Tips on walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks
Written by Paul Clough
If you are planning on traversing the Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk whether you have previous experience walking them or any other long hiking trips or it's the first time there is always plenty of information out there on hints and tips for making your experience much easier and far more enjoyable by allowing you to focus on the walk and stunning views in comfort.
The routes across the summits of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough cover a total of 24.5 miles with varying terrain types and decent weather isn't always guaranteed so they can certainly provide quite a challenge, especially if you aim to walk the entire trail within the traditional twelve hour time limit and having the right gear and equipment to help you achieve it is essential.
Walking & Hiking Boots
Footwear is probably the most important aspect in attempting any walks off-road as there are so many variations and potential unstable and difficult surfaces you can come across as a result of rain and wind. There are a few brands now that offer numerous types of high quality boots and shoes with incredible technical features that allow for prolonged comfort, support and protection for your feet, many of which have been designed for military, mountaineering and expedition use. Some use GORE-TEX outsoles and interior enclosures ensuring waterproofing, others Vibram soles for grip even on muddy tracks and EVA moulded arches and midsoles are quite common for better support and with uppers made from durable nubuck leather you have the choice of protection that will last for a long time but remain comfy even after hours of continuous wear.
Not always knowing if the weather will suddenly change is an issue, especially on long walks that takes you through different altitudes like the Yorkshire Three Peaks Walk and carrying around spare clothing just in case it changes for the worse can get cumbersome but with the right clothing you can certainly lighten the load and rest assured if there is a sudden downpour it won't affect you as much. There are base layer tops, bottoms and walking socks available that keep you warm or cool depending on the temperature but also keep you dry by being moisture wicking which can be worn under your other clothes without adding any noticeable weight or restricting movement. Brands like The North Face and Montane specialise in outerwear designed for the most extreme climate conditions so you can wear jackets and pants that are fairly lightweight but give you total water and wind protection down to temperatures as low as -40°C in some cases but are internally breathable so if you sweat you stay dry and comfortable and certain ones like the Triclimate Jacket has removable parts so you can have the right coat for the conditions as they change. Check out Blackleaf.com for outdoor clothing from brands mentioned.
Hydration & Bags
As the Three Peaks Walk can last up to twelve hours, planning ahead for essential items and consumables is key as even if you don't need them it's good to be prepared in case of an emergency. You need water so having a water bottle or hydration pack is handy as you can carry the right amount with you in a pack that sits comfortably on your back or if you want to remove the weight entirely something like a Camelbak All Clear bottle allows you to fill up from a clear natural water source and sterilise it in seconds with a CCFL lamp. There are also a number of walking and hiking backpacks that are designed to be durable against the inevitable wear and tear the outdoors bring by using materials like ripstop and bombastic nylons, comfortable with padded straps and back channels but also functional by allowing you to securely pack your items like food, maps and a compass in numerous easy to access compartments. Certain brands also list numbers like 12, 24 and 72 in their product names which is a handy indicator of how many hours' consumables and clothing you can fit inside.
So as you can see there are a number of things to consider that in the long run will help you on walks and hikes like the Yorkshire Three Peaks and many others to come.