Essentials for the Walk
There are a lot of companies out there that run the National 3 Peak Challenge trips and most will provide a 3 peaks kit list. Pay attention to mandatory kit items, these really are mandatory and without them, you may not be allowed to take part in the trip. It’s mandatory for your protection and for group safety.
Waterproof jacket and trousers always seem to be an issue, there seems to be a reluctance or misunderstanding on buying waterproof clothing. Some people buy water-resistant clothes thinking they are waterproof, but they are not.
Your clothes are your primary shelter should you (or someone in your group) get into trouble. Your waterproofs are there to keep you and your clothes dry. Once you get wet you will soon get cold and the risk of hypothermia increases.
When it comes to waterproof clothing, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The most important thing is to make sure the seams of your jacket and trousers are taped. This will keep water from seeping in and ruining your clothes. It’s also important to choose the right material. There are many different types of waterproof coats, but some are better than others.
Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric that is used in a variety of outdoor gear. It is made up of two layers of fabric that sandwich a waterproof and breathable membrane. This membrane allows moisture to escape from the inside of the garment while preventing water from entering.
This makes Gore-Tex is a great choice for outdoor gear, as it is both waterproof and breathable. This means that you will stay dry, even if you start to sweat, and you won’t get overheated.
There are other types of waterproof materials such as Pertex, Páramo Nikwax and plenty others. You can read a comparison of waterproof fabrics
Whatever type of waterproof clothing you choose, make sure it’s comfortable and fits well. You don’t want it to be so tight that you can’t move
Other essentials for the walk
As I said above, each provider will have their own requirements of what is needed and I wanted this article to be about things to take on the three peaks challenge minibus. As a rough guide, you’ll need a daysack for walking which will include the following
- Walking boots (with ankle support)
- Headtorch (and spare batteries)
- Waterproof jacket and trousers (as above)
- Hiking socks
- Backpack (approx. 20-40 litre size)
- Water container (can use any bottle but a hydration bladder makes it a lot easier to drink – 2 litres)
- Hill food & snacks (cereal bars, dried fruit & nuts, pasta, sandwiches, crisps )
- Hat and Gloves (take spares for wet weather)
- Walking trousers (lightweight hiking trousers, not jeans or tracksuit trousers)
- Sports top (not cotton)
- Warm outer layer
- Changes of clothes
- Sunglasses & suncream
- Walking poles
- Drybags to keep the contents of your rucksack dry
Essentials for the minibus
Most kit lists tell you what you need to take for the walking part of the challenge but you’ll spend about half the challenge sitting on the minibus. So lets look at making the 10-11 hours of driving as comfortable as possible.
You will only have a small amount of space so there isn’t room to take loads of things with you. You’ll just have a single seat so whatever you take need to fit between your legs or under your seat. This includes food and snacks.
My advice is to get as much sleep as you can.
Inflatable travel/neck pillow – must be inflatable because of the limited space.
Neck pillows can be a great way to make long journeys more comfortable. They help to support your neck and keep your head from bouncing around. This can help to reduce fatigue and make the ride more enjoyable.
There are a variety of different neck pillows available, but my favourite is the inflatable variety. These pillows can be inflated or deflated to the perfect size, so they take up very little space in your bag.
If you are looking to get some sleep on the trip (which I recommend you do), I recommend investing in an inflatable neck pillow.
Noise-cancelling headphones are headphones that reduce or block out ambient noise. This is done by using active noise-cancelling technology, which creates a sound wave that is the exact opposite of the ambient noise. This cancels out the noise and results in a quieter listening experience.
There are two types of noise-cancelling headphones: passive and active. Passive headphones work by using insulation to block out sound. Active headphones use a microphone to detect ambient noise, and then create a sound wave to cancel it out.
Active noise-canceling headphones are the better option, as they provide a better listening experience and also cancel out more noise.
Earplugs and eye masks
Earplugs are a type of protective ear wear that are inserted into the ear canal to protect the user from loud noises. They are often used by people who work in noisy environments, or by people who want to block out background noise.
There are different types of earplugs that are effective at reducing noise levels. Earplugs are also cheaper and smaller than noise-cancelling headphones
Sleeping eye masks block out light and help to create a dark and relaxing environment. This can be helpful for people who find it difficult to sleep in bright environments, or who are struggling to get some shut-eye on a noisy bus.
Travel sickness tablets
It can get a bit bumpy and twisty on the country lanes. I recommend taking sickness tablets with you even if you are normally a good traveler.
There are a variety of different travel sickness tablets available on the market. The most common type is motion sickness tablets, which work by combating the symptoms of motion sickness. This includes nausea, vomiting and dizziness.
Motion sickness tablets are usually taken before you start travelling, and they help to prevent the symptoms from occurring. There are also tablets available that can be taken while you are travelling, and these help to relieve the symptoms that have already started.
Wet wipes are great for having a quick clean off before getting on the bus. They are great for removing salt residue from sweating, sweat and mud after each mountain.
Microfibre travel towels are small and light and designed for travel. They are made from a lightweight and absorbent material that dries quickly. This makes them ideal as they do not take up a lot of space and can be easily dried. Many come with their own storage pouch, which makes it easy to transport.
These are great to dry off after a really hot walk or if it’s raining cats and dogs.
Spare set of clothes
I’m not talking about a wardrobe here, just a spare t-shirt and maybe a warm top. I usually have a spare clean t-shirt that I wear on the bus and a t-shirt to walk in. helps me feel more relaxed on the journey. I also take a spare fleece on the bus in case I get cold. I can then use the spare set to walk in should we get soaked. You should also have spare gloves and hats but these can stay in dry bags in your rucksack.
A bag for wet clothes.
You will probably get wet if it rains and having somewhere to store your wet waterproofs, hats, and gloves mean they will not go missing.
A dry bag is a type of waterproof bag that is used to protect items from getting wet. They are often used by people who are travelling or kayaking, as they help to keep items safe and dry.
But they can also be used to store wet items and keep stop the water from soaking everything else around them.
Snacks and food – don’t overdo the sugar
The time you spend travelling is the time when you refuel so you’ll need to take food on the bus with you. A lot of people opt for sugary snacks but too much sugar can make you feel worse. I prefer ‘normal food” such as sandwiches, pasta dishes and slower burn carbs. Sugar isn’t the right way to fuel your body for the 3 peaks, it can give you a quick boost when you are low but it can really mess up your blood sugar levels
This year I’m testing out Huel as recovery food to take on the bus. I’ll let you know how it goes
Huel is a powdered food that is designed to be a complete meal replacement. It is made from a combination of oats, rice, peas and sunflower seeds, and it contains all the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs. It’s is a great option for people who are looking for a healthy and convenient snack or meal replacement. It is easy to prepare, and it can be taken with you on the go. You can get £10 off your first order here
Power bank & cables for your phone
Power banks are used to charge electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets. There are a variety of different power banks available on the market, and they come in a range of different sizes. The most important thing to consider when choosing a power bank is the capacity. This is measured in mAh (milliampere-hours), and it refers to the amount of energy that the power bank can store.
Another important factor to consider is the type of connector that the power bank has. Most power banks have a USB connector, which means that they can be used to charge a range of different devices. Don’t forget to bring the cables you need too.
Finally, You’ll need a small bag to fit all the above into.
As I said above, space is limited. You’ll have one seat and maybe some overhead space. Your main walking rucksack will be in a trailer or stored under the bus so you’ll have a small amount of space for journey essentials. The more stuff you take on to the bus the less space you will have
Books and tablets
You could take a book or tablet to keep yourself busy, but in my experience it to dark to read for a good portion of the driving and you’re probably better off resting and sleeping, or admiring the views out the window.