Winter walking checklist

Winter walking checklist

It is so easy to forget vital items of equipment when going to the winter hills for a walking or mountaineering trip. Bruce Goodlad lays out a checklist of things to prepare before you leave home and what to take with you.

Below is a checklist that will help prepare for any winter walking trip:

Before you leave home:

  • Check weather forecast
  • Check avalanche forecast
  • Check road conditions
  • Check guide book
  • Fold map to correct section
  • Plan route
  • Make packed lunch
  • Fill flask
  • Personal equipment
To be worn
  • Thermal top (not cotton!)
  • Thermal long johns (not cotton) for very cold conditions
  • Fleece or warm trousers (not cotton)
  • Fleece jacket
  • Good quality mountain socks
  • Four season leather, or plastic, boots
  • Gaiters
To be carried
  • Rucksack 45-50 Litres with waterproof liner
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Spare crampon strap
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Spare fleece
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Wool or fleece balaclava
  • Neck gaiter
  • Gloves (at least two pairs)
  • Thick mitts (for use in emergency)
  • Ski goggles (double lens versions are best)
  • Map in waterproof case, with a spare in the party
  • Compass, with a spare in the party
  • Head torch with spare bulb and battery
  • Sun cream, protects against the wind as well as the sun.
  • Lunch
  • Spare food
  • Flask of hot drink
  • Bivi bag
  • First aid kit, keep it simple
  • Mobile phone (should not be relied on and only used in serious emergencies).
To leave in the car ready for your return
  • Change of clothes
  • Towel
  • Flask of tea
Group Safety Equipment
  • Group shelter, large enough to accommodate the party
  • Spare fleece or lightweight duvet jacket
  • Rope, 30m x 9mm
  • First Aid kit, it is worth considering carrying one kit in the group, and individuals can carry any personal medication and a blister kit.

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