Checklist for walkers


  • Comfortable clothing/layers
  • Waterproof/windproof outer jacket
  • Boots with good sole pattern - trainers aren't suitable as they can slip and don't support your ankle
  • Hat and gloves
  • Spare warm clothing

When you're resting, you may need more layers than when you're on the move. Several thin layers give good insulation and can be adjusted for different terrain and weather conditions.


  • Comfortable daysack
  • Food and water and a warm drink
  • Some extra energy-giving food and emergency rations
  • Large polybag or survival bag
  • Whistle and torch
  • First aid kit
  • Map and compass

plus in winter

  • Winter weight boots, a torch and extra warm clothing are essential
  • Know and plan for the number of daylight hours
  • Know the length of the walk
  • If walking at high altitudes: know how to use your ice axe and crampons
  • Avoid gullies after fresh snow

Best winter walking footwear in snow and ice

Fell Top Assessor Jason shares his top tips about boots and crampons.


Before the walk

  • Choose a walk suitable for group members which can be changed if the weather worsens. Don't be over ambitious - allow one hour for every 2.5 miles (4km) and add one hour for every 1,500 ft (500m) of ascent, with extra time for stops for rest and food
  • Know how to use a map and compass. GPS or mobile phones aren't enough as they can be lost or run out of power.
  • Check out the Weatherline website (opens in new window) or call 0844 846 2444 (Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge). Remember that fell top conditions can be far more severe than in the valleys.
  • Leave clear details of your intended route and estimated time of return
  • Know basic first aid and how to call for help in an emergency


If you're delayed but it isn't an emergency, for example you've descended into the wrong valley, inform your base or the police as quickly as possible so Mountain Rescue is not called out unnecessarily.

  1. Give any casualty first aid, make sure their breathing is unobstructed; dress wounds to prevent bleeding; keep them warm, sheltered and safe from further injury. Also remember to protect yourself
  2. Send for help by calling calling 999 and ask for Police. Ensure that you are put through to Cumbria Police and not another Emergency Service.
  3. Tell the Police operator that you need Mountain Rescue.
  4. Tell them where you are (Grid Reference if possible) and the nature of the incident.
  5. Give them a contact phone number.
  6. If an ambulance is needed the Police or the Rescue Team will ensure one comes. You do not need to ask for the Ambulance Service as well.
  7. Stay by the phone or in the place where you can receive a signal on your mobile.
  8. A Rescue Controller will call you back at the number you have given.
  9. They will take further details and mobilise the Team. They will be with you as quickly as possible.

Mountain rescue volunteers

The Mountain Rescue Service is run by unpaid volunteers. Any callout means they have to leave their jobs or homes, so please don't waste their time unless it's an emergency. They are funded by donations from the public. Find out more on this video (opens in new window) or on (opens in new window)

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Cottage near Coniston - copyright Charlie Hedley

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