Winter Gear

Scotland’s mountains provide a far greater challenge in winter than they do in summer. There can often be benign conditions at Glen level, but higher up is a hidden world of snow, wind and cloud. Here is a basic list of the gear you will need to enjoy this hostile environment.

Winter Boots:

The winter boot for you very much depends of what you want to use them for. In general, they should be quite stiff (you shouldn’t be able to bend the sole much with your hands); they should be well insulated; and they should be waterproof. Mountaineering boots are categorised: B1, B2, or B3, based on the boot stiffness (B3 being stiffest). The stiffer the boot the better it will do on more technical ground, but you will slightly sacrifice on comfort – B2 therefore being a good best of both worlds option. See this useful article for more info: Boot hire can be arranged in advance from gear shops in Glasgow (e.g. Tiso, about £20 for the weekend). If you are unsure please talk to someone more experienced in the club, particularly before you spend any money!


The club has a good number of pairs that will be available to borrow on each winter meet – make sure they fit your boots before you head onto the hill!

Ice Axes:

The club has many walking axes that will be available to borrow on each winter meet.

Map & Compass:

Either an OS sheet map, or a print out of the area you intend to visit (available at:, use your My Glasgow login details to access the site). A waterproof transparent map case being essential to protect your map from the elements.

Head Torch:

With spare batteries.


Decent socks (some people go for two pairs); thermal base layer top and bottom; salopettes or waterproof trousers, mid layer (e.g fleece), hard-shell waterproof jacket, hat, gloves (more than one pair is useful in case your first pair gets lost or wet). A spare synthetic jacket is also a good idea.

Mobile Phone:

Fully charged, with contact numbers of the bus drivers for getting collected. Consider leaving switched off until it is required to ensure it doesn’t drain its battery searching for a signal.

Food & Water:

1litre per person, if it’s particularly cold fill up low down as you won’t find any liquid water higher up, don’t use platypuses as they can easily freeze. Take high energy food that’s easy to eat on the go.

Emergency Shelter:

The club has a good range of emergency shelters that will be available to borrow on each meet, one or two between the party depending on group size.

If you’re unsure about any of your gear, a more experienced club member will happily check it for you! It is also often possible to borrow kit from other club members if you arrange it in the week leading up to the meet. If your planning going winter climbing you will need all of the above, plus helmet, ropes, gear, harness, etc.