You may or may not have noticed for the last couple of months I have been a bit MIA. The first couple of weeks I was on holiday, but for the last 6 weeks or so I have been training hard for my Three Peaks Challenge. For those who don’t know what it is, it is a challenge to climb the highest mountain in Wales (Snowdon), England (Scaffell Pike) and Scotland (Ben Nevis) in the space of 24 hours. For me it was a huge undertaking and really has taken a fair amount of training. So, yeah, the last 6 weeks have been spent either climbing a hill or recovering from climbing a hill. I have been a fair distance from a laptop to get any content up!
Along the way I had to put some serious thinking into both my packing and my actual gear for climbing the hills. Due to the 24 hour time limit it involves sleeping on a bus and washing in service stations, lovely! Obviously this means you need to have everything you need on you, there is no option to nip past a shop and get something you forgot. In this post I am listing the must haves in the kit, obviously with a cruelty free slant. I already had my clothes so for today I will just be sticking to the cruelty free and vegan toiletries and skincare I could not have been without! (Although I have put a full list of what I took at the bottom). While I have packaged it as essentials for the Three Peaks challenge, the list below will do you for any sort of outdoors challenge, or even just camping to be honest.
Face Scrub – Arran Aromatics
There were no luxuries on this trip, as I said above, we slept on the bus. Obviously this also means no showers, so for me the next best thing is a good face scrub. I used it at the services after each climb to freshen up, it is the little things! I always go back to my Arran Aromatics scrubs. They are gentle on the skin whilst leaving you with a super clean feel. Each time I get one it is a new type, they seem to change a lot, so right now on the website it is Lavender and Tea Tree which sounds refreshing and soothing all rolled into one! Either way I always love the scents and find them perfect to exfoliate without irritating.
Moisturiser – Neal’s Yard Palmarosa
May seem a bit of a luxury, but when you are walking up hills, generally in poor conditions (it is the UK!!) you want to have your skin protected from the elements. My current fave is my Neal’s Yard Palmarosa Daily Moisture. It is light enough to apply a few times in a day, yet manages to keep my skin well nourished. Love it!
Deoderant – Meow Meow Tweet
Obviously I bought this because of the name, but actually it is pretty damn good deodorant. I will not lie and tell you there was no smell at all, there was, I hiked up 3 hills, super quick and slightly dying so I sweated big time, but I didn’t smell that bad. Of all the deoderants I have tried in the last almost 3 years, this is by far the best!
Suntan Lotion – Green People
If you go up a hill anywhere you have to be prepared, sun burn can really ruin a long walk in the outdoors. I actually didn’t need this *at all* it rained and rained and rained some more, but we always need to be prepared! Green People is my go to sun tan lotion, it is not cheap but does the job without making my skin react.
Lipblam – Hurraw Cinnamon
While it may seem unnecessary, you don’t want sore lips going up those hills, the sore feet and immensely painful thighs are enough to deal with. The added bonus of the Cinnamon one is it felt like a wee treat every time I put it on as I adore the flavour, just like cinnamon balls when you were little, yummy! And trust me, you need the wee treats just to keep you going!
Footcream – Cowshed Udderly Gorgeous
This is totally for people who are pregnant, but it just feels so good on tired legs and feet. I don’t care, I used it and loved it just to feel relief on the aching limbs!
The last thing you need for a challenge like this is a good mantra, and mine was “I can and I will” and my god did I have this in repeat in my head for the last 1.5 hours of Ben Nevis!! Never again, but if you feel that way inclined I hope the above helps!
I will leave you with a list of exactly what I took with me for the challenge. It seems a lot, but trust me I used it all as on every hill we got wet…….
- 3 x sports trousers (no jeans!!)
- 1 x shorts
- 1 x waterproof trousers
- 3 x hoodies
- 1 x fleecy hoodie (Ben Nevis can be extremely cold at the top)
- 2 x waterproof jackets (thin, you will want to layer, it gets hot hiking up those hills!!)
- 2 x sports bras
- 4 x socks
- 1 x trail running shoes
- 2 x hiking boots (if you only have one pair, bring newspaper to stuff your shoes with while you travel from one mountain to the next, it will dry them if soaked, I promise!)
- 1 x headtorch
- walking poles
In your backpack to take up the hill:
- set spare laces
- Ibuprofen or pain killers
- Map of the hill you are climbing
- Camelback (you do not want to have to stop and get out a bottle for a drink every 10 minutes!)
- All the food you will need, I choose to go with cashew nuts, guava vegan energy squares and flapjacks
- spare hair bobbles
- waterproof trousers and coat