The Yorkshire 3 Peaks equipment and gear guide

Image of trekkers

Yorkshire 3 Peaks equipment

Let’s start from the feet and work our way up…

Feet – dry, powdered with walking foot powder (not talc as it clumps) and a pair of quality wool or merino type walking socks, don’t skimp on the socks they are arguably the most important bit and carry a spare pair in a waterproof bag in your pack, it is a great feeling to swap socks when the feet are tired half way around the route.
Footwear – Most wear walking “trainers” such as Innov8, Salomon, Merrell etc others prefer to wear walking boots, much depends on the weather and speed in which you plan to complete the route. For those who like comfort, a solid walking boot that has ankle support with Vibram soles are ideal as much of the route is on rocky/stony trail with very little soft underfoot. You should have them “worn in” and not brand new. Take spare laces (just in case)
Lightweight walking trousers (for walking between May – Sept) we do not suggest shorts although that is personal choice. If you do wear shorts have a pair of trousers available should the weather turn cold and wet or even too hot. We see many people on the Y3P with sunburn due to the damaging effects of the suns UV despite the clouds masking the sun – ensure that you have protection from the weather.

Trekking poles – are a great addition to your equipment list.  Don’t bother bringing a pair unless you are competent in using them or you may end up carrying them without use. Poles are brilliant for enhancing performance and reducing the impact of steep downhills and aiding the reduction of knee pain. You should practice using your poles prior to attempting the Y3P. Walking pole brands popular with trekkers are Black Diamond and Leki although a cheap unbranded pair are often good enough for most people (ensure that they are shock absorbing)

Underwear – often ignored by many who then suffer the effects of chaffing etc, underwear that is merino or wool based is often the most comfy especially when it gets wet due to poor weather. Sports bra’s and clothing that is loose and comfortable when worn for prolonged periods of exercise. Find underwear that works for you.

Base layer (i.e. worn next to the skin) Merino is good, however there are many sports fabrics out there now that have claims of “wicking” (removing moisture).  Wear base layer that has full arm coverage. If it is hot (or cold) your arms are protected from the effects of the weather.

Windproof or fleece that can be worn under a waterproof jacket.

Full waterproofs, even if you have booked to do the Y3P on a sunny day, the region is notorious for sudden weather changes.  You may even come across a casualty on the route that requires assistance, meaning that you may be standing around for lengthy periods of time, you will have additional clothing to wear in order to avoid getting cold.
There are hundreds of waterproof jacket manufacturers that claim that their items are 100% waterproof – we don’t believe any of them are 100% waterproof for lengthy periods of time in windy wild and wet Yorkshire weather so buy quality and get used to proofing and washing your “waterproof” items or following the manufacturers suggested maintenace advice.
Ensure that your waterproof trousers have a belt.

Rucksack (20-35 litres with a hip belt) daysacks without a hip belt are likely to lead to achy shoulders and are not the best for doing the Y3P, the best choice is a 20-35 litre pack similar to the one in the image below, it has side pockets for your immediate first aid and blister treatment gear and a hip belt for distributing the weight nicely, this will help with your energy levels as the miles pass and the peaks are ticked off. Your pack should also have a mesh on the outside, this is for extra gear or for placing your waterproofs, that way you can easily get to them without opening your pack. Finally, a pack should also have the ability to store or carry your walking your walking poles easily. The Osprey packs are particularly good for that.

For an idea on price following this link Osprey packs from GoOutdoors

rucksacks

Hat and gloves, both are essential all year round on the Y3P. Your hat must cover the ears.
Wind speeds on Whernside, Pen Y Ghent and Ingleborough can often exceed 50 mph and many people who fail to wear appropriate headwear often complain about headaches and ear pain, avoid discomfort by having the right gear to start with.
Sun cream (between May- Sept) The Yorkshire 3 Peaks region gets HOT in summer… 
Sunglasses (anytime)
Headtorch (all year round) the Y3P is a 12 hour trek for most people and it can and often does get dark very quickly. Ensure that you have spare batteries. Lightweight Petzl headtorches are very common, just ensure that whatever headtorch it is that you buy it is waterproof with good luminosity (light).
First aid kit (include blister plasters) or zinc oxide “t” sports tape as soon as the rubbing starts get the tape on. You should also carry a thick bandage, spare emergency food, tweezers, tick removal tool, plasters, wound cleaning materials, spare mini headtorch, some loose change, emergency first aid sheet, disposable poncho (they cost £2.00 from ebay) Survival blanket (Silver foil blanket) Emergency (NON METAL) whistle (you can buy here)
Post event spare clothes, towel, showering, hygiene kit and shoes in your car/ hotel / Bed n Breakfast.
Map of the region or route guide if unsupported (OS Explorer OL2 The Yorkshire Dales southern & Western areas 1:25000) (not needed if you are in a guided group unless you want to carry one)
Compass /GPS (NOT Mobile phone mapping software) not needed if you are guided unless you wish to carry one.
Food / whatever foods help you maintain good energy levels avoid overdosing on jelly babies!! Stick to the foods that you normally eat and high in protein and fats, sugars will give you a swift kick but leave you exhausted later in the day. (see our foods for completing the Y3P) Diabetics should always carry quick impact sugars and slower releasing ones.
Camera / plastic dry bag, Spare batteries for any electronics
Money for refreshments
Water (at least 2 litres)
Mobile phone navigators – always carry a battery charger or spare phone, use OS Maps or other mapping app and ensure that you phone is protected from the weather. It’s also worth having an app that will give you an immediate grid reference such as OS locate etc.

This kit list is also recommended for those taking part in the National 3 Peaks Challenge (Nationals 2020)