By: Blonde One

There’s no doubt about it, walking can be an expensive business. Apart from the obvious boots and waterproofs there seems to be a constant ‘need’ for more kit. Of course it can be done on a shoe (or boot) string but please don’t tell Mr Blonde One. It’s important that he continues to believe that all of the new kit I keep buying is ‘essential’!

Blonde Two and I have often dreamed of having our own kit room in our houses. We definitely have enough things to fill quite a large store room!

Walking in Scotland has increased the amount of kit I possess and the room it takes up by a lot. There are things in amongst my kit now that take up quite a lot of room but don’t get used very often at all. I do feel a little bit guilty taking up so much room with stuff that only gets used once a year!

Having said all of that, it’s really important to have the right kit for Scottish mountaineering. I have enjoyed making my purchases as I’ve had to do lots of research to make sure I get the right thing. It’s a fascinating world out there! You can’t just buy the cheapest ice axe, boots or crampons. It’s also great getting to know your new kit out on the hill. Comparing your crampons to other people’s and having general discussions where you feel you can contribute in a useful way is quite satisfying.

The main extra purchases needed for winter mountain walking are: crampons with appropriate boots, ice axe, walking poles with snow baskets, goggles. It’s not a long list but unfortunately most of it is quite pricey. Once you have made the initial investment though, they will hopefully last for years and ensure you have many safe and enjoyable mountain days.