Regardless of its name, don’t be fooled into thinking that taking a hike in Snowdonia is as easy as taking a walk in the park.
In order to stay safe you’ll need to make sure that you have sturdy basic hiking gear and enough supplies to keep you going.
As I’ve said before, Antony and I like to think of ourselves as ‘outdoorsy’ people. We’ve been hiking for years now and have accumulated plenty of stuff in that time that helps us keep safe whilst we’re out and about. Of course, we haven’t always been this well prepared. Yes, there was a time when we were woefully unprepared and, worst of all, this was when we had our kids in tow! The first time that we decided to visit North Wales we’d assumed that there would be plenty of lovely places to stop at during our walk for drinks and toilet stops, but unfortunately this turned out to not be the case…
Our first trip to North Wales was an unmitigated disaster with the hike through Snowdonia being the rotten cherry on top. We spent 5 hours stumbling through the pouring rain trying to reach the summit of Snowdon before having to admit defeat. That day we weren’t just defeated by the mountain, we were also defeated by our own stupidity. We’d taken our kids out into the wilderness without waterproof, without boots and without enough water to properly sustain them. Suffice to say, that was the last time that happened. That day was the turning point for us as hikers, the next week we went out to the shops.
A hardy set of waterproofs are absolutely essential for any day spent outside. It doesn’t matter what the weather forecast says, you’ll never know for certain whether or not will rain. Although it might be easy to shrug off a small rain shower when you know you’ll be back in the dry, if you end up getting totally soaked whilst in the middle of nowhere your health could be at serious risk.
Hardy walking boots
Trainers will only get you so far when you’re walking in Wales! Not only can the terrain get pretty rough here, but there are plenty of hazards along the way that could lead to you slipping or twisting an ankle. Sturdy walking boots will help prevent you turning your ankle over and will give you much-needed support when walking on uneven terrain.
Plenty of water and toilet roll!
Despite Wales being the tourist hot-spot that it is, this is not a land drowning in amenities. If you’re planning on spending a few hours out in the countryside then you need to take enough water with you to keep properly hydrated. 2 litres will keep you going for half a day, bring purification tablets if you’re planning on staying out for longer. Public toilets are also in short supply, so toilet paper and a little trowel are also worth bringing…
More food than you need
Your body needs food to keep you active, it needs even more food when you are hiking so it’s important to pack more than you need. Pack plenty of sandwiches and fruit, but don’t forget to bring trail mix, cereal bars and emergency chocolate. Getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere without food is not good, especially when you have kids in tow!
Map, compass, torch and batteries
Lastly, even if you’re following a prescribed route or track, it’s really important to have the tools that you need to find your self in the eventuality that you stray from the path and lose your way. You can’t rely on phone networks to get you back to civilisation, so make sure that you have the essential kit for survival should the worse come to the worst.