Follow the slowest

Follow the slowest - National 3 PeaksIf you are walking or climbing in a group then it’s a good idea for the slowest member of the team to set the pace. If a member of the team tries to go at a faster pace than they are comfortable with (or beyond their fitness level) you will end up having to stop more frequently for breaks, and ultimately you may have to give up completely. The secret is to maintain a slow steady pace from the start that the whole team is happy with and can maintain. Inevitably, you will become more tired as the climb progresses, so start off slower than you think is ‘correct’ and try and maintain this steady pace throughout – it won’t seem so slow as you get higher up!

Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint.

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Use a drinks bladder

Drinks bladder - National 3 PeaksYou will need plenty of fluid to climb a mountain and the best way to carry and access it is via a drinks bladder such as the Camel Bak brand. Most new rucksacks accommodate a drinks bladder in a pouch located in the main compartment with a hole in the top of the rucksack to feed the straw through. This will be closest to your back for stability as the bladder will be quite heavy when full. The straw will normally clip or attach to one of your shoulder straps so that you have easy access to it and don’t lose it round the back somewhere out of reach. This is the most convenient way of carrying your drink and saves you having to constantly ask a team member to pass you a bottle from your bag.

If you don’t have a rucksack that accommodates a drinks bladder you can buy a bladder in it’s own harness. This harness won’t hold many other items, so wouldn’t really be suitable on it’s own for the three peaks, but it may fit underneath your existing rucksack. Ideally it is worth investing in a new rucksack to keep weight and bulk to a minimum.

You can buy the Camel Bak drinks bladder on Amazon here.

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Don’t buy cheap walking boots

Walking boots - National 3 PeaksGood walking boots are arguably the most important piece of kit you will take. Take plenty of time looking for the right boots for you, and try plenty of pairs on before making your choice. For mountain walking, it is a good idea to wear ankle supporting boots as the terrain is often rocky, uneven or loose and the extra support will help greatly. Make sure you try your boots on with good walking socks as these tend to be thicker than casual or sports socks, and you’ll need a little room inside the boot to avoid blisters (ensuring that they still fit and do not slip). Most walking boots are waterproof, but double check as you don’t want wet feet, and ensure they are breathable to avoid the build up of sweat which can lead to fungal infections such as athletes foot. Ultimately, the boots you choose will be personal preference, but try not to skimp too much as good boots will last for years and you’ll be thankful you bought a decent pair. Check out the equipment page.

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Remember to take travel sickness tablets on your 3 peaks challenge

travel sickness tabletsIf you’re taking part in the 24 hour national three peaks challenge then you are going to spend approximately 11 hours in the car or minibus travelling from mountain to mountain. You will be tired and the motion of the vehicle can easily give you travel sickness, especially on the narrow twisty mountain roads. If you have a dedicated driver, the journey is a good chance for the climbers to eat and stock up on some energy ready for the next mountain, but if you feel sick this is not too easy. By packing some travel sickness tablets, you can settle your stomach and eat a decent meal in time for your next climb. There are various tablets and travel sickness solutions available from the Pharmacy that can help and even if you don’t normally suffer from travel sickness it is worth packing something just in case.

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