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    What to Wear Open Canoeing in Scotland

    By Rupert Shanks, Chief Storyteller
    More by Rupert

    Gently paddling through a Scottish glen can be one of the most peaceful and therapeutic experiences around.

    However, like any Scottish adventure you need to be prepared for the elements. We’ve been guiding open canoeing trips throughout Scotland for 15 years. So we’re happy to share our complete guide to What to Wear Open Canoeing in Scotland.

    Video: we produced a short summary video kindly presented by David from our Sales and Guiding team. Thanks David!

    Upper Body

    What to wear open canoeing in Scotland-3

    • Moisture wicking base layer.
    • Heavier weight fleece/jumper which is lightweight but warm and breathable.
    • Waterproof jacket. For a canoeing trip in which you will also be hiking and camping (Such as our North West Highlands trip) we recommend using a hiking style outer shell jacket. If you only require a jacket for use inside the canoe it may be worth considering a watersports-specific jacket.

    Lower Body

    What to wear open canoeing in Scotland-3

    Quick drying hiking trousers or zip-off trousers are a great option.

    • Lightweight trousers, ideally which are tough but comfortable, breathable and quick-drying.
    • Shorts.
    • Swimming costume/trunks.
    • Waterproof trousers.


    • Trainers with good soles for rough ground. Warm Socks recommended.
    • Wellington boots are recommended.

    Head and Hands

    • Warm wool hat and sunhat/baseball cap.
    • Buff/neck gaiter.
    • Warm gloves.

    Essential equipment to take with you on the water

    • Water bottle. (Ideally 2 litres capacity in total)
    • Dry bag to carry spare clothes (Provided by Wilderness Scotland on our trips)
    • Sunglasses with buoyant strap.
    • Sunscreen and lip balm.

    Download our PDF kit list and guide:

    What to wear open canoeing in Scotland pdf

    Happy paddling!


    Meet 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.”

    View profileMore by Rupert

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