Typical Kit Required

Here is a list of the typical equipment that would be required if you are planning to walk in the Scottish Mountains and Wilderness Areas. It is not exhaustive and you will have your own ideas. However I hope it gives you an idea of what might be required to keep you warm, dry and safe in the hills.


  • Boots – leather boots are best as they cope far better than fabric boots in keeping your feet wet when going through boggy and wet terrain. I use Scarpa boots.
  • Socks –a pair of loop stitch woollen socks. Take a spare pair if going out for more than one day. I use Bridgedale socks.
  • Gaiters – Great for going through wet ground. I use Paramo ones and they keep me dry.
  • Trousers – good quality ones that will take a lot of rough handling. Ideally with lots of pockets. I use Haglofs – pricey but worth the investment.
  • Waterproof Trousers – lightweight and able to put on over boots. I use Rab Downpour ones.
  • Undies – avoid ones that could cause chafing.
  • Base Layers – avoid polyester as it can get rather whiffy after a couple of days. Polypropylene and merino wool are both better at handling the smelly bacteria.
  • Fleece – lots of choice nowadays.
  • Waterproof Jacket– Goretex jackets are ideal for Alpine conditions where it is cold and dry but do not work so well in the mild and damp Scottish climate. I always use a Paramo which is specifically designed for our climate. They keep you dry and also have great venting options.
  • Hat – whatever keeps you warm and dry.



  • Midge Net – essential between June and September if you stop walking!
  • First Aid Kit – a small personal one is all that’s needed
  • Map and Compass – not electronic! (batteries can and will fail on a multi-day walk)
  • Waterproof map case – I use Ortleib
  • Waterproof case for mobile phone – Again I use Ortleib
  • Walking poles – great for helping you up hills, especially with a heavy pack. I use Mountain Warehouse Extreme ones with trigger grips.
  • Binoculars – 8x32 are a reasonable size. I got an RSPB pair on eBay.
  • Water – you either get a bladder for your rucksack or use one or two water bottles. I take both! Note that virtually all the water on the Scottish hills is safe to drink.
  • Duck or Gaffer tape – handy for all sorts of emergencies. Wrap it round the walking poles.


  • Paramo have a Seconds shop on eBay – worth keeping an eye out as the stock is always changing.


Wild Camping

  • Tent – A lightweight one/two person tent. I use a Vango Helium which is just over 1kg. I’ve also used a Tarp tent but it’s not so good if there are midges around. Take a variety of peg types as the ground can vary a lot. Alpkit have two new lightweight tents for 2021, they look good, and are reasonably priced.
  • Sleeping Mat – great for keeping you warmer and it evens out rough ground. I use the Alpkit Cloud Base – only 420g and 5cm thick.
  • Sleeping Bag – 3 Season is ideal for the varied Scottish climate. Make sure you have it stowed away in a waterproof bag (even inside the rucksack liner). I use a Mountain Hardware Lamina.
  • Cooking Stove – a gas one is best overall type. I use the Coleman Fyrepower Alpine. It has a piezo ignition and is separate from the gas canister, meaning it sits lower and hence is safer.
  • Windshield – just use an aluminium tray, the type you get some meals in. Cut and bend to shape.
  • Cookware – I use the 1 Litre Fire-Maple cooking pot. It is lightweight and has a heat exchanger which makes it very efficient. The Coleman stove also fits inside it.
  • Knives, forks, plates, etc – I use Alpkit’s titanium cutlery, a Lifeventure large plastic mug and a large plastic bowl.
  • Head torch – an essential item. Alpkit do one with red, green & white LEDs. The green is great for map reading in the dark. Don’t forget to take spare batteries.
  • Water – you can get collapsible/roll-up water carriers.
  • Rucksack – again there are lots available. The key is to get one that fits and is lightweight. I use an Osprey Exos 58 - only 1.4kg, you can stow walking poles without taking the sack off, likewise with water bottles, two small pockets on the waist belt for snacks, camera, etc.
  • Rucksack liner – essential. A tough green garden bag is ideal.
  • Small bags – great for organising things like spare clothes, food, etc. Alpkit have a wide variety.
  • Trowel – for when you need “to go”. Take packets of tissues instead of a toilet roll. These can be ripped in half and burnt afterwards. Having tissues handy is always helpful.

I have found Alpkit to be an excellent source of value-for-money camping and outdoor kit. They are a UK company and I have no links with them. They have a few shops around the country but their main business is online – www.alpkit.com