HIKING IN SCOTLAND
Hazards, navigation, labeling and Condition of the path
The Highlands in Scotland mountains contain not to be underestimated risks if you are not familiar, and if you are not well equipped. The rapidly changing weather, rain and wind can quickly lead to hypothermia. Quickly approaching mist, sharply rising flows after rainfall or snowfall can sometimes lead to a planned walking tour must be canceled. In the open moorland or in the mountains there is often all day no way to take cover. This may not be only a physical but also a mental problem in bad weather.Frustration and fatigue are the result. Also dehydration and low blood sugar can get you into serious trouble in Scotland.
In Scotland there is no developed network of trails with markers. Often you walk on old trails that were used in the times of the clan as a way. These are not specially landscaped walking paths, so that paths often lose nothing and good navigation skills are required.
Hiking in Scotland on your own requires essential knowledge of map reading due a lack of signage and signposts. Also the safe handling of the compass is essential. At least one person of the group should be able to assess how much time you have to calculate for a certain distance. In the wild, far from civilization areas of Scotland, it is advisable to hike with a local hiking guide who knows the geographical conditions and experience.
Behavior etiquette in the Scottish nature:
- Avoid any risk of fire – no campfires!
- Leave all gates and doors in Scotland as you find them. Use gates and ladders to overcome fences, hedges and walls!
- Stay on the trails (especially on a working farm land)!
- Leave fields and machineries as they are!
- Take your rubbish home with you and do not leave your rubbish anywhere in Scotland are.
- Help to keep the water clean. Do not pour anything into water. Even while performing the call of nature, you should keep at least 50mdistance to all waters. The drinking water is partly obtained directly from the mountain streams.
- Protect wild animals, plants and trees in Scotland. Do not pick flowers, do not disturb the animals as possible and avoid the damage to the trees.
- Do not make unnecessary noise!
Midges – the Scottish Vampires
Midges are small, insect-like beasts with a great thirst, which you can hardly escape in the summer months in Scotland. They attack hikers preferably on windless, shady places. A slight breeze, they can not withstand due to their small size. And also too cold condition they do not like.
Unfortunately, there are hardly any effective remedy for the midges. Electrical repellents are not fit and also chemical lobes as Autan, Zedan help only conditionally. The Scots swear by hiking and trekking on “Skin-so-Soft” from Avon, a moisturizer, which can be bought in all shops walking in Scotland. A mosquito net for the face can do good service. This is the best place in Scotland. Only here the stitches are tight enough to keep the tiny vampires away. The Midges season in Scotland runs from late June to early September, depending on weather conditions. There are less affected areas such as the Central Highlands and “contaminated” as the West of Scotland.
Wild sheep and cattle in Scotland
In Scotland, especially in the Highlands, you will meet many birds of prey (buzzards, golden eagles, ospreys), and grouse, capercaillie and mountain hares.Huge herds of deer inhabit the Highlands, as well as sheep, the most common livestock in Scotland.
In the hunting season (August to October) the paths and Trails in Scotland can not be left so as not to scare the animals and to keep one’s own risk low. From mid-April to late May the sheep give birth to their lambs in Scotland. During this time mother and pups are particularly sensitive to disturbances.
The famous Highland Cattle with its curved horns and shaggy fur was kept for a long time only as a hobby. Meanwhile, the phlegmatic contemporaries spread to Scotland and watch walkers with stoic composure. If calves are near, you should not be too near to the animals.