What to pack for the Scottish Highlands

By Kay Pearson on 13th February 2020

Scotland has notoriously unpredictable weather but, as we say here, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes”! 

If you wear suitable clothing on your WOW tour you will have a much more enjoyable time (our number one priority!).  Consequently, we have prepared a list of what to pack for the Scottish Highlands.  As most visitors come between May and September these recommendations are appropriate for trips at that time of year.

So, here goes;

Hiking boots (or sturdy trainers/sneakers)

If you are visiting the tourist sights of Skye or Orkney you will require to walk over rugged, uneven ground which can often be muddy and slippery.  Ideally, you should wear boots with ankle support. However, as a minimum we would suggest a sturdy, waterproof walking trainer. I have these from Merrell (see photo above) and they are a great all-rounder for city and country walks.

Waterproof jacket with hood

Ideally you would bring something fairly lightweight (so that it can be stuffed in a backpack) and breathable.  A hood is a great advantage for when the rain is blowing horizontally! I have this Montane one  (see photo above) which is excellent but you can find much cheaper alternatives out there too (I appreciate that you probably won’t get as much use out of it as me!)

Warm sweater/fleece

The average daytime temperature in summer is 16oC (61oF).  For those of you from warmer climes this may seem a little cool, particularly when you add in the wind chill factor.  Consequently we would recommend bringing a fleece or similar – perhaps something like this from Craghoppers.  

Kay wearing Maier trousers and Rab jacket

Waterproof trousers/pants (or lightweight, quick drying trousers)

Waterproof trousers are not essential but, if there is a forecast for heavy rain, then they could come in really handy.  I have these Berghaus ones which are great, as they have zips and buttons up the side to enable you to pull them on over your shoes and trousers as you need them.  

If you don’t want to buy waterproof trousers then we’d recommend wearing lightweight trousers which will dry quickly – I have these Maier ones and they are great for summer.


If it it forecast to be a cold or windy day then we’d recommend wearing a base layer/t-shirt, a fleece, then a warmer layer on top.  I like my Rab gilet for this as it gives extra warmth without being too bulky. If you really feel the cold I’d also recommend the Rab jacket I’m wearing in the photo above as an alternative.

Shop Local

You will notice that all of the links above are to products from Craigdon Mountain Sports.  This is an independent sports shop in Inverness which has a great selection of products in stock – great if you arrive and feel under-prepared!  They don’t know we have written this blog and we receive no benefit whatsoever if you shop there – we just like to encourage our guests to shop locally, in a shop where you can definitely expect excellent service!

We hope you enjoyed our blog on, “What to pack for the Scottish Highlands”.

We look forward to showing you around soon!

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