Keeping Safe While Walking in Scotland

Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the United Kingdom and with some extremely challenging terrain. Having said that, it is also popular among hikers and walkers who like to walk the trails and the hills of the Lowlands and Highlands. One thing that most people fail to prepare for is getting lost. It probably sounds a little weird to you because you might be a sensible person with a good sense of direction and a first aid kit, but really, you must understand the seriousness of getting lost out there.

The Highlands, Lowlands and Lost Lands

Are you walking the Highlands, Glencoe, Perth, Peebles or Argyll? It’s a big area and you might have a map and compass but it doesn’t mean you are safe. You should always be prepared for any possible eventuality and by that we mean anything. So, with that in mind we have compiled a safety list of things you should take with you and things you should do before you leave for your trek or walk across Glencoe or the Highlands.

Pass of Glencoe

 Courtesy of Adam Ward

Weather and Planning

You should always check the weather forecast for the day you intend to go for your walk. You might plan a week in advance to walk from point A to point B but on the morning of the walk it could be raining. What do you do then? It’s all worth considering for your own safety. Carry suitable weather clothing with you, such as waterproofs. Your shoes should be suitable and comfortable with a certain level of water resistance.

Planning your route beforehand is advisable and make sure that you plan a trip that you won’t have problems navigating. For instance, you won’t feel comfortable if you walk on difficult terrain that hurts your ankles or knees, so plan ahead on that respect. And, this may sound silly, but tell people where you are going. Give them a route plan and a time plan for each checkpoint so they know where to look for you.

Equipment

If you have a smartphone take it with you. You may not get a signal but most smartphones will still allow emergency calls even if there’s no signal to make a regular call. In addition, many phones have a basic GPS app available that might get you back to family landmarks if you are in a scrape. If you don’t have a smartphone, consider purchasing or hiring a pocket GPS unit for ramblers – and take that, along with a spare, fully charged battery. Carry a first-aid kit. You can never be sorry you brought that with you and it could save a life. If you are planning to camp out, take all the right equipment for safe camping and take plenty of protein based food and stay safe out there!