I walked these three trails back to back in June 2018 and this list reflects that time of year.
Starting from the bottom up…
- Shoes – Brooks Cascadias, non-goretex. Since hiking the PCT in 2015 these shoes have been my favourite hiking shoes and I prefer non-goretex as they dry quicker and breathe better. Most people were wearing boots on the West Highland Way, but I felt fine in these shoes with my ankle brace that I’ve been wearing post ankle-op
- Sandals – i took my Teva Tirra sandals for wearing in the evenings and in the showers
- Socks x 3 – Darn Tough merino socks, two for hiking in and one pair for sleeping in
- Hiking pants – I wore a pair of North Face hiking pants instead of my usual skirt because of the presence of ticks and midges
- Knee braces – for my dodgy knees (both feeling a bit worn out!)
- Long sleeve hiking shirt x2 – Patagonia capilene (I wore one and washed it daily and slept in the other)
- Baselayer pants – to sleep in
- Underpants x 2 – Exofficio
- Sports bra – Patagonia
- Buff – I always take one as it can protect my neck from the sun or keep me warm
- Down jacket – some nights camping were quite cold and I slept in my Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer down jacket, otherwise, it’s so light that it’s good to carry just in case
- Rain gear – TrekMates Poncho – this poncho has been tested quite a lot lately (Portugal, Spain and Japan) and performs fine
- Hat – I’m still using my Prana truckers hat that I wore on the PCT, it’s the only hat I’ve found big enough to cover my nose!
- Sunglasses – Dirty Dog Kee Kee – Polarized – until I dropped them and stepped on them at Glencoe Mountain Resort, then I just had my hat for the rest of the time in Scotland 😦
BACKPACK & ACCESSORIES
- Backpack – Gossamer Gear Mariposa
- Backpack raincover
- Backpack liner – Gossamer Gear Clear Waterproof Pack Liners – these are cheap, see through and last ages
- Dry bags – inside pack to compartmentalise gear
- West Highland Way: ‘Walking the West Highland Way‘ by Terry Marsh
- Great Glen Way: ‘Walking the Great Glen Way‘ by Paddy Dillon
- Speyside Way: I hadn’t actually planned to do this walk so I picked up ‘The Speyside Way‘ map by Footprint at the Aviemore Tourist Office and this worked out fine as it was written in the direction I was walking
- Ziplock bags – good for packing out rubbish as well as leftover food
- Water bottle – I took a Water-to-go 750ml bottle which meant I could fill up from anywhere as it has a water filter within the bottle. I also carried a 2l platypus water storage for days when I needed to carry more water
- Hiking poles – Pacer Poles – I’ve been using these since my very first long distance walk, the Camino Frances in 2013
- Headlamp – Petzl Tikka 2 – I’ll always take it even when I’m not camping, but it really didn’t get dark enough to use this on this trip!
- Clothes Line – I have the lifeventure pegless clothes line and it is the most used item I own!
- Towel – Ultralight Packtowel – this is so light that I keep it in my pack and I did need it at a couple of hostel’s where towels weren’t included
- Ear plugs – useful if you’re a light sleeper
- Eye mask – useful when camping when the sun doesn’t set in summer in Scotland!
- Foldable daypack – Sea to summit Ultra Sil 20l pack – this is a bit of a luxury item but at 68 grams, it’s worth it and I use it around towns or to take my things into the shower
- Tent – Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 – I took a freestanding tent as I had no idea what type of surfaces I would be pitching it on each night and this tent worked great
- Sleeping bag – Western Mountaineering Alpinlite 20F down sleeping bag, this is the same bag I used on the PCT and for the most part it was too hot for this trip, but there were a couple of nights at the beginning where I was really cold so I would probably stick with this year round and be hot rather than cold. I also took a waterproof compression bag for it
- Sleeping mat – Women’s NeoAir Xlite, the same one I’ve had since the PCT
- Camera – I carried a Fujifilm XT2 with a 10-24mm lens on a Peak Design pro capture clip on my shoulder
- Phone with headphones – I used my iPhone as a second camera and to listen to music
- Garmin 62s GPS
- Chargers – for camera & phone
- Spare batteries – AAA for headlamp and AA batteries for GPS
- Plug with USB sockets
TOILETRIES & FIRST AID
- Multi-purpose Soap – I used a small bottle of Lifeventure multi-purpose soap for shampoo, soap and washing my clothes
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Trowel, toilet paper, tissues and ziplock bags
- FirstAid Kit – bandaids, needle and thread, antiseptic cream, sunscreen, lip balm, scissors, tweezers, antibacterial hand gel, painkillers, anti-inflammatories and anti-histamines
Post ankle replacement, I’m curious about what sort of ankle brace you used and whether you had blisters from it?
Since my operation I’ve been wearing the Aircast A60 ankle brace (on hikes) and it’s really comfortable and easy to put on with a Velcro strap. I’ve never had any blisters from it but I do need to wear longer socks because it rubs on my calf if I wear short socks. Xx