The mountains are alive and constantly changing and can be very dangerous, they must be treated with respect. Things can esculate extremely quickly, what starts off as a slight mis-hap can end up a disaster. The Scottish Mountains are extremely remote with the weather and conditions at the start of your hike rarely the same when you finish. Preparation is absolute key to your enjoyment and safety.
The most important things to do first are -.
✔ Check the weather forecast
✔ Look ahead and check future weather forecasts
✔ Think of the ground conditions
✔ Plan your route in advance
✔ Be prepared with the correct clothing
✔ Have your phone fully charged
✔ Make sure you have enough food
✔ Always carry plenty of water
✔ Tell someone the exact route you are looking to take
✔ Tell someone your leaving and estimated arrival time
✔ If it a long hike phone in at regular intivals
Make sure you have all the right equipment -
✔ Map & compass
✔ Gas stove
✔ First Aid Kit
Whenever possible wear bright colours,
...and never leave anything to chance!!!
They are not wrong when they say four seasons in one day. You can start your hike in glorious sunshine and within 10 minutes you are fighting through a blizzard to come out the other side soaked to the skin by wind and rain. Only for it to calm down which in the damp conditions brings out Scotlands biggest enemy The Midges.
The predominant feature of the Scottish weather is usually the wind coming in with the Gulf Stream from a westerly direction. The weather due to the wind rarely stays the same for more than a couple of Hours, because of this you must be very wary of what the future weather forecast is and what weather system is coming off The Atlantic.
It's the mountains themselves which can create huge variations in the weather and the difference in temperature, the wind speed between sheltering down in the valley and trying to stand at the summit would be unbelievable, because of this there are more in-depth mountain range forecasts for hikers, climbers and skiers.
The best peace of advice I can give you is, remember no matter what the weather at the start of your adventure it is very likely to change, so be prepared and always wear waterproof comfortable boots, lair up so it is easy to work with the weather as it changes and ALWAYS have good wind resistant waterproofs.
The special significants about the mountain ranges of Scotland is they are so beautiful and remote the good weather creates those picture card scenes, while actually it is the bad weather that creates those incredible atmospheres.
It is no exaggeration to say they will absolutely ruin your walk/hike so you will need to be ready to tackle these 2mm terrors. The Wee beasties love a calm damp day which unfortunately for Scotland in 90% of the time.
If you are lucky and get a lovely warm clear day they should stay way as they don’t like direct sunlight, on the other hand they can’t fly in winds above 7mph, so if you can't have sunny and calm pray for the wind, which to be honest if far more likely anyway.
Their are 3 very simple rules in my book and these are a must -
1 - Always carry a midge net, they are worth their weight in gold and you can pick one up for as little as £4.
2 - Cover up, the less skin you have bare for these wee guys to eat the better, I would go as far as tucking you trousers into your socks and wearing gloves, this is 35 years of experience talking .
3 - Always carry Smidge, it is one of the best midgie repellent in my book and it is always in my rucksack. Avon Skin So Soft has also been known to work well but it has a very distinctive smell and each application never seemed to last as long.
These guys are so bad in Scotland we actually have a midge weather forcast which you can find on the link below.