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What to Wear and Carry to Safely Walk up Snowdon

By Dave Roberts   

Published – November 11, 2018

  4.91/5 (11)

What to Wear and Carry to Safely Walk up Snowdon

If you plan on walking up Snowdon, you’ll need the right clothing and the proper equipment. You need to be suitably dressed for the weather that is likely to be experienced at the summit not just at the car park! That doesn’t mean you have to wear your waterproofs in the sunshine, like many still do walking up Snowdon.

What should I wear to climb Snowdon?

Clothing for Snowdon

Overheating can be a serious problem in the summer, as hypothermia can be in Winter. You need to make sure that you are wearing non-cotton trousers and tops. Jeans and similar heavy cotton garments are a big no-no as they do not cope well if they become wet.

Modern synthetic garments dry quickly and don’t keep sweat trapped like cotton. Merino wool is even better, if you can afford it! A decent fleece, jumper, or synthetic/down insulated jacket should be carried to wear if it gets cooler or when you stop.

Waterproofs For Snowdon

On top of all this, you’ll need a decent waterproof jacket and leggings.  Another item I find invaluable is a thin windproof smock. This weighs barely anything, and is often all you need in summer over a t-shirt to cut out the cooling wind. If you wear your waterproof as a windproof, then you’ll more likely than not end up getting damp from sweat as breathable fabrics are not 100% breathable. To top it off, a pair of thin gloves and a hat may even be needed in summer.

What Rucksack do you need for your Snowdon Walk?

Additionally you’ll need a rucksack large enough to hold all the spare clothes and equipment. Make sure there’s plenty of space in there to stow away your jacket and fleece if needed. You’ll find yourself taking most of the layers off on the ascent when you’re working out and warmer. You’ll end up putting them on at the summit and probably wear them on the walk down. A rucksack with a capacity of around 20-35 litres should be fine.

What should I wear on my Feet for walking up Snowdon?

On your feet, walking boots are the standard item of gear but some find these heavy in the summer and wear trail shoes. However, it is recommended that you wear walking boots that you’re comfortable with and that you’ve worn a few times already. Half way up Snowdon is no time to discover that those shiny new boots come with free blisters. Fabric boots are ideal for summer, as they’re cooler. Remember that boots with a waterproof liner will also be warmer, but we find this lining essential in a walking boot these days.

Trainers are not suitable.

Walking Socks shouldn’t be an afterthought either. You need decent walking socks, and we find that we only ever need thick socks in full on winter conditions. Medium or lightweight summer hiking socks are perfect for summer conditions. We recommend the Men’s Bridgedale Woolfusion Trail Ultra and Women’s Bridgedale Woolfusion Trail Ultra

What to Wear and Carry for climbing Snowdon in summer Conditions

Even if it’s warm at the start, you’ll usually need some extra clothing. You’ll need some protective clothing whatever the weather, be it waterproofs for rain or a hat for strong sunlight.

(We’ll be linking each item to a recommended purchase for your convenience in the near future.)

  • Base layer/t-shirt
  • Walking trousers
  • Fleece or down jacket
  • Windproof smock
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Warm hat
  • Warm gloves
  • Mid weight walking socks
  • Walking boots
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Rucksack
  • Rucksack liner
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Sun Hat
  • Personal First aid
  • Torch
  • Whistle
  • Survival bag
  • Spare High Calorie Food
  • Water
  • Map
  • Compass

Of course you’ll be needing more than just your map and compass, you’ll need to know how to use them! Brush up on your navigation here.

What to wear Climbing Snowdon in the Autumn and Spring

Those climbing Snowdon during the awkward months of April, September and October may find themselves experiencing summer-like conditions or winter like conditions. You’ll need to ensure you’ve got a few extra layers to put on and you may well need gloves and a decent warm hat.

One thing you need to be certain of is that there isn’t one list of gear that will suit every eventuality. You may well need gloves during what’s traditionally known as summer – with Snowdon known for foul weather even in June, July and August. Just make sure you check the Snowdon Weather Forecast before you go!

What To Wear Climbing Snowdon in Winter

This can be walking up any time there’s snow – so you’re looking generally at October, November, January, February and March – but the months either side of this can still mean snow.

The full summer kit list and these additional items –

  • Winter walking trousers
  • Spare gloves
  • Warm Walking socks
  • Dry bags
  • Head torch + Lithium batteries
  • Thermos flask
  • Snow goggles
  • Balaclava
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons

And of course knowing how to use the items is essential!

What Should I Eat and Drink for my Snowdon Walk?

During your walk up Snowdon  you’ll need plenty of food and water. Chocolate gives a good quick energy boost, but a proper packed lunch with fruit provides a more balanced nutrition. In hot weather, excessive sweating may mean you need to replace salt, with a good isotonic drink helping you replace this.

You’ll need to take at least 2 litres of water to be safe, definitely more if it’s exceptionally hot. Water or diluted fruit juice are good to keep your thirst quenched and contain natural fruit sugars, unlike many fizzy drinks. In cooler weather, a flask is always welcome at lunch stops.

In an emergency, stream water is usually drinkable if it’s fast-running over stony beds, but on Snowdon this isn’t recommended. Take some water purifying tablets and some concentrated flavouring for water as it makes the water taste disgusting!

How Many Calories Will I Burn Walking up Snowdon?

Absolutely loads. I burnt around 3000 on a recent walk – but this will vary from person to person.

If you’re on a diet for your weight then forget it on the mountain, you’ll burn off so many calories during the walk that you’ll generally not need to worry. You should be more concerned about getting enough calories as you can burn an extra few thousand calories walking up and down Snowdon.

If you want more tips, visit our sister site Mud and Routes for loads of product reviews and how to use your kit in the skills and tips section.



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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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