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What to Wear Hiking in Scotland this Summer

Posted on Apr 24, 2018 by Rupert Shanks

If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. Although this cliche raises a smile, it can also give a slither of insight when planning what to wear hiking in Scotland during summer.

We have been taking folk on hiking holidays in Scotland for over 16 years. Our combined hiking experience amongst the team must stretch out to over 750 years! Here’s our essential gear list for summer hiking in Scotland.

We are going to explain our clothing choices below and how these items can work together to keep you warm, dry and happy while hiking and hillwalking in the hills. We are also going to recommend some clothing and kit from outdoor manufacturers that we love. Disclaimer – we do have a partnership with Haglofs so there are quite a few nods in their direction. However, we truly believe they make fantastically comfortable, high-performance and durable outdoor gear.

Summary Video

(Modelling the kit in our short video is Jo Unda from our office team, thanks Jo!)

Our Essential walking gear list with links to products we love:



hiking in Scotland what to wear

Hiking boots with good ankle support.


Socks – the best hiking socks are wool based, such as those from Teko, Smart Wool or Thorlo.

Boots – you may feel used to hiking in trainers in your local hills. But for Scottish hill-walking, we really recommend waterproof hill-walking boots with good ankle support. Even on easy-graded hiking trips, you will likely encounter wet and rocky terrain. We would also advise getting your boots properly fitted at a local store. It’s a good idea to try and break in new boots with a good few longer hikes before taking them for a week of daily walking. Boots we recommend for Scotland:

Leg Gaiters – we recommend these for keeping you warm and dry on those wetter days. They can also do a great job of keeping things from getting into your boots that shouldn’t!


Lower Body

hiking in Scotland what to wear

Lightweight hiking trousers and merino base layer. Whitewells, Cairngorms National Park.


  • Lightweight, quick drying trousers. For men and women. Jeans or heavier trousers can get pretty uncomfortable when wet against your skin. They will also take a long time to dry.
  • Fully waterproof and breathable shell over-trousers. For men and women. We recommend over-trousers with adjustable ankle cuffs to make getting them on over your boots nice and easy.


Upper Body

hiking in Scotland what to wear

Heavier mid-layer or softshell and waterproof hiking overtrousers. Cairngorm Mountain, Cairngorms National Park.


  • Moisture wicking base layer – For men and women. Ideally in synthetic or merino wool.
  • Light insulation layer such as microfleece. For men and women
  • Heavier insulation layer to add in colder weather or when stopped (heavy fleece or lofting insulation such as down or synthetic down). For men and women
  • Fully waterproof and breathable shell jacket. We particularly like the hood design and high collar of these jackets which are very adjustable without being too claustrophobic. For men and women


Head and Hands

hiking in Scotland what to wear

Woolly hat and gloves for those colder moments at higher altitude.



Essential Equipment to Have While Walking


Recommended Optional Items

  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Personal blister kit
  • Personal wash kit
  • Comfortable clothes for evening wear (casual dress code)
  • Walking poles. Read on for our Guide to the Benefits of Walking Poles.
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Thermos flask
  • Lunchbox
  • Buff or Neck Gaiter
  • Foldable sit mat
  • Head torch (if you might like to do a night hike)
  • Spare laces


Download Our PDF Guide


Read on…


About the author

Rupert Shanks

After a spell in the corporate world in London Rupert decided to find a more rewarding way of life involving a closer connection to the outdoors and to his camera! Rupert produces a lot of the photography and video for Wilderness Scotland and works within the Marketing team.

Read more articles by Rupert

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