Scotland has a wonderfully diverse climate and sometimes we can experience all four seasons in one day! With this in mind it’s essential to take clothing, footwear and accessories suitable for changing weather conditions.
The best way to plan your clothing is based on a three layer system. This consists of a base layer to carry moisture away from your skin, a middle layer to provide warmth and a waterproof outer layer to protect you from wind and rain. Ideally, all layers should be able to breathe. In colder seasons and weathers you many need to wear extra layers.
Trousers – Lightweight, windproof and quick-drying trousers are ideal, so leave the jeans at home! You should also carry a pair of waterproof trousers in case you get caught in heavier rain.
Other clothing – A warm hat and gloves, preferably at least shower proof, should be carried at all times. In summer, a hat to protect the back of your neck from sunburn is a good idea (as well as sunscreen). You may also want to consider a midge net to keep those little blighters at bay!
Boots – Your boots are the most important item of equipment as far as comfort is concerned and should be waterproof, sturdy and provide ankle support. Make sure that they fit and break them in thoroughly before starting the walk, as new boots can become very uncomfortable and may cause blisters. In summer, you might get away with a pair of light trail shoes on less rugged parts of the Way but these do not provide ankle support and are not likely to be waterproof so expect to get cold, wet feet if it rains.
Socks – Good quality socks with high natural fibre content are very comfortable to wear and are recommended. Some people prefer to wear a thinner lining sock, preferably silk, under their walking socks. The advantage being they are easy to wash, quickly drying and can be changed more often.
Extra Footwear – When not actually on the Way, you may wish to change into different shoes to give your feet a rest. Flip-flops are lighter than trainers, but remember you’ll still need to carry the extra weight!