Tour added to wishlist!
Support Center
Call us, we're open today 10-6 EST / 7-3 PST Open today 10-6 EST / 7-3 PST 18007151746 18007151746
Wishlist
Loading results
Loading your trip
Menu
Need a last minute getaway? Great savings on
Last minute tours

What to wear for hiking in Scotland:
The ultimate packing list


 
From the Orkneys to the rugged mountain heights of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye, Scotland is an incredible destination to explore on a walking or hiking trip. Along with stunning landscapes, hiking trails throughout the country offer opportunities to view native wildlife, discover historic sites, and connect with local culture.

However, as with all outdoor activities, bringing along the right gear is key both for personal safety as well as to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. No matter where or when you're going on a hiking and walking tour of Scotland, this is the essential gear you'll need to pack.

 

Why is it important to pack the right gear for hiking in Scotland?

Covering everything from your head to your toes, this Scotland hiking packing list includes everything you'll need for safe and memorable times out on the Scottish trails. The exact type or brand of each item depends on your own personal preference.
 

Base layer

No matter what season you're visiting, you'll want to pack and wear a base layer. Made from synthetic or Merino wool, base layer apparel like shirts and leggings are designed to wick away moisture, keeping you insulated and dry.

Then, on top of the base layer, you add thermal layers for warmth like a thin fleece shirt followed by jackets, pants and other weatherproof gear.

Layers are important because you can take off or put on gear as required depending on the time of day, temperature and weather, allowing you to stay warm and dry at all times.
 

Rain gear

Even for summer hiking, no Scotland packing list is complete without plenty of rain gear. While summer hiking offers the best weather, rain can blow in at any moment. Bring along packable, waterproof or water-resistant rain protection layers like rain pants and a rain jacket that are easy to put on and take off as the rain passes through.

Essentials for hiking in Scotland

Use this list as a reference while shopping and packing for your Scotland trip so you don't forget anything.

 

Feet

A good, high-quality pair of hiking boots is arguably your most important piece of gear. They should be comfortable and durable while keeping your feet warm and dry and providing ankle support. For this purpose, leather boots may be the best option as they're sturdy, waterproof and warm. While pricey, they're worth investing in as they should last you for a long time. No matter what kind of boots you choose, make sure to break them in before your trip.

 

Equally important as your boots are socks. Cotton socks cause friction, potentially leading to blisters. Instead, opt for wool socks made from Merino wool which is lightweight, anti-itch, insulated, and can wick moisture.
 

Upper body

Along with your synthetic or Merino base layer, you'll want a good mix of long sleeves, T-shirts and pullover jackets like fleeces for the upper body. On top of it all, add a shell jacket that's breathable and waterproof.

For women, a sports bra may also provide better support when hiking.

Lower body

For your lower body base layer, bring quick-drying, lightweight trousers and shorts. A pair of waterproof over-trousers that you can easily pull over lighter pants won't hurt either.

 

Head and hands

Keep your head warm and protected with a sun hat, a snug and cozy winter hat, or a hiking buff, depending on the time of year and conditions. While for your hands, waterproof gloves are essential — the last thing you want to deal with on a long hike is cold, wet hands.

 

Accessories and sundries

On trails that may have a lot of elevation change or if you're undertaking a lengthy multi-day trek like the 96-mile-long West Highland Way, walking poles help improve your balance and stability on uneven terrain.

 

You'll also want to bring a comfortable backpack, sunscreen, a reusable water bottle, and a first aid kit. If you're planning to visit Scotland during midge season (from April to September), bug repellent is highly recommended.


 

The right gear makes all the difference when hiking in Scotland

Packing for all weather conditions can help ensure that you stay safe and comfortable while exploring the trails of Scotland. And Scotland isn’t the only destination that you should be well-prepared for. This packing list can come in handy for all kinds of United Kingdom tours, from walking holidays to cycling and culture-focused getaways.

More like this