Outdoor Gear Rucksack Checklist

What outdoor equipment should I carry with me in the mountains?  Hiking boots and rucksack purchased, you are ready to go!  Well not quite, you need to make sure you are properly equipped before heading for that summit or forest walk.

If you are heading outdoors into the mountains for the first time and not sure what to take, here is the list of equipment I currently take with me on summer hikes and long mountain bike routes in the Scottish highlands.  I will also provide links to Amazon if you need to stock up on any essential items before you head out.  I have used all of these in and around the mountains of Scotland and can recommend carrying them to make sure you have a safe and successful adventure.

The list may seem long but many of the items are inexpensive and will last a long time once purchased.  Mountain weather, particularly in Scotland can be very changeable so it is important to be properly prepared for all eventualities.  Hopefully this quick checklist will help make sure you have the right outdoor gear in that rucksack.

If you aren’t sure of where to visit check out some of my suggestions here.


What are the outdoor equipment essentials?

  • Map and compass – to navigate and know your location. If not sure how to use them learn first by attending an outdoors course near you or maybe check out some tips online.  Click here.


  • Whistle – use for attracting attention in case of an emergency.  Click here.


  • First aid kit – take some supplies for emergency use with you, such as pain killers and bandages.  Click here.


  • Survival bag – at a minimum a cheap bivvy bag that looks like a red bin bag. It could save your life as a last resort.  Click here.


  • Foil blanket – cheap source of warmth in an emergency.  Click here.


  • Food and water – see other post here.


  • Torch – see in the dark and attract attention if you need to from distance.  Click here.


  • Mobile phone – emergency contact.  Keep the battery full with a portable charger.  Click here.


  • GPS – not essential but see other post for details here.


  • Locator beacon or PLB – not essential but see other post for details here.


  • Glow sticks – good for attracting attention in an emergency.  Click here.


  • Hat and gloves – it gets cold even in the summer.  Protect yourself from wind and rain.  Click here.


  • Sun screen and insect repellent – protect your skin from UV and insect bites.  Click here.


  • Spare layers – down jacket or fleece in case you need extra warmth.  Click here.


  • Walking poles – useful for river crossings and steep terrain, also help take pressure off your knees and hips.  Click here.

Are there any essential items you think I’ve missed?  Please let me know in the comments.  Hopefully this article has helped those unsure of what to pack for their first adventure outdoors in the mountains of Scotland or on a munro bagging trip.