I need some hiking clothing advice if possible! My husband and I are doing a hike in the Scottish Highlands next September. We are going at the end of the month and I understand the weather can be sketchy. I have purchased a weatherproof jacket for him from here but what are some good layers for underneath? We are new to the hiking world so any info helps!
@Pipcam outside of the possible "sketchiness" of the weather, your trip sounds like an amazing adventure!
We have a great Expert Advice article on what to wear hiking, which will give some high-level themes on layering and materials to wear/not to wear. Here are a few specific suggestions as well:
We hope this helps to get you started; if you'd like to chat with an REI employee about your trip, we do offer free virtual outfitting appointments. Also, feel free to post again with follow-up questions, and we expect you'll get other advice from members of our community!
JenK nailed it. I would just add that I am a fan of fleece full zip jackets, very easy to adjust to variable conditions. I also dote on long sleeve synthetic fabric shirts, with at least two pockets - same reason. I generally prefer a full brim hat - keeps sun or rain off equally well.
One last thought Get out and use your stuff several times before your trip. It really helps to know, and have, confidence in your gear....
To add to the excellent advice you've gotten already, keep in mind that weather in the Highlands can be unpredictable year-round. When I was last there, in June 2019, it rained all week with snow, sleet and wind near the mountain peaks. OTOH the last time I was there in September (some years ago) it was warm and sunny the whole time.
So in addition to lots of layers as mentioned above, bring waterproof rain pants, gloves, a fleece cap, etc. You never know.
Hi @Pipcam . So far the responses above are spot-on. In my opinion, the 3 key things to adhere to is layers, layers, and layers. To elaborate a bit on what @hikermor mentioned, definitely take some "practice" hikes to learn how your body responds to the exertion and the amount of insulation. I have found that even a moderately strenuous hike can result in my body warming up rather quickly, which can lead to sweating, which can lead to getting chilled. I hike by the mantra "Be bold; start cold." and carry my puffy and shell layers to throw on as conditions dictate and for when I stop for a snack to keep from getting chilled.
Some of my preferred items are a Patagonia R1 fleece, an Outdoor Research Ferrosi soft-shell jacket, an REI Co-op Xerodry GTX rain jacket, and also the REI 650 Down that @REI-JenK mentioned. I also love my Outdoor Research Ferrosi pants, which REI doesn't seem to carry right now. My base layers are an assortment of wool and synthetic items, of various weights. I would recommend the lightest weight base-layer suitable for the ambient temperatures you expect to encounter.
I've been to Northern England and Edinburgh in late fall/early winter, and it was chilly, but not bitter cold. I haven't visited the Highlands yet, but hope to before too long. Your trip will be amazing, regardless of the weather conditions (or maybe because of them).
Good luck and enjoy!