Ben Nevis Summer Kit List
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
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.
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).
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 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.
Don’t forget toiletry requirements or any personal medication you may require.
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)