Can I get kitted out and tackle Snowdon for under a £100 from the skin up? We take on the challenge – the only rules being that any thing I can’t buy can be made up from everyday clothing most people will have (e.g. pants) and that I’d be going as part of a group – so I don’t need the usual emergency kit and so on as you can assume that someone starting off will probably be doing the same. Oh yes, and I obviously can’t spend more than a £100. The test will be a walk up Snowdon some time in the spring under whatever conditions it throws at me, except for winter conditions which this kit is not suitable for, and seems to be all we’ve had all spring up to now!
You can’t get much for £100, yet we tried to kit up from the skin up in order to be prepared for a trip up Snowdon this spring. We found that there were some surprisingly decent kit available at the lowest end of the market, along with some absolute stinkers! As with any budget kit, you’ll need some element of luck to find them at the right price and I’ve no doubt that most of these items will either no longer be available or at a different price. We didn’t spend hours and hours searching either, with most of the kit coming via your usual box shifters. This is what we went for, with how they actually did on the hill following in part 2, once the weather improves as it’s been a particularly harsh spring so far.
Boots – Campri Snowdon (£16.99) It seems quite appropriate that the boots to be chosen to take me up Snowdon are also called Snowdon. I don’t expect much from these and suspect they’ll not be very waterproof and I don’t expect their grip to be any good in the wet. But I’ll see.
Socks – Karrimor Merino wool (£4.99). You can get cheaper socks, but for the sake of a few quid, even with a challenge like this one, it’s not worth the trouble. If these are any good then hopefully, I shan’t get any blisters.
Pack – Alpkit Gourdon 20 (£22.50) This is, for any price, a decent pack and there wasn’t really any other option that was much cheaper in our whistle-stop Google tour for a cheaper pack. No doubt that Gelert or another budget brand will have a half decent pack for less, but I’ve heard good things about this pack and it may well have a longer shelf life than this challenge where most of the other gear already have someone ready to scrounge them once I’m done with them.
Trousers – Craghoppers Basecamp were thought to be a pair of water-resistant trousers – so should have doubled up as trousers and over-trousers, and we got them for a bargain £18. Not only are they cheap, but they’re Craghoppers, who do damn fine trousers so I expect these to perform as decent trews, if not the water-resistant trousers they were advertised as on the box shifter website. They do repel water slightly, but are not a proper replacement for a waterproof shell.
Waterproof Jacket – Regatta Mystro Jacket– I’d considered shelling out about £80 for the jacket and then just making up the rest of the kit from what was lying about – such as use trainers as footwear and everyone’s got a rucksack of some sort. A sharp intake of breath from some of you at the mention of trainers, but while they might not be ideal they may yet be safer than a £17 pair of boots. This is one of the most important items of kit, and while I fully expect this to be sufficiently waterproof for this trip, breathability will certainly be limited at this price.
Baselayer -This is just another cheap Karrimor £5 jobby – so long as it’s not cotton, it’ll do the job. This is, admittedly, the same top as reviewed a few months ago and while the fit was awful, it’ll be OK for this challenge. I’m wearing an old pair of decent running shorts with a mesh liner as pants, so that’s a freebie.
Extras that I may take, depending on the weather, are all stuff people tend to own anyway. Gloves and beany hat if it’s a little nippy and a pair of sunglasses and a hat if it’s sunny. An old fleece that was hanging about – or a jumper – is the final bit of kit. Everyone’s got something like this they could use, though I could have picked up a Campri Zipped Microfleece for a fiver had I really wanted to and still have 53p to spare! Even if you carry a winter duvet jacket for the summit stop, it’s probably going to suffice.
Total spend – £94.47 which leaves me £5.53 for a cuppa and a sausage roll on the summit!
With the kit all in place, you can see in part 2 how the trip went!