Training and safety
Test out your kit
Wear the walking boots you intend to wear on your challenge to give them a chance to break in. Also wear the rucksack you intend to wear on the day, filling it with clothes and water bottles to get you used to carrying that extra weight and adjusting the straps so it’s comfortable to wear.
If your waterproofs don’t hold up to weather conditions on the day you may not be able to take part, so make sure you test them. We’re rarely short of rain, so when the heavens open grab your waterproof coat and trousers and head out.
Get training when and where you can
We don’t all live on the doorstep of hills and rolling countryside and, while you should still plan to get two or three walks under your belt before the trek, there’s still lots you can do to keep on top of your training. Avoid the lift at work and start taking the stairs (two by two if you can manage it!).
Where practical, walk to and from the local supermarket or shops, rather than taking the bus or driving in - just think of the money you’ll save on parking and carrying those bags back home will get you used to walking with extra weight.
Tell everyone about your training
Take photos and video as you train and post them on your Facebook, Twitter and JustGiving page. It will encourage you to train and raise awareness of your commitment, which might inspire people to sponsor you.
Once you've registered, we'll send you a briefing pack that includes a list of recommended and necessary items.
These items include:
- high energy rations like chocolate, nuts and dried fruit, plus drinks
- a compass, torch and whistle
- personal first aid kit
- clothing which is light and waterproof, plus layers of vests, T-shirts, sweat shirts and waterproof trousers are recommended (not jeans)
- walking boots with firm soles.
Your kit will be checked before you head off on your trek so it’s important to follow the advice in your essential information pack regarding everything you'll need on the day.
Prepare for all weather
Marie Curie's UK treks can take place in most weather conditions. It’s essential you have a decent pair of walking boots. And, this being the UK, a waterproof coat and trousers.
You also need to make sure you can fit all the kit into your rucksack, and be able to carry it over a long period of time, over difficult terrain, so try to make sure you have all your kit with you in plenty of time for your practice walks.
Remember to bring food
You can’t underestimate food and drink as one of your most valued pieces of kit. Graze as you walk by having small packets of food in your jacket pocket. You want to go for things that'll give you energy and keep you going all the way to the finish line. Popular choices include jelly babies, nuts and seeds, chocolate bars and fruit.
Invest in dry bags
Finding your gloves, camera, sun cream or snacks in your rucksack when you're halfway up a mountain and everything is jumbled up can be a tedious task. So why not invest in some dry bags?
They come in all different colours and sizes depending on what you want to put in them. They help keep items in your rucksack dry should the heavens open, but it’ll also make it quicker and easier to find what you’re looking for.
Hopefully your walking boots will be nice and broken in so they won't cause you blisters, but include a pack of blister plasters in your kit. You don’t want to get halfway through the trek and have to turn back because a blister has popped up and made walking unbearable, and you can guarantee if you don’t need one, a fellow trekker might!
We recommend the following:
- Snowdon: OS Explorer Map OL17 Snowdon
- Yorkshire Three Peaks: OL2- Explorer 1:25 000 scale Map of Yorkshire Dales - Southern & Western Area Whernside, Ingleborough & Pen-Y-Ghent
- Peak District: OS Explorer OL24
- Scafell Pike: OS Landranger 90 Penrith & Keswick
- Ben Nevis: OS Explorer 392 Ben Nevis & Fort William
- 13 Tors: OS Explorer OL28 Dartmoor
Be aware that the weather is changeable at all destinations so be prepared, especially at the summits of Snowdon, Scafell and Ben Nevis.
The trek is not a race
You'll be encouraged to walk at your own pace, taking time to rest and take photographs. On some treks we will operate cut off times to reach various checkpoints. Walkers who do not reach these checkpoints in time will be asked to return to base. This is to remove the danger of walking on uneven terrain in reduced light and on higher grounds in cooler temperatures. With a good level of fitness and training under your belt the timings for these cut off points is very achievable.
Health and fitness
Some hill walking experience helps and if you swim, cycle, jog or take part in a regular activity, this will help you train for your trek.
If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, chest problems or are pregnant you should not attempt the walks. If you are in any doubt about your level of fitness, please contact your GP for advice.
Safety rules and guidance
Walkers aged 17 years or under must be accompanied by an experienced adult hill walker.
All the walks are supported by marshals and guides who will support you along the route and ensure you stay on course.
Code of conduct and preserving the environment: at the start of each trek you will be briefed on complying with a code of conduct for the national parks and the mountains.
In order to create a pleasant event for all walkers, numbers will be limited. You will venture along dedicated routes and public rights of way, that have been created to ensure there is minimum damage to the area and to ensure that there is no undue impact on the environment.
Double check the registration time for your trek (which will be highlighted in your essential information pack). For health and safety reasons we run a strict check in time and anyone who arrives after registration is closed will be unable to take part.
Whether you’re staying in accommodation close by or commuting from home, plan your journey to make sure you arrive on time, accounting for potential traffic and picking up any members of your team on route.
When you arrive you'll be checked in by one of our amazing event volunteers and given further items needed such as maps and identification bands.
Have your mobile number ready when you check in. If we don’t already have it on our registration list we'll need it for the check in.
Our mountain guides will check through your kit to make sure you have everything you need, and there'll be a supply of donated sweets and drink at the event base which you will be able to pick up.
Please note: this should be in addition to your own lunch, drink and snacks which you need to bring with you.
Have an amazing trek - it'll be tough at times, but you’ve trained for this moment – enjoy every second! We’ll be waiting for you at the finish line to check you back in and celebrate your success, including receiving your UK treks medal.
If you run into difficulty or have to retire early from your trek, just let one of our mountain guides know who may be walking with you, or at any of our checkpoints along the route. We'll facilitate your return to base, but note sometimes this may require you walking on further to a point where we can pick you up, or retracing your steps to a previous checkpoint.
Please don’t bring your sponsorship money with you. We’ll ask you how much you’ve raised and keep a record of it but we're not able to process any money on the day. Please refer to your essential information pack on how to bank your sponsorship.