Hiking in the Highlands is more than just about getting out in nature. Sure, roaming the hills and peaks of the Highlands is an activity that will expose you to experiences and sights that’ll stay with you for a lifetime as you gaze upon the beauty of the Scottish landscape.
But hiking also offers multiple physical and mental benefits. It’s been shown to reduce anxiety and stress, as well as decrease your chances of developing debilitating conditions like osteoporosis.
So if you’re planning to walk the Highlands, read Prestige Chauffeur’s top tips below that’ll keep you on the right path to enjoying the best hikes in Scotland. Whether you’re hiking in Scotland as a beginner, or a seasoned roamer of Highland Hills – stick to these tips and you won’t go wrong!
Know the Trail.
Knowing the trail you’re going to hike is invaluable. Get yourself a map, get online and have a look at what people are saying about the route. Is it a circular walk in Scotland or will you have to double back? What is the distance and are there any significant elevation changes? Take the time to study the trail and work out things like where to stop for lunch so you can find the best place to eat and admire the spectacular views along the way. Knowing the route can make the difference between having a great day’s hiking and getting lost and maybe into serious trouble whilst hiking in the Highlands of Scotland.
You can find plenty of inspiration on where to hike on the internet, try the top 5 most dramatic walks in the Highlands or The Most Incredible Hikes to Enjoy in the Scottish Highlands for starters.
Check the weather.
Highland weather is notoriously changeable. It is said that we can have 4 seasons in an afternoon and that is not an exaggeration! Leading up to your hike and just before you set off you MUST check the weather. It’ll give you a chance to pack and dress for sun, rain, snow, or whatever else the Highland weather gods have in store for you! If the weather is forecast to be downright terrible, it will give you the chance to change or delay your plans, rather than getting a nasty surprise halfway through a walk in the Highland hills with no support.
Share Your Plans Before Hiking in the Highlands
It couldn’t be more important than to let someone not in your hiking group know your itinerary for your Scottish adventure. This means if you get into trouble, after a certain amount of time, they can seek some help for you. This is again why planning your route is so important too. You’ll probably have a mobile phone with you on the hike, but there is no guarantee that reception can be had in the wilds of the Highlands just as you need it! You should always take the risks of a hike seriously.
Pack the Right Equipment
Depending on the length and remoteness of your hike, you should always pack essentials to keep you going over the hike, as well as extras for safety. There are 10 areas that you should pack for that can be expanded depending on the length of the hike. A short wee day trail up a hill requires much less equipment than a remote winter hike up an unforgiving mountain.
- Navigation (map & compass)
- Nutrition (extra food)
- Hydration (extra water)
- First-aid supplies
- Insulation (extra clothing)
- Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
- Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
- Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
- Repair kit and tools
- Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
Some of these items are obvious and other ones like the emergency shelter are essential safety items in case things don’t go your way on the hill. The last thing you need is to be stuck on the side of a mountain overnight with no shelter!
Wear The Right Clothing When Hiking in the Highlands
On a hike, you’re going to be on your feet most of the day whilst enjoying the best Highland landscapes, so it stands to reason that what you have on your feet is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing when it comes to hiking. Things like sore feet, blisters, and wet socks can ruin your day’s hiking. Invest in quality boots and socks. Do your research and get some good hiking boots and some think wool or synthetic socks for the trail, as well as invest in some blister dressings in your first aid kit – your feet will thank you for it!
The importance of your sartorial choices does not end at the ankle though. Wear layers and skip anything cotton. Pack an extra warm layer beyond what you think you’ll need for your hike. Remember to pack something that will block the wind. As usual in these circumstances, err on the side of quality to ensure you stay warm and dry on Scotland’s Hiking trails.
It’s only natural that when you first head out on a hike that the excitement and allure of the Scottish outdoors will have you starting at a hero’s pace. But if you don’t pace yourself when hiking in the Highlands, you’re going to end up out of puff before you reach the end of your day enjoying some of the best views in Scotland. Try and pick a normal walking pace that you can keep up all day. Again, this is where your planning comes into its own. Plan for plenty of time to reach your waypoints or destination and pick a path that you know you can complete.
Leave no trace.
The Highlands are like no other place on Earth. The views, the wildlife and the iconic landscape are something that needs to be protected. Don’t leave your rubbish or any detritus whilst you navigate the beautiful hills and peaks of Scotland. If you set up camp, take everything with you. If you stop for lunch, take everything with you. The code is simple – leave no trace.
Transport to Hiking in the Highlands
Getting to and from hiking in the Highlands sometimes can be a tricky prospect for visitors who don’t have their own vehicles. Make it easy on yourself and contact Prestige Chauffeur where a driver can pick you up from your accommodation, drive you to your starting point, and arrange to meet you when you finish. No one wants a drive home after a great day in the hills, so just sit back and let the driver take care of getting you home in style and comfort. Whether you’re hiking with family, colleagues or clients – Prestige Chauffeur will give you the star treatment getting to and from your adventure in the Highlands. With our larger vehicles, we will have plenty of room for your party and your equipment, with room spare to stretch out any weary legs!
How to Start Your Highland Adventure
There are many ways to with Prestige Chauffeur:
- Call and speak to our friendly team on 01463 217087
- Visit our website
- Email us
- Drop into the local office – 55 Church Street Inverness Scotland IV1 1DR
At Prestige Chauffeur we pride ourselves on great customer service and being accommodating to every passenger’s needs, so don’t hesitate in getting in contact to arrange your next journey today!