So you’ve signed up to the Three Peaks Challenge and are going to climb the tallest mountain in Scotland, England and Wales. With Snowden, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis in the distance and utter panic running through your brain, you’re probably wondering what to pack.
Here’s what I ended up taking with me on my Three Peaks Challenge a number of links through to products I used or others just like them. Now breathe.
Clothing – make sure it’s all breathable fabric.
- Socks x 3 – dry fresh socks for each climb was nice.
- Sports leggings/trousers x 2 – the heavens OPENED half way down our first mountain and I was so grateful to have a full change of clothes.
- Sports top
- Long sleeve top
- Waterproof jacket – make sure it’s actually both waterproof and wind proof.
- Long sleeve jumper
- Waterproof trousers
- Head band – keeps your ears warm without wearing a proper hat.
- Lower face cover
- Walking boots
- Sliders or flip flops – when you take your shoes and socks off you’ll want something easy to slip on and off.
For The Journey – you are going to be sleeping on the way in between the mountains so make sure you’re comfortable.
- Neck pillow
- Ear plugs – block out all the other noise, including the loud music your driver is likely to be playing to keep them awake!
- Face mask – blocks out all the light and you’re more likely to stay asleep for longer.
- Battery pack
- Phone charger lead
All The Extras
- Backpack with water bladder – ABSOLUTE MUST! I got a quite cheap one, don’t think you’ll look silly, just do it! You want one with enough padding for it to be comfortable alongside large enough to carry everything you need. I opted for one with both a chest and waist strap so that it didn’t irritate me.
- Backpack waterproof cover – if you don’t have one attached to your backpack already.
- Walking poles – these were amazing for the descent, especially when you start to get tired they honestly help protect your knees and lower back. I have back problems and having walked mountains with and without they are a definite must for me. I had Leki ones and I’d recommend you get folding ones so that they go really small and fit in your bag.
- Insoles for walking boots – I went for the sorbothane double strike insoles, you want your feet to be comfortable.
- Baby powder – dry feet = no blisters.
- Suncream – I’m far too fair skinned to not take this everywhere with me.
- Tape – I definitely felt a difference taping my feet.
- Plasters and compeed blister plasters – just in case, don’t buy the cheap ones as they’re rubbish, buy Compeed!
- Foil blanket – just in case.
- Hay fever tablets
- Baby wipes
- Hair bands & grips
- Head torch – you are very likely to be climbing one of them in the dark and these are a life saver.
Food – This is what I ate, I am a real snacker and don’t really do full meals properly so I pretty much ate for 24 hours. There are lots of things to eat but you do not need to spend a huge amount of money.
- Wholewheat pasta with endame beans, tomatoes, red pesto, pine nuts x3
- Cheese strings
- Porridge cups
- Water! – Aim for 2 litres per mountain. This fit perfectly in my camel pack water bladder and I just refilled before starting each mountain.
- Sports drinks – I do not drink them personally, I do not see the point and would prefer water and food to keep energy levels up, but some of my team drank them.
(This was the moment my partner in climb remembered he’d packed the chocolate pretzels!)
My Best Tips for the Three Peaks Challenge
- As soon as you get down from the mountain take your walking boots and socks off and give your feet a chance to recover. This is why you should have sliders or flip flops for when you’re wandering around your transport or stop at petrol stations.
- Again, as soon as you get down the mountain have your big meal. For me this was the pasta. You want it to be settled by the time you start walking again.
- Wear your boots in, don’t just put them on for the Three Peaks for the first time.
- Eat! Eat! Eat! I snacked practically the entire way around. You’re expending a huge amount of energy to do this, so make sure you keep eating.
- Drink! Drink! Drink! I felt a bit like a fish.
- Layers – make sure you pack layers as the higher you climb the colder it will get. Ben Nevis rarely gets above 0 degrees so you will be cold.
- It absolutely poured it down half way down our first mountain, everything was soaked. It was really nice to have a full change of clothes so I could start fresh.
- Sleep, I was so tired after each mountain that as soon as we started moving, my eye mask was on, my ear plugs were in, I was wrapped in my blanket and I was asleep.
- You do not need to spend a fortune, but you do need to buy decent products. Shop around and look out for sales and offers.
- It’s called the Three Peaks Challenge for a reason, it is a challenge so make sure you do some training.
- Enjoy it! It’s a really cool experience.
- Lastly, there is such a thing as wind burn – who knew! Make sure you protect your face too.
If you’re thinking about taking on this crazy challenge, make sure you read my post on my personal review of the Three Peaks Challenge.
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