CLIMBING SNOWDON: Ultimate kit list to ensure you reach the top!

Mel smiling at the top of Snowdon with mountains and lakes in the background with the text: "CLIMBING SNOWDON: Ultimate kit list to ensure you reach the top" Pinterest image

CLIMBING SNOWDON: Ultimate kit list to ensure you reach the top!

There is nothing more physically and mentally challenging than climbing a mountain. Yet nothing more physically and mentally rewarding! But the great thing about climbing Snowdon is just how accessible it is. There are routes for varying ability levels which makes it the perfect mountain for seasoned as well as first-time climbers. If you fancy giving it a go, but not sure what to take, use my ultimate kit list below to get you started. It’s everything you need, to ensure you get to the top!

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1) Proper hiking boots!

If you’re going to be climbing Snowdon, I highly recommend you start with the right footwear! You don’t necessarily need hiking boots to climb Snowdon. It just makes it so much easier!

Every time I hike Snowdon, I see loads of people wearing trainers, converse and even sandals (!) on the way up. Although I didn’t see anyone who wore sandals reach the top to be fair!

Hiking boots are not a pre-requisite for climbing Snowdon but it does make the climb a hell of a lot easier when wearing shoes specifically designed for the occasion. You’re also less likely to get blisters or slip and hurt yourself.

You don’t even need an expensive pair. I got mine from Decathlon for only £44.99 and they’ve lasted me years and years with barely a scratch!

They don’t sell my specific hiking boots anymore but this pair have all the same features and are similarly priced.

They’re super comfy, waterproof and most importantly have good grip for scrambling over rocks. They also have great ankle support which prevents against injury.

View of Mel and Joe's hiking boots in front of a lake at Snowdonia National Park

2) Hiking socks

Along with a decent pair of hiking boots, I recommend you wear a proper pair of hiking socks to go with them.

I’ve worn both regular socks and ‘hiking specific’ socks to climb Snowdon and the hiking socks surprisingly do make a difference!

With regular socks, you’ll experience more friction on the inside of the boot as you’re climbing. But hiking socks are specifically designed to protect your feet from friction and decrease your chances of getting blisters. As well as keep your feet dry and cool with more breathable and comfortable material.

I love these hiking socks as they have cute colourful stripes on them, but honestly any will do! Amazon do great deals with three pairs for under a tenner too.

Mel smiling and leaning against the monument marking the summit of Snowdon

3) the snowdon walks app

Snowdon is surprisingly easy to navigate and the routes all have markers to ensure you stay on the path. You’ll also find that the routes get busy, especially at weekends so there’s always someone in front of you leading the way!

However, if you’re climbing at a less busy time of year or planning to do a sunrise or sunset climb, it’s a good idea to download a GPS-enabled app that works offline.

The Snowdon Walks App has been designed by the Snowdonia National Park Authority and their ground management and covers six main paths to the summit with detailed route maps that track your progress.

And with little to no phone signal on the way up to the summit, this handy app will ensure you feel safe at all times on the mountain. Especially if this is your first time climbing Snowdon!

Screenshots of the Snowdon Walks App

4) Lightweight, waterproof jacket

Ah, the unpredictable British weather. Well friends, times that unpredictability factor by 10 when you’re climbing Snowdon!

The mountain strangely seems to create its own weather and this is likely to change throughout the day too! 

You don’t need to pack a big coat or anything (unless you’re climbing in winter). You can buy a simple lightweight, waterproof jacket that can easily be rolled up into your backpack until you need it.

If you take just one thing away from this ultimate kit list, it’s this! Preparing for all weather inevitabilities will increase your chances of reaching the top.

Mel and Joe smiling at the summit of Snowdon wearing waterproof jackets, backpacks and bobble hats

5) Lightweight, waterproof backpack

I can’t tell you how handy it has been having a waterproof backpack for hiking!

Especially with the weather being so unpredictable here in the UK, it just makes sense to pay a little extra to ensure all your valuables stay dry.  

But don’t worry – similarly with your waterproof jacket, you don’t need to spend a fortune. I have the older version of this Osprey Waterproof Hikelite Backpack and despite the price tag, it’s lasted me over 10 years!

It has an integrated rain cover and internal hydration sleeve which accommodates up to three litres of water. It also has a trekking pole attachment and smaller, scratch resistant pockets for smaller items.

But what I love most about this backpack is how comfortable and cool it is (literally!). It has a ventilated Airspeed back panel and straps so it prevents you from getting the dreaded backpack sweat that we all know and hate after wearing a backpack for several hours!

Mel sitting on a rock looking back at the camera wearing a pink waterproof jacket, blue bobble hat and green backpack with foggy hills in the background at the end of the Miners' Track at Snowdon.

6) Water-resistant sports leggings / hiking trousers

Having the right trousers when climbing Snowdon is essential. You need to be protected against all weather as well as be comfortable.

My personal preference when hiking (especially in warmer months) is to wear water-resistant sports leggings and pack a pair of cheap waterproof overtrousers to put over the top of them for if it rains. Overtrousers are literally just an outer waterproof layer so don’t take up much space in your backpack.

However, if you’re hiking in colder months, I would recommend these Tofern fleece-lined waterproof trousers. They’re specifically designed for hiking in colder weather with a fleece lining and are waterproof and windproof.

Personally, I just like having the movement and breathability that sports leggings provide. Even in colder months, I get really hot when I go hiking so prefer to wear sports leggings but with the insurance of having overtrousers with me if the weather turns or I get cold.

However, this is all down to personal preference, so make sure to choose the right option for you!

Mel smiling at the top of Snowdon, stood on some rocks with the hills and blue sky behind her.

7) NYLON/ polyester t-shirt

If you’ve ever done a race for charity, you’ll know that the nylon and polyester t-shirts they provide for race day are super comfy!

Nylon and polyester are durable, have low-moisture absorbency and are quick to dry – which makes them excellent for hiking!

My one tip in the t-shirt department is to avoid cotton t-shirts! Cotton isn’t a great fabric for hiking. Not only does it absorb moisture, it traps it against your skin, making you feel damp and hot as you sweat. This can also cause rubbing which gets super uncomfortable the longer you hike.

I always recycle my race day t-shirts for hiking (thanks WWF!) but you can get a pack of three on Amazon for only £25.

Mel stood by the Llanberis Path's stone marker whilst climbing Snowdon in the dark with a head torch on
Climbing Snowdon for sunrise in my recycled WWF race day t-shirt

8) warm layers

I’ve climbed Snowdon mainly during summer and early autumn so was blessed with excellent weather conditions. However, no matter the weather, it gets colder the higher the altitude so make sure to pack layers.

In the past I have packed my waterproof jacket as well as a spare jumper for if I get cold. Which works great!

However, last year when I climbed Snowdon I bought my first mid-layer fleece jacket with a hoodie and it made such a big difference!

I absolutely love this cute TOG 24 fleece jacket, which comes in lots of different colours.

They’re super cosy and lightweight, making them the perfect mid-layer between your t-shirt and waterproof jacket. Or as an outer layer over your t-shirt if it’s just getting a little nippy in the warmer months.

Close up image of Mel smiling from the top of Snowdon after reaching the top of the mountain wearing a David Bowie Style jumper.

9) Hats for all weather

It doesn’t matter what time of year you climb Snowdon, I recommend you pack a hat for every type weather – are you spotting the theme here yet? 😉

If it’s a hot and sunny day, you’ll need a baseball cap to keep the sun out of your eyes and your head protected.

Any will do, but I always end up losing mine on holidays so I just buy these cheap and cheerful ones from Amazon! They’re really affordable (which means it doesn’t matter how many I lose!) and come in lots of different colours.

On a colder day you’ll need to keep warm with a bobble hat or beanie. You’ll likely already have your go-to winter hat but if you need recommendations, I personally love these cosy ECOMBOS winter bobble hats, which I’m wearing in the picture below.

If you’re climbing Snowdon for sunrise (even in the summer), you’ll need a bobble hat because it’s really chilly, even as the sun comes up.

Mel looking back on the Miner's track at sunrise walking over a path going over a lake at Snowdonia National Park

10) Spare clothes to change into

Having a spare pair of clothes to change into at the end of the day isn’t essential but will make you feel so much more comfortable on the way home.

Especially if you’ve been caught out in a rain storm or are super sweaty and don’t want to sit in dirty clothes all the way back.  

Keep a separate bag in your car with spare clothes and snacks and it’ll save you carrying it.   

Mel sat with her back to the camera looking out over a lake in Snowdonia National Park

11) Gloves with grips

No matter what route you take to reach the top of Snowdon, there are parts on every track where you will need to manoeuvre over rocks.

At times you need to scramble over big boulders and loose rocks so having gloves with a bit of grip will help you past these obstacles and protect your hands.  

You don’t need an expensive pair, I just have a cheap pair from Amazon that do the job.

Mel scrambling over rocks whilst climbing snowdon
Scrambling over rocks on the Pyg Track

12) Water and water bottles

This seems like a no-brainer! But it’s so easy to get dehydrated when you’re hiking. Especially if you’re hiking in the cold and not sweating a lot.

It’s estimated that we lose around 25% of our strength when we lose a pint of water in our systems. And friends, you need to keep that strength up to make sure you get to the top of Snowdon!  

The great thing about Snowdon is that there are plenty of fresh water streams dotted around the trail. So take a spare bottle and fill up with water as you hike up.

It’s always good to carry a little extra water too just in case. Some streams run dry if it has been a particularly hot summer, so don’t get caught out.

Also ensure you drink enough water in the morning before you set off and carry an extra bottle of water to keep you going before you hit the first stream.

I have one of these bottles as they’re lightweight, leak-proof and BPA-free, which are perfect for hiking! I also use it at home to make sure I’m drinking enough water whilst I’m working.

The bottles have handy time markings on them to show you how much water you should be drinking by which time.

These hydration bladders are also great for hiking. They’re BPA-free, leak-proof and compact with an on/ off valve that makes drinking on the go really easy.

Landscape view from the top of Snowdon with green hills, lakes and clouds.

13) Mini first aid kit

It might seem a little much to take a first aid kit on a hike but by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail, so make sure you carry one just in case!

Anything could happen whilst you’re climbing Snowdon, she’s a wee beast!

You don’t need to take a big hefty first aid box in your backpack by any stretch. But taking a little first aid pouch with essential items like: paracetamol, blister plasters, bug spray and antiseptic wipes will give you some peace of mind in case anything were to happen.  

I bought this £3 first aid pouch to go backpacking with and I still take it on every hike.

I also SWEAR by these Compeed blister plasters. Unlike regular plasters, they are made from a special skin-like material and they just don’t move once you’ve put them over your blisters. It’s like you don’t have a blister at all!

I’ve finished marathons with a tonne of blisters using these plasters and they’re lifesavers for hiking!

Mel sat on a high rock and grass mound with a lake behind her

14) portable charger

You’re about to embark on an epic journey to the top of Snowdon, trust me, you’ll be taking a looooot of photos!

And if you’re a sucker for a view like me, I guarantee you will be stopping every five minutes as the trail changes round every corner. With this in mind, packing a portable phone charger is essential!

This VEGER Mini Portable Charger is amazing! One of my pet peeves with a lot of portable chargers is that they’re bulky and awkward to use.

But the VEGER chargers are really compact, super lightweight and have their own built-in lightening plug so you don’t need to remember a cable.

Mel smiling taking a selfie at the start of the Pyg Track with rocks and grass behind her

15) High-carb packed lunch and snacks

It’ll take you a few hours to climb Snowdon so make sure to pack a carb-rich lunch and lots of snacks to keep your energy levels up.

Start with a slow-energy release breakfast like porridge with oat milk, banana and some nut butter for protein. 

For lunch, pack another carb-rich meal such as pasta, fruit and some energy bars. My favourite vegan protein bars are by Graze and Deliciously Ella but any are fine. Or you can even make your own if you prefer!

As a general rule I would suggest taking breaks little and often. It’s far better than taking a long lunch which makes the latter half of the climb feel like it’s dragging. You’ll be full of food and will get comfy being sat down for too long.  

Spreading out your water and food breaks throughout the day will also help keep your energy levels steady.  

Mel sat down on the rocks before the final push to the summit eating crisps cross legged

16) Spare cash

Cash is still King in parts of rural Wales. Even during the pandemic, the bus and taxi drivers I came across didn’t take card.

So put £20 in cash in your backpack just in case you need to take any public transport or want something from the shop after you’ve finished.  

Railway tracks at the top of Snowdon with a lone climber and clouds in the background.

17) A positive mindset!

The last and final thing you will need for climbing Snowdon is a positive mindset! 

Yes, it’s challenging, yes, it’s tiring…yes you may think you can’t do it at several points during the climb. But embrace all those highs and lows because it’s all about the journey (don’t vom it’s true!).

And there is no greater feeling than sitting your knackered bum on the edge of that peak and enjoying that breath-taking view.

I believe in you! 😉

Mel reaching her arms up wearing a pink waterproof jacket at the summit of Snowdon at sunrise

Climbing Snowdon shopping list:

  1. Hiking boots
  2. Hiking socks
  3. Snowdon Walks App
  4. Lightweight, waterproof jacket
  5. Osprey Waterproof Hikelite Backpack
  6. Water-resistant sports leggings and waterproof over trousers OR fleece-lined waterproof trousers (for colder weather)
  7. Nylon/ polyester t-shirt
  8. Mid-layer fleece jacket
  9. Baseball cap and bobble hat
  10. Spare clothes to change into
  11. Gloves with grip
  12. Reusable water bottle or hydration bladder
  13. First aid pouch with Compeed blister plasters
  14. Mini portable charger
  15. High-carb packed lunch and protein bar snacks (Graze and Deliciously Ella are my faves!)
  16. Spare cash
  17. A positive mindset!

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Best of luck climbing Snowdon my loves! Don’t forget to come back and share your experience in the comments below! 😄

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