The world class Scottish scenery inspires, enchants, and excites the senses in equal measure. And immersing yourself in the glorious surroundings is an experience to be remembered for a lifetime, especially when some wild camping is added to create the complete “away from it all” adventure.
No-one knows this more than the founder of Scotland’s Highlander Outdoor, a brand created by outdoor enthusiasts for outdoor enthusiasts.
Bahram Golzari started the company in Edinburgh, in the mid-1980s, to make the challenges and breathtaking beauty of the outdoors available to all. He says: “You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on a jacket or buy super-expensive equipment, we want to make adventures accessible to everyone.” 37 years later, this commitment to producing outdoor gear that helps people look good, feel good, and stay safe, has helped Highlander Outdoor become the brand that it is today.
Here he chooses five great routes to escape the everyday and go off grid for a day or so among stunning landscapes.
31.5km / 20 miles
Cape Wrath is the most northwesterly point in the British mainland. You can reach it by taking a small boat across the Kyle of Durness and then a bumpy minibus ride on an 11-mile track but it is far better to walk in from Rhiconich to the south, across a vast expanse of moor and hill which terminates suddenly at the high cliffs of the cape.
A great stop off and spot for wild camping is the huge sandy sweep of Sandwood Bay with its own sea stack.
Stay warm with a windproof, water repellent, and breathable shell jacket – Shield Windproof Jacket.
Dip in the sea at the Sandwood Bay – keep the rest of your gear dry with a day sack – Lightweight 25L Drysack.
Range of the Awful Hand, Galloway
15km / 9½ miles
The hills and lochans of Galloway Forest Park are a real hidden gem - remote, wild and little visited compared to the Highlands. The high point is the Merrick with extensive views as far afield as Ireland and England, as well as Ailsa Craig across the wonderfully-named Range of the Awful Hand.
Walk up from Loch Trool and wild camp on top if the weather is being kind. Otherwise you can drop down to the shore of Loch Enoch, hidden away in this secluded landscape.
Go on a hike and be prepared with the following waterproof gear:
24km / 15 miles
Knoydart is about as remote as you can get on the Scottish mainland. Inverie is the main village but can only be reached by ferry from Mallaig, or on a brilliant walk through glens and along the rugged coast, surrounded by huge mountains.
The ‘quickest’ way is from Kinloch Hourn, which itself is at the end of a very long single-track road, and most camp at Barrisdale Bay which does have toilets but none of the paraphernalia of the usual camping areas and still very much in ‘the middle of nowhere’.
Stop somewhere for a brew:
Gear tip: Beech Fire Starter
An essential wilderness survival accessory. The Beech Fire Starter features a beech wooden handle for improved grip and comfort plus a large flint and steel which generates a large volume of sparks ideal for starting a fire.
Rannoch Station to Spean Bridge, Central Highlands
64km / 40 miles
This is a huge undertaking and would usually be done over three days. The first takes in sweeping moorland with the chance to climb hills and mountains, or stick to the ancient drove road known as the Road to the Isles.
A stop at Loch Ossian is recommended before continuing on day two to Lairig Leacach Bothy, surrounded by some huge Munros. You can pitch your tent outside or take advantage of the chance of having a roof over your head.
A third day sees you descend to Spean Bridge amid dramatic Highland scenery.
Gear tip: Vorlich Rucksack 40L
A lightweight and streamlined rucksack suitable for weekend wild camps and shorter hikes. This rucksack weights only 1kg, thanks to its EVAFOAM back and shoulder padding. This gives you great airflow round your back, without requiring a bulky air-vented system. It’s equipped with plenty of pockets, helping to keep your essentials organised and easy to reach.
Blair Atholl to Kingussie, Cairngorms
72km / 45 miles
The Scottish National Trail was devised by writer and mountaineer Cameron McNeish and covers more than 500 miles from Kirk Yetholm on the English Border up to Cape Wrath.
The three-day section beginning at Blair Atholl and going through a huge, uninhabited sweep of the Cairngorms is one of the highlights. Day one goes up the imposing Glen Tilt to the ruins of Bynack Lodge.
The second day leads you across burns and rivers to the stunning Glen Feshie, where much work to replant native woodland has been undertaken.
The third day takes you back to ‘civilisation’ and the Highland town of Kingussie via the expanse of wetland at the Insh Marshes nature reserve.
Tent - Blackthorn 2 Man Tent
Sleeping Bag - Echo 350 Sleeping Bag (3 / 4 Season)
Sleeping Mat - Nap Pak Inflatable Sleeping Mat
Stove - Blade Fast Boil 3 Gas Stove
Camping Chair - Ayr Rest Camping Chair
Start your adventure here
For tips about planning your adventure, or to browse Highlander Outdoor’s range and order what you need, visit Highlander Outdoor.
Or for more challenging adventures, visit Highlander Forces.