I’ve written about what we got up to in Snowdonia and the gear we used in quite a few posts, but there are still a few more pieces of essential hiking gear that I found so useful I wanted to tell you all about. These are five items that I will not be climbing a mountain without. They are essential because each in their own way, they keep you safe. You can’t put a price on this and they are must buys.
Condor 2.5L Hydration Bladder from Military 1st
One of my favourite purchases for a trekking trip has to be the Condor 2.5L Hydration Bladder from Military 1st. The colour is Olive Drab which gives the bladder this “forces” kind of look, this is pretty cool as it definitely looks the business. It really was so useful to take on each trek up the mountains as it has a 2.5 litre capacity, which meant I had surplus amounts of water each day. It’s always better to take more water than not enough, so returning with extra water is a good sign. My hiking bag has a hook inside the main compartment (like most good hiking bags), so therefore I was able to attach the bladder to the bag by its hanger slots, to keep it secure whilst I scrambled up the peaks. This was also brilliant for hanging it up to dry after each use.
The bladder has a tube (115cm in length) which I easily fed through the side of my bag. This made hiking so much easier as I didn’t need to keep reaching inside my bag for a bottle. I could just simply grab the tube and because it has a large bite valve with a lid and a very simple to use shut-off switch, it ensured no water was spilt each time I had a drink- a really great design and so easy to use. At the end of each day, I just unhooked it from my bag, undid the large screw top cap and was able to clean the inside effectively. Plus due to its carry handle, it was easy to carry back and forth to my room. I don’t know what I would have done without the bladder to be honest. A gadget you most definitely need on your next trip!
Hydroflask 21oz Standard Mouth
One of the best parts of scrambling and hiking up a mountain is that when you reach the summit, there is this amazing sense of achievement. Each climb we did proved challenging and once we reached the top, it was time to reward ourselves with a picnic and a cup of well earned tea. To save carrying a stove, kettle, milk and teabags in our hiking bags, we made our tea every morning in our 21oz Standard Mouth flask by Hydroflask. What a great addition to our trekking supplies. It really is perfect for taking on this type of adventure as its slim and can fit neatly inside the bag and isn’t heavy either.
The cap has a handy loop, which makes it easy to carry and could even be attached to a karibener clip. The flask is made from stainless steel which made sure our tea remained hot (for up to 6 hours). Apparently it even keeps drinks cold for up to 24hours, so this will be the perfect companion for our summer trip back to the mountains. The outside of this particular model is powder-coated which makes it non slip and having their special coating means we never burnt our hands! When we arrived at the summit on our first day, we sat down on the rocks, proud of our achievement and poured ourselves a steaming hot cuppa from this fantastic gadget.
Gelert Map Case
As the weather was predicted to be rainy over the four days, I decided we needed to get a map case to keep our map dry and readable in all conditions, so I bought the Gelert Map Case. Wow! What a simplistic but awesome gadget to have. I can’t believe I’ve never bought one before. Each morning we either popped the route book inside (which fit perfectly when the pages were open) or folded our ordinance survey map so our route was visible, then slid this inside the case. The case is transparent on both sides, which was perfect for our map reading when trying to navigate our way. It kept both the map and book very flat and prevented any bends, folds or creases. The case worked brilliantly when we placed our Deluxe Map Compass on top, as the PVC material stopped the compass from sliding around. There is also a cord which is worn around the neck, so our hands were kept free whilst walking and which made sure we didn’t need to keep stopping to get the map out of our bags. A truly fantastic gadget for all types of hiking, I would definitely recommend getting one, especially if you’re hiking in mountainous or rainy areas!
Deluxe Map Compass
The well made Deluxe Map Compass by Whitby & Co proved to be an absolute essential gadget during our time in Snowdonia. It does come with a cord you can attach so you are able to carry it around your neck if needs be. However, as my girlfriend carried this in the small pocket in her hiking bag, we detached this easily. The compass itself is liquid filled and has a swivel bezel, making it work smoothly whenever we needed to orientate ourselves. The clear base plate is extended, therefore made it very easy for map reading – just lay it flat on top of the map and away you go! There are even multiple measurement scales which helped us plan our routes really effectively. My girlfriend did a lot of the navigation (this could have ended very badly) during our hikes as she was practising her skills. I was very glad she had such a good compass to guide us. This nifty gadget helped our trip go very smoothly and always in the right direction.
Watertight Survival Kit 1.0
The one thing I was a bit worried about was getting stuck somewhere on the top of one of the mountains, especially as a couple of our planned routes were a lot less trodden than Snowdon itself. So I decided it was absolutely essential to get myself a watertight survival kit. There are so many types on the market and it was pretty difficult to choose. But after some extensive researching online, I found this one which seemed perfect for our trip. When it arrived in the post, I felt much more at ease. The case is actually water tight which was great as the whole trip was forecast with rain. It is super lightweight and took up very little space inside one of the compartments in my bag.
- 4″ light stick- In case we got lost in the dark, this could be seen easily by anyone nearby
- A survival towel- I have no idea how it was squeezed into the case, but knowing this was inside made me less nervous about trekking in what could be super treacherous conditions.
- Survival reflective blanket- Again this would keep us seen and also super warm.
- Button compass- Just brilliant to use with our ordnance survey map.
We luckily didn’t need to get it out during our trip, however just having it in my bag gave me peace of mind. Some people may think I was being overly cautious carrying this. I think that it’s better to be over prepared as conditions can change dramatically in a short time on a mountain-I would rather stay safe in any emergency!