Hillwalking Gear

Not sure what to bring for your day or weekend on the hills?

Below is a suggested list of equipment. You can cut down on this for summer walks but remember Scottish mountain weather is not predictable and you are better to carry more than less.  Feel free to ask advice before joining us on a day out. The list indicates the types of equipment club members typically carry and is meant for guidance only.

Summer hillwalking

  • Boots (with ankle support)
  • Socks (thick walking socks)
  • Gaiters (not essential but can keep your lower legs clean and dry if wet going)
  • Walking trousers
  • Waterproof over trousers (with long side zips for when it pours with rain)
  • Then 3 layers depending on weather conditions
    • Base layer (thermal top)
    • Mid layer (warm fleece top)
    • Outer layer (waterproof jacket with hood)
  • Warm hat (plus spare)
  • Gloves (plus spare pair)
  • Thermal buff or neck warmer

Winter hillwalking (in addition to above)

  • Warmer trousers (wind resistant fleece lined preferably)
  • Winter boots (ideally crampon compatible required in snow/ice conditions)
  • Ice Axe (for snow/ice conditions)
  • Crampons (for snow/ice conditions)

Note – if you do not have ice axe and crampons in some winter conditions then be prepared to turn back.  Only take them if you know how to use them or have been given advice on their use.  


  • Walking poles (takes strain off your knees and helps with balance)
  • 25-50 litre rucksack
  • Whistle
  • Head torch with spare batteries

Food & Water

  • Water flasks for 1.5-2 litres especially if hot weather
  • Vacuum flask for hot soup or tea/coffee especially in winter
  • Lunch – take plenty to eat


  • Route instructions such as Walk Highlands website printout
  • Compass
  • Map of area or GPS with inbuilt OS map (not a smartphone!)
  • Map plastic case (to keep map dry)
  • GPS (some upmarket models include Ordnance Survey maps)

NOTE: take spare clothing, shoes and a small towel and leave these in your vehicle for when you return if it is very wet!