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When walking for any considerable distance, saving weight and space is paramount. You want to maximise the space you have to carry things, without adding a lot of weight which will ultimately slow you down and may even become a burden. Here are a few little packing hacks that can help you save weight, space and money to make your journey on the West Highland Way more comfortable while still being prepared for anything.

  • If your walking shoes/boots get wet, stuff them with newspaper. Newspaper is a cheap and easy way for moisture to be absorbed without breaking the bank, or having to carry a spare pair of shoes!
  • Physical exertion makes you sweat, even your feet. If your shoes suffer from bad odours, pop a dry tea bag in your boots overnight. Teabags will help to absorb and neutralised bad smells; just don’t make a cuppa with them after use!
  • If your walking boots are relatively new and still a little stiff, you may want to double up on socks by wearing a thin liner pair and a thicker pair on top. Doubling up will help reduce your chances of developing pesky blisters.
  • Don’t have any waterproof socks? Popping some plastic bags over your socks will help keep your feet dry in a downpour, but be careful as plastic can cause your feet to sweat and may lead to irritation.

  • The Scottish Highlands are renowned for quick-changing weather. So that the contents of your bag don’t get sopping wet, consider lining your backpack with a plastic bag.
  • In theme with keeping your contents dry, ziplock bags are electronic saviours! Available in varying sizes, sealing your phone, keys and other valuables in ziplock baggies will help keep them protected from the elements, and in most cases, you’ll still be able to use your phone through them!
  • It’s a good idea to carry some emergency cash that’s kept separate from your wallet. Keep your emergency cash in a ziplock bag or waterproof pouch. You never know when it may come in handy!
  • If you’re camping along the West Highland Way, especially in the wild, and you find your torch to be a little weak, try shining the light through a bottle of water. The water will diffuse the light and illuminate a much wider area!
  • Toilet paper is a luxury that many of us cannot live without, but carrying a roll of paper takes up a lot of valuable space. Try removing the cardboard core and flattening the paper to save space, or grab yourself a slim packet of wet wipes.
  • Duct tape. It’s versatile, useful, and if you wrap it around your walking pole, it doesn’t have to take up much space. Duct tape will get you out of most situations; a hole in your shoe, a blister, mending a rip in your jacket and securing things to your pack.
  • We recommend layering your clothes when walking the West Highland Way so you can regulate your core temperature with ease. Get some practice in beforehand to figure out what layers and materials work best for you.

  • Even if the weather is mild and warm, always ensure your ankles are covered up. Wear long socks or trousers to ensure that when walking through overgrown areas and long grass, you won’t pick up any pesty followers along the way.
  • And when we mean pesty followers, we mean midges and ticks! Local residents of Scotland, the highland midge can be a nuisance so be sure to carry repellent spray/cream to help keep them at bay. We recommend taking a tick-removal-key also.
  • The West Highland Way is a steeped in beauty, so be sure to take all your litter with you. Carrying a bag for your rubbish is a brilliant idea, and with public receptacles dotted throughout towns and villages, you won’t have to carry your rubbish far to dispose of it.