Summer Kit List
Even in summer in Scotland the weather can make things challenging. It's important to have the right gear so that you can get the most out of your day on the hill. On this page I will look at the equipment necessary to have a successful day on the hills.
You can also download a PDF version of The Summer Kit List
For a summer walking day you will need a 25-30 litre rucksack. For a summer scrambling or climbing day you will need a larger 35-45 litre rucksack. Make sure you have a waterproof liner for any spare clothing. Make sure everything can fit in your sack. Nothing should be stored on the outside of your rucksack.
For a summer walking course a leather walking boot is appropriate. If it is very dry you could use a synthetic boot with a Goretex liner. For a scrambling course you will need a stiff soled walking boot. (The stiffness really helps when it comes to the scrambling.) If you are booked on a rock climbing course then a comfortable walking boot or Goretex lined approach shoe will work well. For rock climbing choose a comfortable (not too tight) pair of rock shoes.
For walking and scrambling you will need a medium to thick pair of socks. Avoid cotton and choose a wool and synthetic mix. Make sure they are comfortable to wear in your boots. For rock climbing courses if you can fit a thin pair of socks inside your rock shoes you will be more comfortable when it is cold or midgey.
A decent pair of long gaiters is useful for walking courses.
This is necessary for all climbing or scrambling courses. Make sure it fits properly over a warm hat.
This is needed if you are doing a scrambling or climbing course. Make sure it fits over your multiple layers of clothing including your waterproofs and that it can be done up with your gloves on.
If you are on a climbing or scrambling course your instructor will provide the appropriate rack. However, each individual client will need a belay plate, a 120cm sling, 2 prussics, and 3 screwgate carabiners.
Sunglasses, suncream and sun hat
These are very important.
Midge net and midge repellent
If you are out on the hills in Scotland between May and September then be prepared for the odd encounter with the notorious midge.
Water bottle or flask
It is important to stay hydrated out on the hill. Often it is cold out on the hill in summer and you will really appreciate carrying that flask of hot drink.
Compass and maps
It is important to have a map for your day on the hill and this should be in a good waterproof map case like Ortlieb. I would recommend a Silva compass.
Head torch and spare batteries
A halogen or super bright LED type is best.
Waterproof jacket and trousers
These should be breathable, waterproof and hardwearing. Having trousers with ¾ or full length zips are an excellent idea so you can take them on and off without taking your boots off.
Thermal base layer
A thin synthetic or wool thermal top is essential. If it is very hot on the hill then a short sleeved version could be worn. Avoid wearing cotton because it doesn’t wick away perspiration from your body.
On top of your base layer a thin fleece works well. If it is forecast to be hot then you could use a thin pair of synthetic trousers. Don't wear cotton or denim. It's always colder than you expect high on the hill so always have another thick fleece top in a waterproof liner in your rucksack. If you get cold easily perhaps add a fleece gilet or waistcoat to your layering.
It is very important to look after your hands. A thin pair of wool or synthetic gloves is essential even in summer. Also have a spare pair of thicker fleece gloves in your bag for when it gets cold and/or wet. If you are on a scrambling course then a leather palmed glove is a good idea.
A fleece or thin woollen balaclava or hat are essential. If you are on a scrambling or climbing course then make sure your hat fits under your helmet.
Mobile phone and waterproof case
Although reception is not always good on the hills, a mobile phone can be very useful.
These are non-essential but for some big days on the hills they will help to look after your knees. If you are on a climbing or scrambling course make sure they can be taken apart and fit inside your rucksack easily.
Insulated Belay Jacket
A down jacket is not a good idea in Scotland because it is not often very dry. However, although not essential, a synthetic insulated jacket can be an excellent addition to your layers if you are climbing or scrambling.