But to help make these days more enjoyable, we must consider carefully what we carry up & down the mountains in our backpacks.
Take too much and end up feeling heavy and weighed down all day. Adding strain to joints, bringing more aches and pains.
Don't take enough and risk being caught out!
What a dilemma.
The weather throughout the UK mountains is very changeable, so it's always difficult to predict what conditions will actually be like during a mountain day. Better go prepared for a variety of conditions and temperatures. And always go prepared for rain!
If going out as part of a guided group, it's reasonable to expect the leader of that group to carry a few extra essentials for the safety and comfort of those within the group. If going it alone, it's worth considering some of these items too. Only you as an individual can truly know what you need in terms of food & water consumption, how hot / cold you get, etc.
But as a guideline, we recommend having some of the following items in your backpack:
Waterproof jacket & overtrousers
Hat & gloves + spares if the weather may be cold & wet
Extra fleece type tops
Headtorch + spare batteries
Map & compass - and know how to use them effectively
1st Aid kit
Emergency blanket (space blanket)
1 Litre of water as an absolute minimum
Flask with a hot drink - very worthwhile for chilly days, still worth considering during warm weather
A varied packed lunch with a mix of carbs and sugars
Sweets - Haribo / Jellybabies are a boost and worth their weight in gold during a blood sugar dip
Waterproof bags - for anything that needs to stay dry (spare clothing, hats, car keys, wallet, etc)
Spare shoelaces - these snap on a surprisingly regular basis.
Mobile phone (fully charged) - if in need of urgent assistance whilst in the mountains, dial either 999 or 112 and ask for Police. Tell them what has happened and where you are. They will then re-direct your call to Mountain Rescue.
What you can expect a group leader to have (this is what we would be carrying in addition to our personal kit):
Torch & spare batteries
1st Aid kit
Spare hats & gloves
Buffs - neck scarf that has many uses
Map & compass - often spares too
Group shelter - a makeshift tent
Gaffer tape - amazing what it's possible to repair with this!
The photos that follow are all taken from guided days out with Climb Scafell and Mountain Journeys and all are in the Lake District. As you can see, conditions are varied! Whatever the weather, a fantastic day can be had whilst out in the mountains.
We offer guided mountain activities throughout the Lake District and further afield. Can we help you achieve your mountain goals and dreams during 2018? Get in touch and let's make a plan....
We hope you find this advice helpful. If in any doubt as to what to take / what to do during mountain days, please seek professional advise in advance. We're always happy to help.
Thanks for reading.