Few things are more disheartening for walkers than finding their car has been broken into while they were enjoying a day on the hills.

Access to the mountains often means that cars have to be left unattened for lengthy periods in remote parking spots.

Reports of recent vehicle break-ins beside a popular route in the Highlands, raised concern that leaving notification on your windscreen of where you are going and how long you will be away from your car, is an open invitation to thieves.

It's an issue that has been addressed by writer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish who is saddened that opportunistic thieves have targeted cars left in the countryside.

He said: "Some comments on social media suggest erecting CCTV cameras in such car parks but I would imagine that would be out of the question because of the location and the cost.

"And my goodness, what would that tell us about the state of our society today when we require ‘Big Brother is Watching You’ cameras in such comparatively remote locations?"

Cameron says leaving a route card in the windscreen is a procedure he has personally followed only rarely.

He added: "I prefer to tell my wife where I intend walking and roughly what time she can expect me home.

"Having said that, I’m as guilty as the next person for setting off for a particular destination and then changing my mind – and I don’t always phone home to notify my wife of my change of plan. I must make that a New Year resolution!

"In terms of preventing thieves from breaking-in to your car it makes a lot of sense not to tempt thieves by leaving valuables on the back seat or leaving loose change in the dashboard area.

"At very least, you might avoid a repair bill for a broken window. And if you have an estate-type car it’s a good idea to remove the boot cover or parcel shelf so potential thieves can clearly see there is nothing in the car to steal."

Cameron advised adding a visual deterrent to your car as a good way to avoid car theft. Use a sturdy lock for the steering wheel, pedals or gears lever for instance, and have your car’s registration number etched onto the windows.

He added: "Most thieves are opportunistic, and they might pass on a car they perceive to be too much hassle.

"And although this sounds obvious, never ever leave documents in your car. It would be bad enough having your car broken into but you don’t want the hassle of becoming a victim of identity fraud as well.

"I would suggest it’s now pretty ‘old school’ thinking to leave a route card inside your car windscreen.

"In these digital days it’s a lot easier to carry a mobile phone as a safety tool and if you do run into trouble, or become delayed, you can always ring home.

"I know that digital telephone signals are not always available on the hill so for that reason I reckon the best thing to do is simply tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return home.

"That last point is crucial. You have to let folks know you have returned or else they may panic and call a rescue team out to look for you."