Walking Conditions

In case no-one told you, the weather is Scotland is notoriously fickle, sometimes even dangerous. Don't be surprised to experience sun, snow, rain and fairy gnomes all in the space of an hour!

To come hill walking, you need to have the right equipment. You need to bring all the equipment listed here on every trip. If you're unsure about any of the equipment, feel free to get in touch with our kit officer. If required, any equipment not listed here, e.g. head torches, crampons or ice axes, will be provided by Breakaway, though you are free to bring your own if you wish.


Walking Boots

This is the single most important piece of equipment you need to bring! Ideally they should be waterproof, and they must provide ankle support (see picture) to help prevent sprains and broken ankles.

We don't want any injuries, we don't want to carry people down mountains, and we don't want to have to call out mountain rescue. So not Ugg boots, not wellington boots, flip flops or tennis shoes. Walking boots.

For high level walks in the winter, they must also be stiff enough to kick steps in the ice and take crampons securely. Talk to our kit officer if you are unsure.


Suitable Clothing

The rest of your clothing must also be suitable. First up is suitable trousers - basically anything but jeans is fine. They need to be comfortable enough to walk all day in.

Next up is waterproofs. Both a waterproof coat and waterproof trousers, to go over your regular trousers, will help you stay dry in the rain and protect you from the wind.

Scotland is also pretty much always cold so you'll want a hat, scarf & gloves (yes, even in April). In addition, bring extra warm layers with you even if you don't need them while walking. When you break for lunch walking up a high mountain you get cold extremely quickly.


Food and Water

Walking is tiring and consumes a lot of energy so you'll need to bring lots of food to keep your energy levels up through the day. Expect to require about 1000 to 1500 additional calories for a long walk. Lunch is a must and snacks such as chocolate bars are great portable energy banks.

To date, we've never had an impromptu overnight stay in the wild. As a precaution however, we advise that you bring a few extra chocolate bars or other high energy food as emergency rations.

Finally, you'll need lots of water - a minimum of 1 litre though more is better.


Backpack

You'll need to bring a backpack with you to store all this in. This doesn't have to be specifically made for the outdoors, as long as it is big enough for all your kit, and comfortable enough to wear all day. Two shoulder straps are required, and a waist strap is recommended.

Recommended Extras (Optional)

The following kit is non-essential, but recommended if you're looking to have a more comfortable time hiking.

Gaiters are a good addition to your waterproofing that will greatly improve your chances of escaping a bog encounter with dry feet.

Walking poles provide additional support, especially on steep descents, which can reduce strain on your knees. These can be acquired for a little as £10. They're not for everyone, but definitely worth a try if you struggle with sore knees at the end of the day.

Finally, for those looking to do higher Munros and scrambles in the winter, specialised B2 winter walking boots provide stronger support and a much more solid fit with crampons. However, these can be very expensive and are not recommended unless you're planning to put them to plenty of use.