Kit list

Kit list

Having a kit list will save time and keep you safe

Kit list 

Kit List

It might seem a bit far fetched to claim that having a kit list will keep you safe. To put it another way, having a kit list will make it less likely for you to forget an important piece of kit.

To decide what to take on a walk, you need to factor in the route, weather, group size etc. A few days before you go, write down the things you need to take with you, and at various times before packing take another look at the list and review it for completeness, or extraneous items to be deleted. When you come to gather your gear and pack you should tick items off the list to confirm that you have them.

Stick a title on the list and keep it for future reference, and before too long you’ll have lists for different weather conditions, group or solo, remoteness and whether wild camping.  Once you’ve done this a few times you can probably omit writing the list, but visually check back what you’ve packed.  Doing this is invaluable to avoid forgetting the obvious, such as walking socks or boots, and ensure that you consider packing items more specific to the likely weather conditions, such as sun cream or goggles.



In 2009 five of us were celebrating our ten years since first completing the Three Peaks Challenge... by doing it again. One of the guys, Mud as he’s called, is a joker but can always draw people in with his serious looks and stories before people realise they’ve been had.  Instead of drive in one leg from the Midlands to Fort William, we decided to stop at a hotel in Carlisle for the evening.  All five of us were in a Vauxhall Insignia, it was cramped and the boot was rammed with gear.  At Carlisle we took out what was required for the evening, which seemed to involve pretty much removing everything from the boot.  Mud stayed at the car after we’d gone to check in, and he entered reception with a concerned look on his face.  “Here it comes”, I thought... Mud told us that his walking boots were not in the boot of the car. Naturally, we thought he was trying to pull our legs, but by the time we got to the bar he’d convinced us that he had in fact forgotten his boots, and a call to home had confirmed they were in the kitchen. Luckily, he saw the positive side – stating that he needed a new pair anyway. The next day we stopped at Blacks in Glasgow, where he bought a new pair of boots.  (Luckily, they had his size, he had his credit card and could afford a new pair.)

Mud did not use a kit list!  (Incidentally, a walk up Ben Nevis is not the ideal terrain on which to break-in a new pair of boots!)

Additional Info

A parallel between a kit list as described, and checklists from elsewhere can be drawn. The following is a medical example, which demonstrates the effectiveness of checklists.

In a recent medical simulation, operating room teams ran simulations on medical crises. When checklists were used, 6% of steps were missed, but when no checklists were available, 23% of steps were missed. Read the full article here