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Hiking and Backpacking in Scotland: What to Expect and Skills Needed
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Hiking and Backpacking in Scotland: What to Expect and Skills Needed

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Scotland is a world class desintation for hiking and backpacking, but it is very different from hiking in countries with well developed long distance trail systems. Still, with proper preparation and ...

Scotland is a world class desintation for hiking and backpacking, but it is very different from hiking in countries with well developed long distance trail systems. Still, with proper preparation and skill development, it can be done safely and enjoyably.

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Hiking and Backpacking in Scotland: What to Expect and Skills Needed Hiking and Backpacking in Scotland: What to Expect and Skills Needed Presentation Transcript

  • Backpacking Coast-to-Coast Across Scotland Philip Werner philip@sectionhiker.com
  • Biographical Info 4 Season AMC Hiking/Backpacking Leader with the Boston Chapter  Author and Editor of the SectionHiker.com Hiking Web Site  Backpacked across Scotland Twice – 2010 (180 miles) – 2013 (220 miles)
  • Agenda  Backpacking in Scotland  Recommended Skills  TGO Challenge
  • Scotland
  • Mountain Maritime Climate
  • Peakbaggers’ Heaven
  • Northwest Highlands
  • Mondaliath Mountains
  • Cairngorms
  • High Moorland
  • Very Wet and Muddy
  • No Tree Cover
  • Landscape Features Dictate Routes – Mountain Passes
  • Loch Ness (Great Glen)
  • Rivers and Bridges
  • Land Ownership in Scotland: Estates: 50% of the Land in Scotland is owned by 579 People in the form of Estates. • Forestry • Deer and Pheasant Hunting
  • Electric Fences
  • Timber Harvesting
  • Rights of Way Laws
  • Bothies
  • Inside a Bothie
  • Paths
  • Tracks (Land Rover Roads)
  • Historic Roads
  • Resupply – Few Small Towns
  • Resupply – Very Rural
  • Remote w/ Few Roads
  • Backpacking Skills
  • UK Route Planning – Mapping Tools C:UsersGerhardPicturesPicasaEx ports2013-05-29 TGO Challenge and The Lakes
  • Navigation in the UK OS Grid Reference is 2 Grid Letters, 3 Numbers (easting), 3 Numbers (northing) Peebles is at NT252402 25.2 kilometers east 40.2 kilometers north Each Blue Square on Paper Map is 1 KM Square
  • Learn Some Gaelic
  • Local Knowledge           Ruins vs Towns (look alike on maps) Washed Out Bridges Snow Conditions New Land Rover Tracks Stalking (Hunting) Season Dates Post Office Hours Store Hours Bothy Locations Weather Conditions in High Passes Weather Forecast
  • Cross Country Navigation
  • Staying Found
  • The Ubiquitous Map Case
  • Campsite Selection (Wind and Flash Flood)
  • Cooking Inside a Shelter
  • Damp Management
  • Stream Crossing
  • Layering
  • Foot Care
  • Walking Across a Peat Bog
  • Wet Peat
  • Drier Peat
  • The TGO Challenge Overview
  • The TGO Challenge
  • About the TGO Challenge  Coast-to-Coast Hike – – – – – – – – Started in 1980 300 participants a year Non-competitive 15 days maximum Design your own route Solo or in a group Foot travel only Camp or B&B
  • Scotland – 2010 Route
  • Scotland - 2013 Route
  • Wine and Cheese Parties
  • Braemar Bash
  • Challenger Camaraderie
  • Tuck Inn, Edzell
  • Banquet
  • Repeat Offenders Courtesy Alan Sloman
  • Getting into the Challenge  Scottish hill walking experience required, but can be waived An Tealloch, West Highlands Eildon Hills, Scottish Borders
  • Challenge Timeline  October 15 - Applications Due  December 1 – Hiker Selection  February 28 – Route Plans Due  March 30 – Vetter Comments  May 13-14 – Start Point Sign-outs – 3 check-ins with Challenge Control  May 26 & 27– Sign Out in Montrose – Banquet at Park Hotel
  • There is no “trail”
  • Guidelines for First Time Challengers  Take a Low Level Route  Follow River Valleys  Verify all Bridges  Use Hill Tracks  Avoid High Mountain Passes  Make sure Towns on Maps Have Shops or Inhabitants
  • Challenge Route Plan Vetter Response, with route amendments and suggestions
  • Gear Choices          Shoes – Trail Runners – Dry Quickly Shelter – Pyramid Tarp- Wind Resistance Sleeping Bag – Down 20 Degree Backpack - Lightweight Chlorine Dioxide – Water Treatment 1 Qt Plastic Bottle – Hydration Navigation – Compass and ViewRanger Android Tracking/Emergency– SPOT II GPS Messenger Stove - Canister
  • Tips for Yanks  Go light but be comfortable  Bring a 100 weight fleece sweater  Be a compass expert, really  Wear Insect Shield clothing (Lyme)  Use a shelter with a bathtub floor  Avoid road walking  Map distance are metric but road signs are in miles
  • Montrose – Journey’s End
  • Questions