
It’s essential to stay hydrated when walking – a hydration system means you don’t have the hassle of taking off your ’sack to get at a water bottle.
In case you’re still in the hills as night falls. An LED torch is the most hassle-free and can be .
DIY our Outdoor first aid kit
You can make your own with the following: paracetamol, medical gloves, wound dressing, big bandage, plasters, safety pins, whistle and tape. Keep in two watertight bags. You can also purchase an adventure survival first aid kit.
Wet legs are chilling and miserable so I wear overtrouser.
This or a group shelter will keep you warm if you become stranded on a mountain and have to await help or daylight.