Scottish Winter Escapes: Kit List Recommendations
A bit about the weather
Scotland enjoys a temperate climate for the majority of the year, meaning the weather in winter can be very variable; from mild rainy days to clearer, cold snaps where the temperature can drop to below freezing.
Low-lying deep valley snow is rarely an issue as the ground temperatures tend not to be low enough to allow deep snow to lie for any length of time. However, it can happen sometimes and combined with bright blue skies and chilly air it transforms the landscape into a beautiful wintry wonderland. Though this will add an extra element to your trip so make sure you are comfortable walking on snowy terrain, have the proper warm gear, and bear in mind that walking in snow can take longer before heading out for the day.
Unfortunately, we cannot predict the weather so make sure to check the forecast before your trip to make sure you pack all the right gear, and daily before you head out each day to check whether you will be comfortable in the predicted weather conditions. Most of our hand-picked routes are on low level valley paths and are doable in all conditions.
Our clothing and kit recommendations for your Winter Escape
No specialist equipment such as ice axes or crampons is required as the trips don't involve any high mountain walking. However, if the weather forecast for your trip is very cold with snow and temperatures below freezing we recommend bringing a pair of strap on ice grippers like YakTrax to give a little extra grip on pavements or any icy patches if you decide to go ahead with the walks. We also recommend that you pack:
- Walking poles - great for extra balance in snowy/slippery terrain.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers - essential kit for Scotland at any time of the year.
- Warm insulated jacket - this can be either down or synthetic.
- Mid-layers - fleece tops are a great option for wearing between your baselayers and outer waterproof shell or insulated layer.
- Wicking baselayers - both merino wool and synthetic work well.
- Walking boots or shoes - a good tread is essential for walking in winter in case of muddy or slippery terrain.
- Warm walking socks - just as important as your waterproofs, a good pair of socks, along with well-fitting footwear are the best companion for your feet.
- Hat, neck warmer (e.g. a "Buff"), and warm gloves/mitts - also essential for keeping your extremities warm on colder days.
- 20-25 litre daypack - this should be more than ample for carrying a picnic, snacks, plenty of water and a flask of tea or coffee, along with spare layers.
- Gaiters - an optional extra that you'll find useful in the unlikely event of encountering deeper snow in the valleys.
- Headtorch - recommended in case you get caught out by the shorter days over the winter.
Thankfully travelers don't come from across the world to Scotland for the weather! They come to experience its outstanding hospitality, to lose themselves in its wild and stunning landscapes, and to learn about the history and culture of this small but vibrant nation. Anyway, there's no such thing as bad weather - just the wrong clothing, right? So wrap up warm, get out on the trail and experience the Scottish Highlands all year round on our Winter Escape trips: Perthshire Winter Escape and Cairngorms Winter Escape. If you have any questions please contact us for more information.