Useful Information
Activity Kit Lists

Mountain Biking


Clothing

  • Shorts are ideal.

  • If you are wearing trousers, ensure the bottom of the legs are snug, clipped or tucked into socks so as to avoid them getting caught in the drivetrain of the bike.

  • Short or long sleeve t-shirt, and a lightweight fleece or softshell jacket is perfect.

Protective equipment

  • Glasses/goggle for protecting your eyes from dirt, debris and branches

  • Long fingered gloves with good palm protection

  • Helmet - please make sure it has not suffered any previous crashes, is free from cracks, dents and any other obvious sign of damage. Ensure it fits you properly

  • Knee/elbow guards. Recommended but not essential. They can be expensive but if you are doing a lot of riding then the chances are you will fall off at some point - so protect yourself as best you can

Spares

  • An inner tube specific to your bike. Most hire shops provide these with your hire bike.

  • Any bike brand-specific tools which may not be common place (Trek rear hangers, etc)

Orange Survival Bag

  • Essential if something goes wrong on the mountain and you are stationary for a period of time. Cheap as chips!

Food & Water

  • Your body needs these to produce energy and regulate temperature so don't skimp on them – food high in energy (a mixture of quick and slow release sugars).

  • 1-2 litres of water is fine for trail centre days, but 2-3 litres of water are ideal for bigger mountain rides.

  • Always remember emergency rations!

Spare Clothing

  • A spare layer, hat and a pair of gloves can become essential if conditions deteriorate, or you are unexpectedly stuck outdoors!

  • A buff or neck gaitor can also be useful.

Waterproofs

  • Not that you will need them in Scotland...! Lightweight is fine for summer, such as pack away or more robust Paclite -style brands.

  • Zips on the legs make it easier to put them on and off over biking shoes.

  • A hood is desireable for stationary situations but they rarely fit over helmets in riding conditions!

Footwear

  • A pair of trainers in good condition will be sufficient for mountain biking.

  • MTB specific shoes are available, and definitely provide better grip and a more rigid connection with the pedal, but can be expensive.

  • Warm socks or ideally waterproof socks (such as Sealskinz) are essential.

Rucksack

  • A hardwearing rucksack is essential.

  • 10-20 ltrs should suffice (the larger for bigger mountain days).

  • You will find an array of back types - padded, protected and airflow designs are common place, but for just starting out any comfortable bag is appropriate.

  • A waist belt and chest strap help to keep it stable on your back without bouncing around.

Midge Repellant & Sun Cream

  • You need to protect yourself, especially in the mountains were sweat and the cool mountain air makes you forget how warm it is!

  • Smidge and Skin So Soft seem to work the best for Scotland's famous beasties!




Winter Mountaineering


Clothing

  • Ensure your clothing is non-cotton or denim, as these materials dry slowly and keep you cold when wet.

  • We recommend either some warm winter walking trousers or a pair of wicking long johns with saloppettes on top.

  • A long sleeve wicking baselayer and a warm fleece or softshell should suffice on top.

Food & Water

  • Your body needs these to producA long sleeve wicking baselayer and a warm fleece or softshell should suffice on top.Food & Watere energy and regulate temperature so don't skimp on them – food high in energy (a mixture of quick and slow release sugars) and 2-3 litres of water are ideal.

  • Always remember emergency rations! Try to keep your water warm so that it doesn't freeze, tuck bladder pack hoses in the ruck sack.

Headtorch & Spare Batteries

  • You are far more likely to need this in winter than in summer, in some cases it may be planned in order to make the most of the limited daylight.

  • I recommend Petzl for durability and functionality. In this day and age, carrying an additional small head torch can be of more use than spare batteries, but of course more expensive.

Hat & Gloves

  • Essential in winter, even on fine sunny days.

  • Be prepared by taking several pairs of gloves (a thin liner lair, a thicker waterproof layer and a wind proof mitten layer if possible). Depending on conditions you will wear these gloves in varying combinations.

  • A comfortable hat that covers your ears is essential. Be sure to carry spares!

Spare Clothing

  • A spare fleece, hat and a pair of gloves are essential in winter, especially if you need to dig in over night.

  • A buff or neck gaitor is also useful to keep out spindrift and cold draughts.

  • A pair of marigolds are a good idea as they are waterproof and light weight.

Waterproofs

  • You will need heavier waterproofs for venturing out in the winter hills. Gore-Tex or e-vent are ideal in their 3-layer formats.

  • A good fabric cut is desirable for improved movement (through deep snow for example), and big pockets, pit zips and a sturdy wire peaked hood are ideal.

Boots and Gaitors

  • A pair of sturdy B2 or B3 winter boots with good ankle support are recommended. There is a wide range of waterproofing options, materials and styles so choose whatever suits you.

  • I personally recommend turned leather uppers with a Gore-Tex or OutDry lining with a full rubber rand and gilletted tongue (ask a store assistant to explain each of these features, or contact me for more information).

  • Plenty of insulation within the boot will make your adventures a bit more bearable and is worth the additional weight!

  • Gaitors are essential in winter, helping keep snow, ice and stones out of your boots, protecting the inner lining and your socks! They can also keep your lower legs warm!

Rucksack

  • A hardwearing rucksack with a waistbelt is essential. Ideally you want a bag which is 40-45 litres in size to accommodate the additional kit carried in winter.

  • You will want a nicely padded back and shoulder straps for long days on the hill. Most brands offer a range of varying designs, choose whatever suits.

  • I like an extendible/removable lid, side compression straps and an internal water bladder pouch.

Sun Hat & Sun Cream

  • You need to protect yourself, especially in the mountains were sweat and the cool mountain air makes you forget how warm it is!

  • You wouldn't think it, but the reflection of the sun on the snow can give you pretty serious sun burn.

Walking Poles

  • Not essential, but certainly useful for helping to save your knees – you will be thankful some years down the line!

  • Leki have a good range, but Robens are a cost-effective yet quality substitute.

Ice Axe

  • Essential in Winter, an ice axe gives you security on steep ground, a tool to dig emergency shelters and a means of building an anchor if necessary.

  • The length of the axe is dependant on your height and preference. I am 5' 10” and carry a 55cm axe, others may opt for a longer or shorter tool.

  • Choose a T-rated 'walking' axe, rather than a more aggressive technical climbing axe.

Ski Goggles & Sunglasses

  • Essential in Winter when the wind picks up. Spin drift and ice flying at high speed into your eyes certainly affects your vision, believe me!

  • Goggles enable you to operate more comfortably, especially when navigating and map reading.

  • Try to get Category 3, anti-fog goggles.

  • Any outdoor store or ski centre can advise you further on sizing and style.

Crampons

  • Choose your crampons depending on the rate of your boot (B1, B2, B3 etc.).

  • See the table below for general compatibility. Ensure they have 10-12 points with two prominent front points, and the binding (fitting system) suits your style of boot before buying.




Summer hill walking


Clothing

  • Ensure your clothing is non-cotton or denim, as these materials dry slowly and keep you cold when wet.

  • We recommend some lightweight walking trousers (or shorts if it is very warm), wicking underwear & baselayers, and a lightweight fleece or softshell

Orange Survival Bag

  • Essential if something goes wrong on the mountain and you are stationary for a period of time. Cheap as chips!

Whistle

  • Often these now come as part of your rucksack chest strap, but I recommend buying a decent one which will definitely work when you need it!

Food & Water

  • Your body needs these to produce energy and regulate temperature so don't skimp on them – food high in energy (a mixture of quick and slow release sugars) and 2-3 litres of water are ideal.

  • Always remember emergency rations!

Headtorch & Spare Batteries

  • Hopefully you will never use these, but it's better safe than sorry.

  • I recommend Petzl for durability and functionality. In this day and age, carrying an additional small head torch can be of more use than spare batteries, but of course more expensive.

Hat & Gloves

  • Even in the height of summer, temperatures in the mountains can be very cold, especially in the wind!

  • Be prepared by taking a good pair of gloves (wind proof if possible) and a hat that covers your ears and is comfortable.

Spare Clothing

  • A spare fleece, hat and a pair of gloves can become essential if conditions deteriorate, or if you are unexpectedly stuck outdoors!

  • A buff or neck gaitor can also be useful.

Waterproofs

  • Not that you will need them in Scotland...! Lightweight is fine for summer, such as pack away garments or more robust Paclite-style brands.

  • Zips on the legs make it easier to take them on and off over boots, and a hood with a wired peak maintains good visibility in heavy down pours.

Boots and Gaitors

  • A sturdy pair of B0 or B1 boots for summer with good ankle support are recommended.

  • There is a wide range of waterproofing options, materials and styles so choose whatever suits you.

  • I personally recommend full leather upper with a Gore-Tex or OutDry lining with a full rubber rand and gilletted tongue (ask a store assistant to explain each of these features, or contact me for more information).

  • Gaitors, although not essential, help keep stones, dirt and moisture out of your boots, protecting the inner lining and your socks! They can also keep your lower legs warm!

  • Thick, hardwearing socks are recommended - as are some compeed plasters in case you develop blisters!

Rucksack

  • A hardwearing rucksack with a waistbelt is essential. 30-35 ltrs for Summer should suffice.

  • You will want a nicely padded back and shoulder straps for long days on the hill. Most brands offer a range of varying designs, choose whatever suits.

  • I like an extendible/removable lid, side compression straps and an internal water bladder pouch.

Midge Repellant, Sun Hat, sunglasses & Sun Cream

  • You need to protect yourself, especially in the mountains were sweat and the cool mountain air makes you forget how warm it is!

  • Smidge and Skin So Soft seem to work the best for Scotland's famous beasties!

Walking Poles

  • Not essential, but certainly useful for helping to save your knees – you will be thankful some years down the line!

  • Leki have a good range, but Robens are a cost effective yet quality substitute (I use the Coniston T7's and find them to be exceptional)

Personal toiletries & medication





Crampon Compatibility
Weather & Avalanche Forecasts

Understanding the weather - both prior to and during your adventure - can help you to prepare appropriately and understand what conditions you will experience. This is crucial, particularly when planning a winter excursion. Below is a list of weather services we use often, as well as an avalanche forecast which features loads of educational tools and information - worth a read whether you are being guided or not! Click the titles to visit their websites

Mountain Weather Information Service

Met Office Mountain Forecasts

Windy

XC Weather

YR Weather

BBC Weather

Scottish Avalanche Information Service

Accommodation & Local Information

Although we do not provide accommodation ourselves, we are happy to give guidance and advice on where to stay. Below you will find links to pages dedicated to accommodation in Glen Coe, Fort William, Oban and Aviemore. Click on each to explore.

Finding Us

We are located 2 hours from Glasgow & Inverness airports, and 2½ hours from Edinburgh airport by car. There are daily buses from Glasgow which take slightly longer, and regular trains from Glasgow to Fort William, which on a good day is easily one of the most picturesque train journeys in the world.

We are only 30 minutes away from Fort William, which is the nearest town to our north, and Oban, the Gateway to the Isles, is some 60 minutes south - both along a stunning coastal drive.

Although we specialise in guiding in Lochaber, we are experienced and very knowledgeable of many other areas and are happy to travel to your desired destination. 

Get in Touch!

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Craig Dubh Adventures

craigdubhadventures@gmail.com

07738665418

Ballachulish, Scotland

©2020 by Craig Dubh Adventures