Footwear & foot care
You will need walking boots to provide support for your feet and good grip. Make sure that the boots fit comfortably with thick socks for warmth, that the boots provide good support your foot and ankle and have strong grip. It is best to walk your boots in before trying them out on a long walk. Between walks keep you boots clean and waterproof with the
appropriate spray or cream for your boots. It’s a good idea to travel to and from the walk in comfy shoes and bring a plastic bag for your muddy boots at the end of the walk. Bring some sticking plasters in your pack and be sure to stop and cover any points on your feet where the boots are rubbing before a blister develops. You might also want to carry a
spare pair of socks in case your feet get wet. Another tip to avoid foot problems is to make sure your toenails are trimmed and are free of sharp edges.
It can be cold and wet in the Scottish hills and the weather can be unpredictable at any time of year. Choose layers to provide maximum flexibility. Avoid cotton next to your skin – a t-shirt made of wicking fabric that takes moisture away from the skin is best for the base layer. Wear a jumper and have an extra layer/jumper in your pack. Don’t wear denim jeans or cotton jogging pants – these fabrics are very cold when wet, chill you quickly and don’t dry. Trousers made of a quick drying fabric are the best choice. You will need a waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers – these are important to keep out the wind as well as any rain. Also, please back a cap/hat/sunglasses/sun screen for sunny days to prevent sunburn and heat stroke – and yes it does happen even in Scotland! If you don’t have appropriate kit then please let us know and we will see if we can find equipment for you to borrow.
Food & Water
You will need energy in the hills so bring a supply of carbohydrates & some basic nutrition. A couple of sandwiches, a chocolate/sweet bar and a piece of fruit will see you through a Sunday walk. We enjoy tea stops and these are important for safety and fun! Staying well hydrated is very important so bring a supply of water – at least 750mls of water and a small flask of hot drink. In areas where sheep are grazing it’s best not to drink stream water but you can take water from springs and/or carry purifying tablets to add to water as needed.
Carrying your kit
A small rucksack is the most comfortable bag for the hills – one with a chest and waist strap will be most comfortable. Rucksacks are not waterproof and rain guards only provide limited protection. Pack you dry gear inside a plastic liner or plastic bags so that it does not get wet. Travel light – bring the essentials for you and the kit mentioned here but leave
the kitchen sink at home!
Toilets in the hills
There are none! Sorry to be indelicate but it’s not kind to the environment to leave anything in the hills so bury any poo, bring some toilet paper and a rubbish bag to take it and any used sanitary products home. If we are walking in the Cairngorms National Park, there is a “No Poo Policy” and bags can be collected from the ranger’s stations.
Many of us in the Lilidots are dog owners and there lies a potential problem. If we all turned up with our lovely pooches then things could become unmanageable, so we ask you to leave your dogs at home.
If you’d like to organise a ‘Lilidoggies’ walk in addition to the monthly program then details can be posted on Lilidots Facebook page or added to the newsletter.
It’s always great to see everyone’s photos and we encourage everyone to share them with us on our Facebook group page but please remember that not everyone wants to be on this, so please check with individuals first.