AFS MOUNTAINEERING

Gear you'll need

In reality a lot will depend on the weather conditions on the day and the particular activity or course.

I'll always send out an email before an event with the latest forecast information and what this might mean in terms of packing your bag.

The weather in Britain is notorious for being difficult to predict.

 

I can loan out bits of kit apart from personal items and I tend to bring some spares and items market with an asterisk I can loan with advance notice. If you are new to the outdoors I’d recommend you don’t spend a fortune on new gear until you’ve been out with me so that I can suggest clothing/equipment that might work for you. If you have any questions about gear or are just not sure, please simply drop me an email.

 

Please note - if you turn up without the essential kit and you've not arranged for me to bring a spare, you may not be able to join us on the trip. This is for your safety and others. You will not be refunded in such a circumstance!

 

If you have any questions not answered in the FAQ page, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can find the recommended general gear list for all activities below and download a pdf checklist for when you are packing your bag.

 

All Activities (apart from indoor climbing)

It is always worth bringing all of these items in case. Clearly the weather forecast and the time of year can dictate what is 'actually' needed so a bit of common sense can be applied. If the weather is a heatwave, it'll be more important to bring more water and hats for shade rather than for warmth. Mostly it's variable weather in Britain so it's worth having waterproofs in the car even if they don't come to the crag/out on the hill with is. But the leader will decide on the day.

ESSENTIAL

  • Boots or recognised walking shoes (not trainers)

  • Walking trousers - not jeans or other cotton trousers (See Note 1 below)

  • Base layer - for example Helly Hanson or Merino Wool sports tops (See Note 1 below)

  • Waterproof and windproof jacket

  • Waterproof over-trousers

  • Mid layer jumper/jacket such as a fleece which you can put on under your waterproof coat. Several thinner layers are better than one (See Note 2 below)

  • Spare layers

  • Hat and gloves (a spare set of each is useful)

  • Personal medication

  • Lunch and snacks for during the day – Chocolate bars (e.g. Mars, Snickers) can be eaten quickly and provide an energy boost. A minimum of 1L of water is recommended though some people need to drink more. Food stops are short but regular to prevent getting cold.

  • Rucksack to carry everything (35L is plenty for a day walk, 60-70L for an expedition)

  • Waterproof bags to wrap your clothing and equipment in. Do not rely on rucksack waterproof covers to keep anything dry!

USEFUL BUT NOT ESSENTIAL

  • Gaiters (useful for going through damp ground, heather/bracken or crossing streams)

  • Torch/Headtorch (just in case!)

  • Camera

  • Sunglasses and suncream (even in winter - you just never know…)

  • Flask with a hot drink

  • Walking poles

  • Midge repellent/Midge hat (See Note 3 below)

  • Dry clothes/shoes to change into at the end of the walk (these can be left in your car in the boot)

  • Relevant map, compass and a proper map case (essential for Silver NNAS Courses & ML navigation refreshers)

  • Some money in case we pass a pub/tearoom

ADDITIONAL ESSENTIALS FOR WILDERNESS BACKPACKING TREKS

  • Changes of clothing as required (see Note 4 below)

  • Head torch and spare batteries

  • Water purification tablets/solution

  • Gaiters

  • Cutlery and mug (a mug is only essential if you are wanting hot drinks)

  • Midge repellent/Midge hat (See Note 3 below)

  • Personal toiletries (including toilet paper)

  • * Expedition food for breakfast and evening meals/tea/coffee - Please see the FAQ page for more info

  • * Tent

  • * Sleeping bag (and liner optional)

  • * Roll-mat

  • * Backpacking stove, fuel and lighter

* Items with an asterisk are items which I can provide/provide advice about (e.g. expedition food) but it is essential to discuss what you may need beforehand with us. Please note there is an additional cost for providing food, tents, stoves, sleeping bags and roll mats and details are in Note 6 below (please also see the Make a Booking page). We strongly recommend getting your own as these items are always useful. But we appreciate those visiting Britain from abroad may not be able to carry these items. We will bring a trowel, general first aid kit and bothy shelter.

 

Climbing Specific Kit

INDOORS

  • Loose gym trousers / tracksuit and teeshirt / fleece. Once you start climbing you'll get warm very quickly

  • Water

  • If you have a harness, climbing shoes and a belay device you are welcome to bring them but these will be included from the climbing centre

OUTDOOR CLIMBING

We won't go climbing outdoors if the weather is torrential rain everywhere. We'll go indoors instead and work on movement skills which, although not the outdoor experience, will help you improve your climbing. However, it's still worth bringing waterproofs in all but the most sustained heatwaves. If you are looking to make the transition from indoor climbing to outdoor climbing it is expected that you will have your own harness, climbing shoes and belay device by this stage. Items with an asterisk I can hire out - please see Note 6 below. 

  • Boots or recognised trail shoes

  • Harness

  • * Climbing helmet

  • Climbing Shoes

  • Walking trousers - not jeans or other cotton trousers (See Note 1 below)

  • Base layer - for example Helly Hanson or Merino Wool sports tops (See Note 1 below)

  • Waterproof and windproof jacket

  • Waterproof over-trousers

  • Mid layer jumper/jacket such as a fleece which you can put on under your waterproof coat. Several thinner layers are better than one (See Note 2 below)

  • Spare layers

  • Hat and gloves (a spare set of each is useful)

  • Personal medication

  • Lunch and snacks for during the day – Chocolate bars (e.g. Mars, Snickers) can be eaten quickly and provide an energy boost. A minimum of 1L of water is recommended though some people need to drink more. Food stops are short but regular to prevent getting cold.

  • Rucksack to carry everything (35L is plenty for a day walk, 60-70L for an expedition)

  • Waterproof bags to wrap your clothing and equipment in. Do not rely on rucksack waterproof covers to keep anything dry!

USEFUL BUT NOT ESSENTIAL

  • Your own rack (if you have one)

  • Camera

  • Chalk & chalk bag

  • Sunglasses & suncream

  • Some money in case we pass a pub/tearoom

 

Winter Specific Kit

For winter courses and winter trips, the basic principle is more layers rather than a few big thick ones. We may be fairly static while practicing skills and you'll get cold quickly unless you have another set of layers to put on. Likewise when we get moving again you'll warm up surprisingly quickly. Below are additional essentials to the All Activities Essentials. Items with an asterisk I can loan out.

ESSENTIAL

  • Sturdy hiking boots. B2 mountaineering boots are recommended (See Note 5 below).

  • * C1 or C2 Walking Crampons (See Note 5 below)

  • * A walking ice axe (not technical axes as these have a curved shaft). See Note 5 below

  • * Climbing helmet (for winter skills courses only)

  • Walking trousers - not jeans or other cotton trousers (See Note 1 below)

  • Base layer - for example Helly Hanson or Merino Wool sports tops (See Note 1 below)

  • Waterproof and windproof jacket

  • Waterproof over-trousers

  • Mid layer jumpers/jackets such as fleeces which you can put on under your waterproof coat. Several thinner layers are better than one (See Note 2 below)

  • Gloves and a hat that you will be able to get a helmet on

  • Spare layers

  • Buff or Balaclava

  • Gaiters - these keep snow from getting in your boots and can also spare your trousers from rips caused by sharp crampons and ice axes

  • Head torch and spare batteries

  • Ski Goggles - double layered to prevent misting up, or wrap around sun glasses

  • Personal medication

  • Lunch and snacks for during the day – Chocolate bars (e.g. Mars, Snickers) can be eaten quickly and provide an energy boost. A minimum of 1L of water is recommended though some people need to drink more. Food stops are short but regular to prevent getting cold.

  • Rucksack to carry everything (35-45L)

  • Waterproof bags to wrap your clothing and equipment in. Do not rely on rucksack waterproof covers to keep anything dry!

USEFUL BUT NOT ESSENTIAL

  • Camera

  • Sunglasses and suncream (you just never know)

  • Flask with a hot drink (e.g. hot ribena - not tea or coffee as these will dehydrate you)

  • Walking poles

  • Hand warmers

Items with an asterisk can be borrowed from me. B2 winter boots can be hired by arrangement from specialist gear stores in Scotland, Snowdonia and the Lake District. But so long as you have sturdy leather hiking boots you should be fine. If in doubt please get in touch.

You will need to book these in advance when you book on the course with me. If you have not pre-booked items, or have not informed me you are missing any items, you may not be able to participate on the course if spares cannot be found or stock is available from the shops. You will not be refunded in such circumstance.

Notes

Note 1: No cotton trousers or teeshirts. Cotton gets wet with sweat or rain, dries slowly and will chafe. It will absorb your body heat as it tries to dry out which will make you cold, uncomfortable and can lead to Hypothermia.

Note 2: We will be outside for much of the day so you will need to ensure you can keep warm and comfortable even in summer. On a hot day you will sweat while we are active and this can make you cold very fast if we stop for a break/lunch. It is widely recommended by outdoor enthusiasts and mountaineers that you wear more, thinner, layers than one big jumper. This layering approach allows you far greater regulation of body temperature. You can take layers off when active and put layers on when less active to keep the heat in.

 

Note 3: Essential in Scotland in summer – especially if you are staying at a campsite!

 

Note 4: Even in the height of summer it can get cold at night. We're not talking about bring a full change of wardrobe for each day. But extra fleeces to stay warm or a Down Jacket can be useful once the sun goes down. Socks, underwear and baselayers will dry overnight in your sleeping bag and are designed to keep you warm even if you are damp to begin with. If the forecast is for heavy continual rain it will be more important to ensure you have good over-trousers and waterproof jacket. 

Note 5: These can be hired by arrangement from me. Sturdy leather hiking boots will be fine if you have them.

Note 6: These items can be hired from me at a nominal cost to cover wear and tear, non-reusable items and cleaning. The relevant items will be listed on the booking form. Due to the constraints of the current booking system please bring cash on the day for the items.

  • Expedition Food - £6 each. I get Wayfayrer food subject to availability and they are available online or in store from most outdoor and camping shops. It is the simplest to prepare as you just bung the bag in boiling water and simmer for 10 mins but it is heavier than freeze-dried food. 

  • Tent £10

  • Sleeping bag £20 (the sleeping bag will need to be professionally cleaned between uses)

  • Thermal roll mat £5

  • Stove, lighter & fuel £10

  • If you are needing to hire lots of kit for winter skills courses - you are better off just hiring the lot from the gear store!

 
 
FABIAN SEYMOUR

Summer Mountain Leader

Winter Mountain Leader

Rock Climbing Instructor

NNAS Tutor

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fabian@afsmountaineering.co.uk

+44 07968207779

LGBT+ and BAME friendly

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