Make sure your day goes well by planning ahead; weather, experience, route & kit etc



The first step to a successful day in the hills is to do some planning. The level of planning required depends on lots of factors, including; weather forecast, experience, the intended route. Plan for the best; taking the right kit, food, and know your limits.

Plan also for a situation whereby something may not go to plan, and in the worst case you need to be rescued. That may sound excessive, but some basic information left with someone, containing basic details of your route and fellow walkers, can reduce the time take for emergency services to deal with a situation, should on arise. No one intends to be rescued, but it happens. Be prepared.


Planning Considerations


The weather

Know the weather forecast for the locality that you’re visiting, including sunrise & sunset times

Experience & limits

What is the level of experience & fitness for everyone on the walk? Does anyone need any particular help with food & kit choice?


Food & drink

Given the intended route, how much food & drink to I need for the day?



Do I possess the appropriate kit for the intended walk? Can I keep warm and dry? Do others that I’m going with have the right kit? Do we have a storm shelter, should conditions deteriorate or have an emergency situation?


The route

What is the intended route? Is it suitable for me and others in the group? What are the escape routes? How high are we going? How long will it take? What is the magnetic variation and are there any magnetic anomalies?



If cold weather is forecast, are there any particularly steep parts to the walk that would require additional winter kit, i.e. crampons & ice axe? What is the experience of the group in that kind of situation?



What do we do in an emergency?  Do we have some emergency kit? Who is your Emergency Point of Contact (EPOC)? Do they have a copy of the intended route? Do they know what to do if an emergency? Are they 'trained' sufficiently?