What you take with you on your Scafell Pike walk should be the hiking equipment and clothing that will prevent you from getting into trouble – or help you to get out of it. Regular walkers will probably already have most, if not all, of the necessary equipment, but for those with less experience, the recommendations below will provide a helpful guide.

Table of contents:

chevron-right Equipment
chevron-right Backpack/rucksack
chevron-right Navigation
chevron-right Health & Safety
chevron-right Outerwear

Equipment

Taking the appropriate safety equipment with you will help avoid difficulties in the first place and make it easier to get out of trouble if misfortune strikes.ss

Packing for emergencies

The BMC has published a brief video on how to prepare for emergencies while in the hills that's worth a watch:

Backpack/rucksack

When choosing a rucksack, it must be big enough to carry all your essentials, so we recommend a minimum capacity of 25 litres. The other important thing is that it’s comfortable to wear! So if at all possible, try it before buying it, and fill it with around the same weight and volume you’ll be carrying up Scafell Pike.

Here are some top picks:

Bestselling backpacks for hiking on Amazon

Correct as of 2023-12-05 at 08:16 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. We might receive a small commission for any purchases through links on this page, with no extra cost to you.

Correct as of 2023-12-05 at 08:16 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. We might receive a small commission for any purchases through links on this page, with no extra cost to you.

Correct as of 2023-12-05 at 08:16 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. We might receive a small commission for any purchases through links on this page, with no extra cost to you.

Correct as of 2023-12-05 at 08:37 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. We might receive a small commission for any purchases through links on this page, with no extra cost to you.

Maps

You’ll at least need an Ordnance Survey ‘Explorer’ Map of the Scafell Pike area. These maps are at a scale of 1:25000, which offers far more detail than the ‘Landranger’ maps with their 1:50000 scale - though it can be helpful to have a Landranger too. We have a dedicated page for Scafell Pike maps that you can refer to ensure you've got the correct map, as well as see other resources that you might find helpful.

Compass

A compass is an essential piece of hiking equipment, as it can help you navigate and orient yourself while on the trail. It is especially useful when hiking in areas without clearly marked trails or in low visibility conditions.

Below is a popular starter compass that you can buy from Amazon:

Trekrite Explorer Compass for Map Reading and Navigation

  • Stay on track wherever you are: budget hiking compass, with sturdy base plate, magnifier, and easy-rotate bezel. Comes with full instructions, ideal for first-time compass users.
  • Ultra-safe navigation on all terrain: with lanyard break-off safety feature, and luminous markings for night-time navigation or low-visibility weather conditions.
  • Practical in every situation operates in temperatures -40C to +60C, durable and easy to use for men and women.
£9.99 Buy on Amazon
Correct as of 2023-12-08 at 08:19.
Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. We might receive a small commission for any purchases through links on this page, with no extra cost to you.

Health & Safety

Sun Protection

Sunscreen is a must-have when hiking Scafell Pike, as the sun can be intense. Bring enough sunscreen to reapply as necessary throughout the day, and apply it to all exposed skin.

Mosquito Repellent

Mosquitoes can be a nuisance on the mountain, so pack some repellent to keep them at bay.

Water and Food

Staying hydrated and nourished is essential when hiking Scafell Pike. Pack enough water to sustain you throughout the hike, and bring non-perishable snacks that won't go soggy or need to be heated up. It's also a good idea to bring some electrolyte tablets to help keep you hydrated.

Whistle

Keep it easily accessible in a pocket or on a lanyard around your neck.

Torch

A torch is an essential piece of equipment for seeing in the dark and as a signalling device in an emergency. You might consider a head-torch for hands-free illumination - particularly if you're using walking poles.


Using your whistle/torch if you need help

As per the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association's "Stay Safe in the Fells" PDF:

Both your whistle and torch can be used to signal for help, as follows: Six short blasts (or flashes) in quick succession, repeated at one minute intervals.

Continue until someone reaches you and don’t stop because you hear a response. The rescue team may be using your whistle blasts as a direction finder.

Bestselling torches on Amazon

Correct as of 2023-12-05 at 08:16 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. We might receive a small commission for any purchases through links on this page, with no extra cost to you.

Correct as of 2023-12-05 at 12:31 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. We might receive a small commission for any purchases through links on this page, with no extra cost to you.

Mobile phone

It's a good idea to bring a mobile phone, but be aware that the signal can be weak or non-existent in certain areas on the hills, so you cannot rely on it solely as a navigation device or make calls.

Consider bringing a waterproof carrying case for your phone and a portable charger for extra battery life to ensure it stays safe and dry.

Is it an emergency?

The Lake District Search & Mountain Rescue Association clearly states that you should not call emergency services at the first sign of trouble. They encourage you to be as self-reliant as possible and outline the considerations you should make before calling emergency services on their website.

First aid kit

A must-have in any hiker's backpack for any cuts, grazes and bumps you might sustain on your hike. Make sure you pack some paracetamol (or similar) too. First aid kits, like the one below, are generally compact and don't require too much space.

LEWIS-PLAST Premium First Aid Kit

  • First aid kit - containing 90 pieces of safety essentials and accessories
  • Diverse contents to provide for a range of Accident scenarios
  • Compact, durable bag containing various compartments for item storage and quick access
£9.30 Buy on Amazon
Correct as of 2023-12-08 at 08:19.
Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. We might receive a small commission for any purchases through links on this page, with no extra cost to you.

Storm tent

Weather conditions on Scafell Pike can change rapidly and unexpectedly, and a storm tent can provide shelter from high winds and heavy rain.

Bestselling storm tents on Amazon

Correct as of 2023-12-05 at 12:31 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. We might receive a small commission for any purchases through links on this page, with no extra cost to you.

Outerwear

Good quality, comfortable clothing and footwear will significantly increase your enjoyment of climbing Scafell Pike and contribute a great deal to making the challenge easier. Here's a list of hiking equipment that you should consider:

  • Comfort – don’t wear anything which can rub or chafe. Avoid wearing jeans which are 1) terrible for chafing and 2) become heavy and cling to skin if they get wet, which can quickly lead to hypothermia).
  • Temperature Regulation – even if you set off in t-shirt weather, there could easily be a bitter wind-chill at the summit. Several thin layers are, therefore, always the best option, wearing one or two layers initially (depending on weather and time of year) and with a spare layer in your rucksack.
  • Weather Protection – two of your biggest enemies are wind-chill and rain. So good quality, breathable waterproof jacket and trousers are a must. In fine weather with a good forecast, take lightweight waterproofs which can be packed in your rucksack without taking up too much space.

Hiking outerwear checklist