Fell Walking Equipment
This page does not list a definitive set of equipment, but it does recommend carrying the following items - these are essential when setting out on the fells:
- Boots - these must be sturdy and well fitting. Buy well established names and avoid cheap unknown makes. If you are in the UK, I recommend a visit to Cotswold Outdoors, as they offer a professional fitting service and stock a wide range of high quality boots.
- Waterproof clothing - I use the Keela range of waterproof jackets and Berghaus waterproof overtrousers. Stick to high quality items from recognised manufacturers
- Hat - a warm hat is essential. Even on warm days the air at the tops of the fells can be quite cold.
- Gloves - again, essential.
- Base layer - I use Berghaus 'Essential' base layers. These are hard wearing, comfortable and breathable.
- Softshell/fleece - it's essential to carry a warm layer or two in case the weather sets in. Fleece has the advantage of being light and instantly warm. Some manufacturers produce wind-proof fleeces and these are ideal. Keela make a waterproof fleece, but it can be too warm, especially when ascending the hills.
- Trousers - cotton jeans will not do! Cotton soaks up too much moisture and leaves the wearer feeling wet and cold. Craghopper trousers are excellent and inexpensive.
- Socks - a good pair of walking socks, such as Bridgedale Trekkers , will make walking much more pleasurable. I always carry a spare pair - on a long walk changing socks half way along the route makes quite a difference.
- Get a good rucksack by a well-known make. I use Osprey sacks as they are excellent and comfortable. They also have excellent walking-pole straps, allowing the poles to be accessed/stored away without having to take off the rucksack.
- A day-sack should be at least 30 litres in capacity.
- Try the rucksack on before you buy it - there's nothing worse than wearing an ill-fitting, uncomfortable sack for long hikes.
- Get a waterproof cover for it.
Food and drink
- You need to carry enough food for the day and some extra in case you get stuck and have to spend a night on the fells
- Water. Always carry more than you need. Some say it's ok to fill up a water bottle from a fast-flowing stream, especially at altitude. I wouldn't rely on this - some people can tolerate whatever bacteria may be in the water better than others. I'd boil it or use water purifying tablets (or both) before risking drinking it.
- Carry some high energy foods - such as nuts. Chocolate is ok, but your body will burn up its energy quickly. Nuts, on the other hand, release their energy slowly.
- First aid kit
- Survival bag
- Rescue Beacon - despite being expensive, these are highly recommended and may save your life. As they last for about 10 years, their 'annual' cost is relatively low for the benefits they provide.
See this page: Fell Walking Navigation Equipment
- Walking poles - a good pair of walking poles can be an asset. They give greater stability on descents and can take some of the strain off your legs.
- Torches - always carry a good torch and/or a head-torch. Make sure you have a spare set of batteries.
For more information, see Keela's page on Mountain safety.