Equipment needed for hiking up Snowdon

Although Snowdon attracts roughly 1 million visitors a year, whichever the route, care should always be taken when attempting to walk, hike or scramble up Wales’ highest peak. There are 7 main routes to the top of Snowdon – from the winding Llanberis Path to the more extreme route over Crib Goch and, before you set off along any route, you should ensure you have the correct equipment to help make your adventure as safe and pleasant as possible. If in doubt about any equipment to take on a walk up Snowdon, it is always better to take it and not need it than to need it and not have taken it.

Walking Equipment

Basic kit for hiking up Snowdon

When attempting any mountain, you should always ensure that you have a basic kit consisting of:

Essential kit

  • Strong, comfortable walking boots
  • Spare laces
  • Plenty of water
  • Sufficient food (the café’s aren’t always open)
  • Clothing suitable for the weather
  • First aid kit
  • Survival blanket
  • A bar of chocolate
  • Rucksack to put everything in

Useful to take but not essential

  • Walking pole
  • Map
  • Compass

With this equipment, you should be prepared for most situations, however, walking up Snowdon without the correct equipment in extreme weather can be very dangerous and can result in serious injury and even, in some cases, death. This is why, in addition to the kit mentioned above, additional equipment is needed either on very sunny or very cold days.

Special equipment for summer walks

Although the summit can be as much as 10°C cooler than ground level, walking up Snowdon will leave you exposed to the elements for quite a few hours without shade. In addition to this, the wind can make the temperature feel much cooler than it actually is. This is why, in addition to the basic kit mentioned above, it is important to take with you:

  • Sun cream / sun block
  • Additional water
  • Hat / other head shade

When it’s warm and sunny on Snowdon, you should make sure you take this kit to avoid dehydration and sun burn.

Summer Hiking Equipment
Winter Hiking Equipment

Winter equipment

The name Snowdon comes from the Saxon “Snow Dun” meaning “Snow Hill” and the mountain certainly lives up to its name in the winter months. Hiking up Snowdon in snow or ice can be very dangerous if you’re not an experienced winter walker or you don’t have the correct equipment with you. In addition to your basic kit, you will need to take:

  • Crampons
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Hand wamrers
  • Very warm clothes
  • Sufficient water
  • Plenty of food
  • Ice axe

Sir Edmund Hillary and his team used the snowy slopes of Snowdon to train for his ascent of Everest and for good reason. Although a lot of the paths might be familiar and seem safe, as you ascend, the cloud and snow can be very disorientating and what is a pleasant walk in the summer can turn into a treacherous one in snow so, before you set off, make you check the weather and ensure you have the correct equipment.

Now that you know what equipment to take with you on your walk, read our article about how best to pack your rucksack to ensure you’re as safe and comfortable as possible.