top of page

Why YTO insists on mandatory kit

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

An important part of staying safe and happy while hiking, is carrying the right kit. You may be scrambling up a mountain in the Lakes or on a riverside walk in North Yorkshire, wherever you are, you still need to carry the mandatory kit we specify. This includes waterproofs, extra layers, gloves and a warm hat, snacks, a survival blanket or bag, a basic first aid kit, hydration and a head torch with spare batteries.

The YTO leaders spend a lot of time planning our routes so that they are as safe as we can make them, but sometimes the unexpected happens. Usually, it's something minor, like a herd of cows where they weren't before, a path that has become overgrown or inclement weather.

However, it may be a member of the group falling ill or having an accident and in those circumstances we have to make decisions that mean the rest of the group will be out on the hill or moor for much longer than expected.

We, of course, hope that all our walks will go to plan, but if they don't, you'll be glad of the reassurance, safety and comfort of having a rucksack full of kit.

So, why have we picked these 'must-haves'?

A head torch is vital if we're awaiting rescue for someone who has a badly twisted ankle, and we eventually have to hike back to the cars in the dark.

Warm layers are essential for popping on at a summit or on a lunch break, once you're really cold, it's hard to get warm.

Similarly, always bring waterproofs, both a jacket and trousers, the weather forecast or warm sunshine at the beginning of a walk can both lie. Waterproofs are also a great warm and windproof layer.

A survival blanket or bag? Really? Yep! They are for emergencies, but one day it could provide life-saving warmth, act as a protective barrier between you and the ground, become a bright beacon for a rescue helicopter or double up as a robust stretcher. They are also lightweight, affordable and will take up very little room in your bag.

Food is fuel, bring high energy snacks you enjoy, especially on long hikes. Hydration is even more important, and on hot days it's absolutely essential. Ask your leader if you're ensure how much water to bring on your chosen walk.

Spare gloves and a hat are warming winter must-haves, especially if it's raining. In summer a protective sunhat and sun cream will help prevent heat-stroke and crispy skin.

Your leader will carry a comprehensive first aid kit, but it's helpful if all our members carry the basics including blister plasters, plasters, pain relief (we can't give it to you) and antiseptic wipes. You MUST carry any personal medication such as inhalers or epi-pens and let your leader know where they are in your bag.

381 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page