Ben Nevis Summer Kit List

Ben Nevis Summit Group

Having the correct equipment and clothing will keep you comfortable and safe during your climb of Ben Nevis. If you are climbing Ben Nevis in early or late summer please bring extra warm clothing and perhaps consider our Winter Kit List as winter conditions can persist on Ben Nevis until late June and from early September.

Map & Compass

You should always carry a map and compass and know how to use it. Although Ben Nevis is a popular mountain the navigation on the summit plateau is very difficult. We recommend a Silva Type 4 Compass (or similar) and one of the following maps:

  • Harvey Maps – Ben Nevis 1:25000
  • OS Landranger (1:50 000) – Ben Nevis – Sheet 41
  • OS Explore Map (1:25 000) – Ben Nevis and Fort William – Sheet 392

Walking Boots

The Ben Path is rough and the weather can be very wet so you must have waterproof hill walking boots.


You will need a day pack to carry your lunch, spare clothing, camera and other bits and pieces. Ideally it should be comfortable, about 20 – 35 litres in volume and have a waistband.

Waterproof Clothing

The weather can be very wet! You must have a waterproof jacket and trousers. These should also be breathable (Gore Tex, Event, aquafoil or similar).

Warm Clothing

The summit of Ben Nevis is on average 9 degrees colder than Fort William and the mean temperature is below freezing. A fleece, woolly hat and gloves are essential even in the middle of summer.

Walking Poles (non-essential)

These are becoming more popular and do help if you have weak knees or ankles.

Water Bottle/Flask

Water needs to be carried on the hill. Either a water bottle or a flask if it is cooler do the job perfectly. You should carry 2 – 3 litres of water for the climb.


Most people take between 7 and 9 hours for the return trip up Ben Nevis so you will need plenty of snacks and a packed lunch to keep your energy levels up during the day.

Personal requirements

Don’t forget toiletry requirements or any personal medication you may require.

Safety Equipment

If you are unlucky enough to suffer an accident or get lost whilst climbing Ben nevis your survival may well depend on the safety equipment you are carrying. This should include:

  • spare warm clothing for the group including gloves, fleeces and hats.
  • survival bag or group shelter
  • mobile phone
  • first aid kit
  • GPS (possibly)
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2 Responses to “Ben Nevis Summer Kit List”
  1. Michael says:

    Thanks for a good list of summer kit to take up Ben Nevis
    We have done two accents in three years. We loved it each time

    I am putting some essential info together for my new site
    walking for fun and fitness and your list fits the bill just right!

    I have copied and pasted it into my text for my site…
    I hope this is OK with you?

    Thanks again

    Happy Walking


    • AnnaTrafford says:

      Hi Michael
      No problem to use your kit list if you credit Friends of Nevis and suggest that all those walking make a small donation – either online using our or by dropping some coins in one of our cairns. All donations are vital in helping organise volunteer work which includes path maintainance on the Ben Nevis Track.

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