Camp Sites in Scotland

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Hiking in Scotland

More than perhaps any other outdoor activity, backpacking and hiking rewards the efficient packer and punishes the people that over pack. After all, you will have to both live with and carry and every decision you make! In assembling a personal packing list, experience is the best guide. Here is a useful list of things that you will essentially need:

The Basics:

• A backpack
• Tent
• Sleeping Bag
• Sleeping Pad
• Maps and guidebook
• First aid kit
• Compass
• Small flashlight
Eating and Drinking:

• Water bottles (at least two 1-liter bottles
per person)
• Water purification (filter or iodine)
• Stove and fuel
• Matches and lighter
• Insulated mug
• lightweight bowl and spoon
• Utility knife (e.g. Swiss Army-type

Clothing:


• Hiking Boots (broken in and waterproofed)
camp shoes
• 3 pairs of socks (no cotton! wool or synthetic,
liners or not - your preference)
• 1 pair of long underwear bottoms (synthetic)
• 1 long underwear top (synthetic; zip-T style ones are best)
• 1 pair of shorts underwear (optional)
• 1 T-shirt (cotton or synthetic)
• Rain jacket and pants
• Wool or fleece sweater or jacket
• Wool or fleece hat
• Wool/fleece gloves or mittens

Accessories and Optional Items:


• Toilet paper in zipper-lock bag
• Extra zipper-lock/trash bags
• Lip balm
• Toothbrush and toothpaste
• Rain cover
• Trekking poles
• Sunglasses
• Journal & pen
• Ground cloth
• Camera, film
• Hair brush/comb
• Small strainer (for filtering food particles
while cleaning dishes)


Planning your Hike

Once you have chosen how many days you have and how many miles you plan to cover, you can make a decision on your route and the length of your hike. It is important to make sure you have the right maps and guidebooks covering the area that your hike involves. Don't forget to take into account big climbs or difficult stretches of trail where you're pace will/ could be a little slower. If you're a planner, you might want to decide in advance where your target campsites will be. However, some people prefer to just 'go with the flow'.

Discuss plans with your hiking partner (You should have at least one until you are confident in your outdoor skills). Make sure you agree on the basics, the most important is how many miles you plan to walk each day.

At that point:

• Check with your partner(s) regarding sharing gear: You don't both need an army knife, stove, tent, first aid kit, and water filter, so this is a great opportunity to shed some weight.

• Get all your gear together and check its condition to be sure nothing is falling apart and no parts are missing.

• If you haven't been hiking in a while, it's a good idea to take a few walks wearing your boots. It'll help you break your feet in and avoid blisters on the trail.

• Shop for food.

• Remember last minute items such as water and any food you've stored in the refrigerator.


Respect the Countryside Around You

It is very important to respect the countryside around you and to avoid damaging anything in or around the areas that you cover on your hike. Here are some things to bear in mind:

• Hike in a single file. Hiking two or more abreast widens and erodes trails.

• Stay on the trails. Don't be tempted to cut switchbacks they're there not only to make the grade easier for walking, but to prevent erosion. If the trail is muddy, walk straight through the middle rather than walking around the edges, which broadens the trail unnecessarily.

• You can help prevent flooded or muddy trails by shoring up broken water bars. Placing a few rocks across the trail can help divert any water downhill and away from the path. Unless you've got trail maintenance experience, you'll be more helpful if you do your bit and repair damaged water bars than if you attempt to install new ones.

• Don't use so-called 'social'/ 'volunteer' trails that veer off in all directions, sometimes criss-crossing meadows. Stay on official trails. Encourage others to do the same by barricading shortcuts and social trails with some sticks and stones, the recognized hiker sign for 'trail closed' or 'don't go here'.


Scotland is packed with stunning countryside views, steaped in history and proud of its many traditions.
There really is something for everyone in Scotland and the BEST way to get the full experience is by camping.

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