How to prepare for a hike

Preparation is an important aspect of any hike. No matter what the time of year, or the weather before you head out, it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities. This includes packing clothing that is suitable for different weather conditions, sufficient food for your hike and equipment that will help you remain safe on the mountain and that will reduce your chance of getting lost.

If you need the
Emergency Services call
999 or 112

In your backpack you should include adequate food and water for your hike. A warm drink should be included, and also snacks like dried fruit, energy snacks like chocolate.
Bring extra clothing, a number of light layers that can be used if the weather deteriorates and which will help you to stay dry.

Basic navigation tools are essential, especially when hiking off waymarked routes. This includes a map and a compass, ensure you know how to use both.
A fully charged mobile phone is also vital, both to make contact and also as a device which can provide you with your position through GPS. An additional charging unit is useful – fully charged as well. You should also pack a first aid kit, a torch and whistle. Sun screen and medication may also be required.

Hike Checklist

  • Hiking Boots
  • Breathable waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof overtrousers
  • Hat and gloves
  • Food and water
  • Extra clothing
  • Map & compass
  • Mobile phone (charged)
  • First Aid kit
  • Torch
  • Whistle

A good pair of hiking boots is an essential part of your hiking kit. Most heat loss is through the head, so a hat is important, as are gloves, at all times of the year, even in summer. Base layers should be worn, particularly during cold weather, and your jacket should be colourful, windproof, waterproof and breathable. Be prepared for the weather you may be exposed to, rather than the weather you expect.

Tell a friend
where you are
going and what
time you expect
to be back

Make sure that a friend knows that you are going for a hike and ensure you have each other’s mobile phone numbers and that both are charged. Tell your friend what route you plan to take and what time you expect to return. You should also say how many people are
in your group and instruct them who to contact or what to do if you don’t return by the appointed time.

Consider the experience and capabilities of your walking group, check the weather forecast before you set out, learn how to administer first aid and be prepared. If the weather deteriorates always be ready to turn back, there will be plenty of other opportunities to hike