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Packing list that worked for me - Scotland April 29 - May 8

As I unpacked yesterday I jotted down what I had taken since there are often questions about what clothes to include on various trips. This is what I took on the RS Scotland trip, April 29 - May 8. I wore everything I took and never wished I had brought any additional clothing. I could have trimmed this further (like one sweater instead of two) but with clothes, toiletries, etc., my suitcase weighed in at 21 pounds, which was easy enough to handle.

I am more into practicality and function over style. Some of the things I took, like my fleece jacket, I have been traveling with for years just because they work so well for me. We had pretty decent weather. Just spotty rain, but a range of temps. We went from a low of 30 and one day experienced snow and sleet, to highs around 60 and bright sunshine. (I took sunglasses, but left them in the car at the airport thinking it was silly needing sunglasses in Scotland; that is the one item I wish I had taken 😄.). This list includes what I was wearing on the plane.

Fleece Jacket - an old Lands End jacket from back in the day when they were cut large enough for layering and had lots of pockets.
Down vest - COSTCO
Marmot Precip rain jacket - this is the one item I purchased specifically for this trip. Bought it from COSTCO in a size large (I wear a size 8) so that I could layer under it. It is graduating to “clothes I like for travel.
Rain pants - old LLBean model
Long underwear - old LE poly top and bottoms
3 pairs of pants - LE knit, Amanda denim jeans, Amanda gray jeans
Ball cap
Fleece hat
Gloves
Buff neck gator
Dressy scarf
2 lightweight quarter zips - think athletic wear; these happen to be from K-mart
Pullover sweater - SmartWool
Cashmere cardigan sweater
1 blouse
1 long sleeve t-shirt
4 short sleeve t-shirts
5 pair Sox - COSTCO merino wool
5 pair underpants
3 bras
I pair compression hose for the plane
Pajamas
2 pair shoes - Merrill Moabs for everyday walking and a pair of Mary Jane style A’rcopedico (these shoes are SUPER lightweight yet have some support)

Several in our group bought additional layers enroute. It was quite cold and windy at times. With the items above, I had enough layers for the coldest days.

Kathy

Posted by
952 posts

Excellent. Thanks for the post,Kathy, can’t have too many packing lists here on the forum. I was on the 2019 season opener Best of Scotland tour two or three weeks before you.

Posted by
810 posts

Excellent list. Could have used most of it in Edinburgh in June. Fortunately there was a mountain sports shop on Princes street selling fleece pullovers on sale.

Laughed at how much of your list I already own - Costco wool socks, LE knit pants. I also like Costco's 32 Degree products - rain jacket, layering tshirts, travel pants, etc.

Posted by
1313 posts

WOW. Was it really this cold, Kathy. Long winter underwear, wool socks, fleece hat, neck gator? I am going in late Sept and am planning on bringing a sweater for under my rain jacket and probably my rain hat even though the jacket has a hood. But I hardly ever wore long winter underwear when I lived in MN. What was the average day temperature you encoutered?

Posted by
9929 posts

Thanks so much for posting your list. I pretty much have mine standardized BUT I always like to read what worked for others!

I love that Costco 32degree stuff. I have their puffy vest from last year and wow, it is a workhorse! Plus it washes well and seems to repel food stains, hahaha!

Thanks for the long underwear reminder. I'm headed to Yellowstone next month and staying a few nights in one of the cabins that has a crummy stove for "heat". I'll probably sleep in them since it's also a shared bath situation so I'll have to go outside.

Did you all get to Iona on your tour? I know Bogiesan's Iona trip was cancelled and last June ours was close to being cancelled.

Posted by
1 posts

I am also scheduled for a September trip -- wasn't planning on as much fleece, but planned on a raincoat and some layers. Do I need to re-think? I'm from the Pacific NW so I just assumed Scotland in September would be similar to here, just a bit cooler.

Posted by
94 posts

The high on the day of the sheep dog demo and Culloden was in the low 40s. We were outside much of that day. It was lightly snowing at the sheep farm and then we had graupel (snow pellets) at Culloden. I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to cold, but everyone in the group thought it was cold. Not sure what you should expect in September.

We had absolutely beautiful weather for our trip to Mull and Iona. (Sorry to those that missed it two weeks prior). The sun was shining and we took off our jackets it was so warm. The sea was calm for the crossing.

Posted by
94 posts

PS. Several people that didn’t bring fleece caps bought them during the trip. They are a bargain (5 pounds) on the Loch Ness boat, although one purchaser bemoaned that they didn’t adequately cover his ears. That was another cold, windy day at Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness.

Posted by
9929 posts

Both the sheepdog demo area and Culloden are out in the open and I can imagine there was no respite from the wind and cold!

Glad you saw Iona!

Posted by
952 posts

As noted in my packing list (Male, 65, see below), I brought a down coat (worn just about every day), a rain coat (worn just about every day as windbreaker or rain layer), wool sweater, gloves, and silk underwear (mostly used for sleepwear because the room temps at night were not always user-controllable). Scotland is in the northern latitudes and northern Scotland is exposed to North Sea weather. Where Scotland is wide open, the wind picks up speed. Weather is unpredictable at best, wildly variable at least. Bring what you need to be comfortable but it’s easy to buy an extra layer or head covering just about anywhere. Plenty of outdoor shops and souvenir shops.

Posted by
810 posts

I concur with several posters who have said you can buy extra warm gear, but recommend bringing expensive items like a decent rain jacket or waterproof shoes with you. I had only a rain poncho which is a hassle to wear and doesn't do much to keep you warm. Ending up spending 50 dollars on an onsale jacket that I didn't need back home. A long sleeve fleece, sweatshirt, hat, gloves, etc. are good tourist buys.