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Get equipped for hill-walking

Here is a list of essential items of clothing and equipment for summer hill walking in the Scottish hills. Remember that proper clothing and equipment is essential: conditions in the hills may change rapidly and can be considerably more challenging than at the roadside.

Having the right clothing and equipment can quite literally be a life saver if conditions are really bad, but even in less extreme weather it can mean the difference between having an enjoyable or a miserable day out in the hills.

Hillwalker in cloud and heavy rain - properly equipped for conditions

Summer hill-walking doesn't always mean sunshine - you need to be properly equipped

  • Rucksack - about 35 litres
  • Boots (with ankle support and soles which will grip on rock, grass and mud)
  • Waterproof jacket (with hood)
  • Waterproof over trousers
  • General trekking trousers (not jeans or cotton material)
  • Thermal top
  • Fleece top
  • Gaiters (not always essential)
  • Warm hat 
  • Gloves or mitts
  • Spare layer e.g. fleece top
  • Compass
  • Map (waterproof or in waterproof case)
  • Watch
  • Torch (preferably a head torch)
  • Food & Drink
  • Emergency survival bag (polythene is OK) and Group Shelter
  • Whistle
  • First Aid Kit (small)
  • Mobile phone

  • Sunhat
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses

  • Midge repellent
  • Midge net

Glenmore Lodge instructor Derek Bain goes through what goes in your rucksack for a day on the hill - and where it goes too.

The Scottish winter mountains present additional challenges, click for the extra gear recommend for winter.