To make the most of your hike it's important to wear suitable clothing, and to bring enough to eat and drink. The weather in the mountains can be very unpredictable - even when it's sunny and warm down in the glens (valleys) it can be surprisingly cold higher up. The key to an enjoyable day out is to be prepared!
The main thing to remember about clothing is that it should be comfortable, warm and fast-drying. It's also absolutely essential to bring an outer waterproof layer (a jacket and also waterproof trousers) to keep the rain off.
If you have any doubts whatsoever, feel free to get in touch via email, phone or the contact form. We'd be happy to advise on what to bring.
Here is a list of essential items you will need to bring or wear for single day hikes:
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- A fleece jacket or other warm outer jacket
- Several thinner layers you can wear underneath your fleece jacket (a t-shirt, sweater, long-sleeved jumper/top, etc.). You can add or remove layers as needed to keep warm.
- Comfortable hiking trousers - definitely not jeans! Denim is very slow to dry so should never be worn on the mountain.
- A small rucksack/backpack - it's also a good idea to take a few plastic bags to keep your things dry inside your backpack in case of rain.
- Hiking boots - these should be comfortable and you should have worn them before. Brand new boots can be stiff and can result in blisters, so if you need to buy boots for the hike then buy them at least one week beforehand and spend some time wearing them on a day-to-day basis before hiking.
- Thick socks, ideally woollen
- Warm hat
- 1 litre of water
- Hill food and lunch - sandwiches, savoury snacks and high-energy foods are ideal (muesli bars, chocolate, nuts, fruit, etc.)
- A wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face and neck
- Insect repellent and/or a midge headnet. The midges (small biting flies) in Scotland can be a nuisance and it's a good idea to have some form of protection from them.
- Toilet paper or paper tissues
- Feminine hygiene products, if required
- A flashlight or torch - a headtorch is ideal
- Any personal medication required (for example, hayfever tablets or prescribed medicine)
The following are optional, but you may decide to bring them along to make the experience more rewarding:
- Walking poles - these can help but are like marmite; some people love them, others hate them! They can help to make it easier on your legs when out hillwalking.
- Gaiters - again, these are not essential but some hikers prefer them to keep their feet dry
- Spare socks and clothes - these can be left in the car (not carried with you on the hike) and are nice to change in to at the end of the day