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Adventure Blog

What we hike in

On October 26, 2016 By Rebecca Field In All things biking All things hiking Explaining Scotland Gear Advice Skills tips Skills Trip Training blogs

It’s all about the gear for hiking Scotland

Whether you are caught in a white-out, needing to navigate trails or provide emergency first aid, it is imperative hikers are properly equipped on their Highland adventures. Otherwise we would rely too heavily on Mountain Rescue for preventative emergencies!

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Keeping gear dry is a must. Photo courtesy of Complete Cairngorms participant, Alison Hedley

Here in Scotland’s Highlands the terrain and weather can be deceptive as our tallest peak Ben Nevis is 1,345 metres. However, the tree line in Scotland begins around 6-800 metres. Higher winds and colder and changeable weather thus occur lower down in Scotland at the same severity. This means, effectively, the environment you get at 600 metres is the same at 3,000 metres in the Alps.

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Some Full moon Snow-hole Expedition gear: snow shovel, ice axe, trekking pole, rope, rucksack

Finding the right fit for hiking Scotland

To protect ourselves from Scotland weather we prepare with the proper gear. Cioch Outdoor Clothing is a Scottish based manufacturer on the Isle of Skye, and along with being comfortable and durable they also provide excellent customer service.

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Wild Knoydart: walkers know the value of a good pack!

Nikwax Analogy material made to measure by Cioch and Páramo clothing, an ethical manufacturer, are favourites of Andy. He values these for their waterproof and windproof properties, essential to weathering Scotland’s worst. Many are surprised by the severity of “wind chill”.  (Wind chill is the effect of the wind in cold weather, which makes the actual temperature feel so much colder than the thermometer records.) Wind chill creates a high risk of hypothermia. Extra layers are a must.

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Andy in a Nikwax Analogy smock jacket by Páramo

Key features: never go without a map and compass, and pay special attention to foot care. Proper walking boots are essential. In general the heavier the boot, the more equipped you will be, and stiffer boots are best for dealing with snow.

Scotland - ATTA - Adventure Travel World Summit

Scotland – ATTA – Adventure Travel World Summit; Spirit of the Cairngorms. Compass for navigation.

Navigating the market

How does Gore-Tex compare to its competitors? Do you need to splurge on expensive gear for a single trip? Our resident guide Andy Bateman is an expert in questions like these.

Scotland - ATTA - Adventure Travel World Summit

Scotland – ATTA – Adventure Travel World Summit; Spirit of the Cairngorms. A bike you can depend on

We provide advice on the kit you will need, because the best gear makes you forget the job it is doing, and leaves you to soak in your adventures instead.

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