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Hill walking is one of Scotland’s most popular outdoor activities. It’s a superb way to explore some of our most spectacular scenery, and there’s a real sense of achievement when you come off the hill after a grand day out.

But don’t be fooled by the gentle-sounding word ‘hill’. Hill or mountain walks take you into wild, remote country. We mark some routes only as far as the forest edge, but out on the hill there are no waymarkers or signposts and paths are not always easy to follow. The weather can change quickly too. Even on a clear summer day, conditions on the hills are often much colder and windier than at low levels.

Safe hillwalking

If you’d like to explore the delights of Scotland’s hills and the forests that lead to them, here are some tips for enjoying them safely:

  • Plan your route before you set off. You’ll find detailed route descriptions at walkhighlands.
  • Learn how to use a map and compass to find your way. Don’t rely only on electronic navigation aids like GPS units or mobile phones: if the battery fails you still need to be able to know where you are.
  • Be properly equipped, with good walking boots, and warm and waterproof clothing.
  • Take plenty of food and drink, and a torch in case the trip takes longer than you expect.
  • Leave details of where you’re going and when you expect to be back with someone who can raise the alarm if things go wrong. If your plans change, let them know.
  • Turn back if it gets too hard for you.