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From Hat to Hipflask: Must Have Items for your Highland Walking Holiday

A lot of our visitors at the Kilcamb Lodge Hotel come here for the fabulous scenery and hikes that can be as challenging as they are inspiring. The Western Highlands of Scotland and the Ardnamurchan Peninsula are perfect for walking pursuits, offering a rich mix of hill, trail and coastal walks. Some standouts include our local Ben Resipol Hill, whose summit allows unrivalled views of the peninsula whilst the Singing Sands coastal walk allows one to discover the hidden gem that is Singing Sands Beach and Bay.

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In short, there are enough walks to keep even the most intrepid of hikers happy. But it isn’t just the routes that change; conditions can switch quickly and unexpected twists do occur. Hence preparing for a hike is often a tricky balance between being prepared and staying mobile. While the kitchen sink can stay at home, here are some useful tips and essential things to bring on a hike:

Highland Walking Essentials Checklist:

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Walking boots or closed, quality walking shoes are a must for anything beyond brief outings on foot. Sturdy soles with good grip are perfect; most trainers simply don’t cut it.
TIP: Don’t take brand new walking boots on a long hike (unless you want blisters!) It’s better to wear them in a little before you embark on your highland walking trip.

Walking socks: the thickness may depend on the time of year. Bring spares too, because walking with wet feet isn’t much fun should you have a mishap.

•Suitable trousers: Jeans are fine on shorter walks, but if you’re out all afternoon or all day, purpose made outdoor wear will suit you better. Jeans don’t dry quickly or “breathe” well during hot weather. Shorts are another option for warmer days and shorter journeys.

• Shirts & Base layers: Are your choice, but quick drying, breathable types are better than the standard cotton t-shirt. Bring layers if you are visiting in the winter or early spring.

• Fleece or outdoor top: Keep it simple with something lightweight and comfortable. Hoodies are also great for colder times, as they cover your head even if you lose your hat.

• Lightweight waterproofs
: A portable jacket that will scrunch up into a small space is ideal to combat unexpected rain. Waterproof trousers are also a good move for any walk of more than a couple of miles.

• Hat and gloves: Do pack yours for the colder months, or bring a sun hat for the warmer seasons.

• Back Pack: Bring a sensible-sized bag to carry food, fluids, personal items and spares. One that fits snugly over both shoulders is a must; shoulder bags can be annoying on longer walks.

• Water bottle: It is very important to stay hydrated, especially if you enjoy longer Highland walks.

• Map & compass: We can help you with local walking routes, recommended maps and guides. For longer hikes and foggy conditions, a compass is also a very good idea.

• Something to Eat:
For all longer walks, some fuel is a must. Do ask the hotel if you would like us to make you a packed lunch and we would be delighted to oblige (might I suggest Scottish smoked salmon with fresh watercress on crusty bloomer bread?).

Image titleOn top of the world: for any keen walker, there are amazing panoramic views to reward your endeavour here in Ardnamurchan

Highly Recommended Other Things to Bring on Highland Walking Holidays: 

• Walking poles:
Although not essential, many visitors like the support these provide. Especially welcome to lessen the strain when tackling slopes.

•Sun block: Ok, so this is Scotland, not the Costa del Sol. But it can get hot in the summer and the higher you walk, the more exposed you are.

•Insect repellant: This depends on the season, but in high summer, midges can sometimes be a menace and some defence is a must.

•Sunglasses with full UV protection: Well worth bringing, to save you squinting and getting headaches on hot days.

•First aid kit, including any medicines: For longer walks, a first aid kit is a sensible investment.

•Camera: Beyond the obligatory shot or six on your mobile, an SLR camera is well worth the extra weight, whether you want to capture a great view or Highland wildlife.

•Lightweight binoculars: A must for any keen bird watcher!

•A flask: Of the hot drink variety, or indeed a cheeky nip of whisky to celebrate reaching your destination.

•Mobile phone & Geocaching App: Granted, a walk is a great way of getting away from gadgets. But for younger guests and tech geeks, geocaching is a great way to spice up a Highland walk.

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That should cover most of the essential things to bring on a walking holiday in the Highlands. Should you have any further questions or suggested items, do drop us a line via our Facebook page or contact section.

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