Equipment Guide to Scrambling
Many visitor to this site will be experienced enough to have their own ideas about equipment, but as a website guide to scrambling it is our duty to remind you and other less experienced scrambles of the types of equipment you need when out on the hills.
While many of us own a pair of walking boots not all types are suitable for this type of activity. A suitable pair should be well made and of a comfortable fitting, giving a good security of foothold.
Nowadays many summer boots are made from fabric and are light on the foot a descent pair of these fabric boots with a good stiff sole is more than adequate for scrambling in summer. One point to make is that it might be worth spending a little extra and buy waterproof Gor-Tex fabric boots; this will ensure that your feet remain dry while scrambling close to water.
Carrying a set of water proofs in your rucksack is always advised, even if the forecast is for a sunny day. A waterproof jacket can come in very handy to prevent you from getting wet when scrambling up close to waterfalls. Don’t forget mountain weather can change from clear blue skies to a thunderstorm within an hour, and being caught out by this would make the rest of the day a wet and cold walk back to your car.
While many scrambles do not require the use of a rope it is always advised to carry one when venturing onto scrambles graded 2 and above. A rope can be used not only for protection but on the occasional retreat if the conditions prove to hazardous. It is also possible that poor route finding could lead you into an area of difficult terrain or an exposed grass slope, where you might want to use the rope for a safe retreat to a more level position The choice of rope i would recommend is a 9mm 30 meter climbing rope as most if not all scrambles can be escaped from within this distance.
Apart from just having a rope each member of your party should carry a harness and at least one screw gate karabiner and a belay plate, as there would not be much use for the rope without the right equipment to go along with it. A few slings and a some rock climbing nuts would alos be advised on more difficult routes. NOTE: please make sure at least one member of your team is an experienced rock climber with a good knowledge of how to set up abseils and belays. Many people have been injured or killed due to thier lack of knowledge of how to use the climbing equipment safely.
If no one in your party is experienced enough to set up a belay or abseil then please do not venture into terrain which might cause you to use it. It might be an idea if you or a member of your party took a 3 day climbing and rope course.
Map & Compass
Well not much to say about this topic apart from always have them with you and know how to use them together. Nowadays you can get electronic GPS (Global Positioning Devise) that will tell you exactly where you are and guide you in the right direction. But please note these devises also require a certain amount of skill to be used correctly. Never rely on one device always have a back up and the knowledge to go with it. Then you will be safe and can be assured that your scramble will be a happy and safe one