You will require waterproof jacket and trousers. Essential to keep the wind and rain out and the warmth in. I prefer trousers with at least a half length zip to ensure that they can be put on over boots.

Think onions - lots of layers. This means you can easily regulate your temperature depending on what the weather is doing. Any kind of wicking fabric is recommended and cotton is to be avoided at all costs. Trousers which can dry out fast are a bonus.

I carry a thin pair of gloves and a wooly hat with even the best weather forecasts. A sun hat is a good idea on those hot and sunny days.

I use short length gaiters in summer to prevent my socks looking like a heather bush.

Spare clothes

Apart from the clothes that I’ll expect to wear during the day, I’ll carry an extra layer with me. I’m a big fan of the synthetic ‘belay jacket’ which is a lightweight jacket that can be worn over all my clothes. If you don’t have one of these, an extra fleece will suffice. I’ll also carry a spare pair of big gloves.


Roughly 30 litres will be fine for the majority of Scottish summer courses. You want to be able to comfortably get all your kit inside. I like simplistic designs with a good size pocket in the lid. Everything in your rucksack wants to remain dry so a waterproof liner is a good idea. I prefer to have numerous small waterproof liners as opposed to having one big one.

Check out Deuter for fantastic rucksack design who also specifically cater for the female cut under the Deuter SL women's fit brand.


There is a huge array of footwear on the market. The most important feature is comfort in my opinion.

Scarpa® do a massive selection of boots, ranging from running, trail, approach, trek, mountain and climbing boots.

Little things

A small head torch with spare batteries. Either Halogen or strong LED's are the best.

Any personal medication and a small first aid kit to deal with common problems such as blisters, sunburn or insect bites.

A cheap orange plastic emergency bivouac bag which can live in the bottom of your rucksack.

A little whistle for attracting attention and weights nothing - the majority of Deuter rucksacks have one build into the chest strap.

Navigation tools

For mainland UK navigation, I always use Ordinance Survey maps, scale 1:50,000 and a compass - I use a Silva Type 4. It is possible to enlarge the 1:50,000 map to a 1:25,000 scale if you struggle seeing all the fine detail. For the Isle of Skye, I use the Harveys maps. I'm a huge digital mapping fan and very rarely purchase paper maps now. I use the OS Map App on my phone which enables me to download maps to be used offline.

Don’t forget a map case if you’re not using laminated maps. There is only one map case that works in my opinion and that is the Orblieb cases - A5 size.

Food & drink

Like any engine, your body needs fuel to perform at its best. Lots of small items that can be munched on throughout the day are ideal. A one litre water bottle should provide enough liquid and/or a flask depending on personal preference.

Additional equipment for scrambling and climbing courses

A climbing helmet to protect the head.

A climbing harness is useful as something to tie into.

Please bring any of your own climbing equipment to use if you prefer.

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© 2019 Di Gilbert Mountaineering