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10 Tips To Prepare for Your Scottish Highlands Camping Trip

10 Tips To Prepare for Your Scottish Highlands Camping Trip

A camping excursion to the Scottish Highlands can be the trip of a lifetime. The region has been described as breathtaking and otherworldly. While the bucolic and sometimes rustic setting can be peaceful and calming, it does mean that you have to plan your trip carefully beforehand to make sure that you have everything you need and don't have to worry about tracking down anything you forgot, a stressful situation that can disrupt your relaxation. Here are some helpful preparation tips for your Highlands camping trip.

1. Book Campsites Early During a Highlands Camping Trip

The further north you go in the Scottish Highlands, the more limited the options for camping sites become. Therefore, it is a good idea to book campsites in advance, so that you know that they will be ready and waiting for you when you arrive. It can be frustrating and stressful to have to make alternate arrangements on short notice.

2. Give Yourself Different Camping Options

Booking campsites ahead of time increases chances of availability, but does not guarantee it. If you purchase a tent to bring with you, this gives you options for wild camping, whether it is necessitated by a lack of available campsites or something that you choose to do to add variety to your Highlands camping trip.

3. Know What Is Expected of You

Under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, access rights extend to wild camping, but do not extend to motor vehicles. If you camp your vehicle somewhere to do some wild camping, make sure that you do not create an obstruction by blocking a road or an entrance, and do not do any damage to the land. You should always have regard for the safety of others. Whenever possible, you should use a car park.

Regardless of how you camp, you are expected to clean up all traces of your visit by disposing of any rubbish and not causing any pollution. When wild camping, this includes removing all traces of open fire and tent pitch, but these requirements are less stringent when you stay at a designated campsite. Be aware of any seasonal restrictions or limitations that may apply, especially when you are camping in popular national parks, such as Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

4. Plan a Flexible Itinerary

When you're booking campsites in advance, you need to plan your itinerary so that you know where you need to be each night of your trip. However, don't try to cram your days with too much sightseeing. Plan a few places to visit and give yourself time to thoroughly explore and really appreciate each site. An itinerary that is sparse and flexible also gives you the opportunity to take unexpected side trips, which may result in some of the best discoveries you make during the trip.

5. Pay Attention to the Weather Forecast

Generally speaking, the weather in the Highlands tends to be cool and wet. The winters tend to be quite cold, while even in the spring and summer, temperatures do not get very hot. Conditions are often rainy and windy, and there may be heavy fog. Checking the weather forecast ahead of time helps you to anticipate the specific weather conditions you can expect, which helps you pack for your Highlands camping trip.

6. Protect Yourself From Rain

While checking the weather forecast can help you know what specific weather conditions you are most likely to run into on your trip, it is a pretty safe bet that you will encounter rain during at least one of the days of your trip. In the Highlands, it rains an average of 250 days a year. This may be a heavy rain or just a light drizzle, but in either case, it is best to bring a raincoat to protect yourself.

If you are taking a caravan or a campervan on your Highlands camping trip, it should afford you quite a bit of protection from the rain. However, you may also want to invest in a waterproof awning for your caravan to protect you from the rain when you are outside. An awning can also help to protect you from the sun, if needed.

7. Plan To Dress in Layers

You can expect the weather in the Highlands to tend toward the cool side. Depending on the time of year and the time of day, temperatures can get frigid. Fleeces, flannels, and jumpers are all good things to pack to bring with you on your Highlands camping trip. That way, it is easy to add and subtract layers as needed to maintain your personal comfort.

8. Prepare To Stay Warm at Night

Even in the spring and summer, when the temperatures may be mild during the day, the temperature can drop dramatically after the sun goes down. While your caravan or campervan may provide some protection from the cold, you should bring a sleeping bag rated for cold temperatures and some extra blankets as well. Better to bring more blankets than you need than to need an extra cover and not have it.

9. Bring a Pair of Hiking Boots

The terrain in the Highlands can be rugged and uneven. Hiking boots can help you keep your footing and provide some extra support for your ankle to help protect against injury, in case you accidentally twist it. Not only that, but hiking boots can also protect your feet from water and mud under wet conditions. An investment in a good pair of hiking boots is one that is likely to pay off.

10. Bring an Emergency Kit on Your Highlands Camping Trip

An emergency kit is a good thing to bring with you, not only when you are camping in the Scottish Highlands, but anytime you travel. In addition to first aid supplies, an emergency kit can also include torches and non-perishable food items, in case you are stranded for a few days before help arrives.

Leisureshop direct offers all the caravan supplies you need for your Highlands camping trip. You are sure to find all the necessary accessories from our wide selection.