Kit required for mountaineering with Tom
What you need for summer mountaineering in the UK, days out on scrambling in Snowdonia, or long days on Skye's Cuillin Ridge. Get in touch if you are unsure what to bring, I am always happy to advise. Also, if you don't have any of the stuff listed let me know and I might be able to lend you stuff.
Remember light is right, and you will be carrying everything you bring all day. Try not to weigh yourself down with additional kit.
Don't pay too much attention to the suggested models, they are just recommendations if you are considering buying your own gear.
I normally wear the following:
For scrambling and mountaineering you can get away with traditional walking boots, but stiff scrambling boots hold an edge much better on technical terrain. Something like the Boreal Brenta, La Sportiva Trango Tower, or Scarpa Ribelle Lite HD. Fit is key here, and it is worth going to a specialist independent climbing shop to get them fitted. If you often get blisters I would recommend taping the rub point (with K tape) prophylactically.
Socks - I wear one thick sock made from 100% Merino Wool. Smartwool Mountaineering Extra Heavy are my favourite.
Short gaiters (Optional) - Good for keeping stones out of you boots, and your feet dry in boggy ground. I like Black Diamond Talus Gaiters.
Wicking boxers or underpants. Patagonia Capilene are my favourites.
Softshell Trousers - Stretchy, wind resistant trousers that keep out most of the weather, ideally in a light colour so they don't get too hot. I like Alpkit Ardent and Arc'teryx Gamma LT
Waterproof Over-trousers. A lightweight pair with side zips so you can put them on without taking off your boots. Alpkit Nautilus are great.
Baselayer Tee shirt - Alpkit Vayper is great
Thin Fleece ideally with a hood and thumb loops - The Alpkit Griffon is excellent, and great value too. A Patagonia R1 hoody is the Rolls Royce option here.
Windproof mid layer jacket - Something like Alpkit Morphosis jacket works well.
Waterproof Jacket. Get a light weight one, like an Alpkit Balance Jacket. Make sure the hood is big enough to go over your helmet.
Lightweight belay jacket, or an Insulated mid layer jacket or vest - Alpkit Katabatic Jacket or Patagonia Nano Air Jacket/Vest.
Cap or sun hat (optional)
Sunglasses (optional) you'll wear them more often than you think!
Small tube of sun cream (factor 30 or 50).
Leather gardening gloves - these are great for rope work, and protect your hands from rough rock. They're cheap too. It's worth getting two pairs as they're often not super well made, and can take a while to dry out. It's also worth punching a small hole in the cuff and tying a short loop of cord through, so you can easily clip them to your climbing harness.
Mitts (optional) - If the forecast is grim, or it is late in the year a lightweight pair of mitts is worth having as a backup. Buffalo Mitts are brilliant (most adults will be size XL unless you have tiny hands).
Harness - A simple model with four gear loops, and fixed legs loops works well for the vast majority of climbing. I'm using the Edelrid Ace currently, and really rate it. The Ocun Neon is also great, and a little cheaper. If you have no interest in rock climbing you could get a lighter more specialised model like the Petzl Tour, but it is much less comfortable for hanging in.
Helmet - A modern, lightweight model like the Edelrid Salathe or Petzl Meteor is the best option.
Belay Plate - A DMM Mantis paired with a DMM Rhino karabiners would get my vote.
Two extra screwgate karabiners - for attaching yourself at belays. I like the DMM Phantom HMS.
Two extra snapgate karabiners - for clipping things like your gloves, windproof top and trainers to your harness. Any will do, but DMM Spectre 2s are my favourite.
Rock shoes - A comfy pair like Boreal Jokers are perfect.
Rucksack - 30 to 40 litres should be plenty. A simple climbing sack like the Alpkit Orion 40 is much better, and easier to to pack than complicated hill walking bags with airflow back systems. I like to larks foot a 60cm sling through the bag's haul loop and clip a krab through it, which allows me clip the bag in at belays (or to myself if taking it off in an exposed place)
Rucksack liner - A heavy duty rubble liner from a hardwear shop keeps out the worst of the weather.
Walking poles (optional) - worth having for those knee busting descents. Alpkit Carbon Marathon Ultras are superb. Make sure they have snow baskets.
Headtorch - always worth having, just in case. Alpkit Gamma III is brilliant.
Drink - Make sure you start the day well hydrated. I always try and drink a litre on the drive in the morning. Normally I will carry no more than one litre - a wide mouth Nalgene bottle is perfect for this. On really long days like a Cuillin Ridge Traverse I might carry 3 litres of water, two of which will be in collapsable bottles such as the one litre Platypus soft bottles.
Drinking straw - A short length of plastic tubing is handy for syphoning water.
Food - I normally bring a sandwich (bagels are good as they don't fall apart in your sack), a couple of bars, an apple, and some sweets/nuts/dried fruit.
Map and Compass (optional)
Camera (optional) - Keep it around your neck on a thin loop of cord so you can't drop it.
Endeavours like the Cuillin Ridge Traverse often require an overnight bivouac. It's a good idea to keep bivi gear to a minimum as climbing and scrambling with a heavy pack is much harder.
Sleeping Bag - You don't need a warm one, especially if you are bringing a belay jacket. Something filled with 200-300g of good quality goose down is more than adequate. The total weight of your sleeping bag should be no more than 1kg.
Sleeping Matt - The Thermarest Neoair Xlite is super comfy, super light, and packs down small. Sadly it'll make your wallet lighter too. If you are on a budget, a cut down foam pad also works well - you can use your empty rucksack to keep your feet warm.
Bivi bag - Alpkit Hunka is a good balance between weight and weatherproofness.
Spare socks - can double up as mitts if your hands get cold
I will be carrying group safety equipment: first aid kit, bothy bag, and abseil tat. There is no need to double up on these, so please don't bring them.
I am always happy to chat about your climbing aims and aspirations, or just climbing in general.