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Getting out and about in Scotland is becoming more and more popular, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Outdoorsman Petesy, aka writer Peter MacFarlane, talks to The Hour from Balmaha on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, to give his top tips on what you need to experience the countryside.
“Too many people think you need loads of expensive kit and lots of experience to enjoy the Scottish landscape, but it’s not the case,” he says. “Now I can tell you that anyone can start hiking if they follow just a few simple tips.”
First off, a rucksack. It’s all very well carrying round equipment for every occasion, but it needs to be portable as well. “Nothing will put you off that second hike faster than memories of lugging a heavy pack around,” says Petesy.
A waterproof jacket is also important, and even a pull-on cagoule will keep the weather out, as well as packing away with ease.
On your feet, trail shoes are better than boots. Petesy says: “Why buy a pair of boots you’ll only use occasionally? You’ll get your money’s worth from your trail shoes.”
A map and compass are Pete's final essentials. “It may not seem so important when you're setting out on easy-to-follow trails, but take one along and use it to see where you are, what distance you're covering and how long it takes you. Later on when you're heading to the bigger hills this will become vital, so get familiar with it early on and maybe get some instruction later on.”
With this advice in mind, you’re ready to explore the wilds of Scotland safely, and comfortably.
For other things to do round Scotland, visit STV's Days Out page.