The Rough Bounds of Knoydart Wild Camping Expedition
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This expedition is a challenging event -
> You need to have a good level of fitness and ability to look after yourself in remote territory.
> The route covers 40 miles over which you will be carrying all of your own equipment and food which may weigh 15-20kg.
If you are unsure if this event is for you please contact the event leader for advice before signing up.
Come for an amazing trek into one of the last really remote landscapes in the UK, we are heading for Knoydart - an area only accessible by foot or boat, through some uninhabited glens of the west coast of Scotland.
Day 1 (Tuesday)
We will meet up at the Cluanie Inn in Glen Moriston and use the remains of the old road over to Glen Loyne to walk round the east end of the South Glen Shiel Ridge. Turning west off the road to drop into Easter Glen Quoich and then round to Loch Quoich where we camp for the night. 22.5km/ 14miles
Day 2 (Wednesday)
We cross the dam at the head of Loch Quioch and make our way to the empty and remote Glen Kingie to Kinbreak bothy where we make camp for the night. 15.5km/ 9.6 miles
Day 3 (Thursday)
We head further up Glen Kingie before heading over the pass of Feith a' Chicheanais to drop into Glen Dessarry. We turn west following the Finiskaig River to bring us out at the head of Loch Nevis and Sourlies bothy where we camp. 17.5km/ 11 miles
Day 4 (Friday)
From Sourlies we climb a mountain pass to drop into Gleann Meadail in the heart of Knoydart to make our way west to Inverie where we will be staying the night on the Long Beach campsite (fee of £4). 14km/ 8.7miles
Day 5 (Saturday)
No walking, just a boat journey across to Mallaig (fee of £10) and the train home. You might want to jump aboard the Jacobite Steam train - just remember Glasgow is still nearly 4 hours down the line from Fort William!
This event is limited to 6 places for safety reasons under guidance from Mountaineering Scotland. The route is well away from roads and in the event of an accident we would require the assistance of mountain rescue to get the injured person out.
In the event of an adverse weather forecast this expedition may be altered or postponed by the event leader due to the higher level of risk involved with this type of activity. The leader will inform you by the Friday evening prior to the start of the event.
What to bring
Boots: Hiking boots are arguably the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere. Walker’s should make sure that their boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support. Boots should also be in good condition.
Socks: Walking socks are often overshadowed by those new to hiking, with many novices failing to invest in proper socks. Good walking socks are essential in regards to keeping the feet dry, and in turn stopping the development of blisters. Sports socks and other socks not designed for walking will often become waterlogged, or damaged which will in turn blister feet.
Gators: Gators attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee. They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg, and are essential in keeping the feet dry.
Walking Trousers: Walking trousers should be of a windproof design and made of a rip stop material, that will stand up to walking through ferns and undergrowth. They should also ideally be water resistant, or at least not gain weight, and lose their insulation properties when wet. Jeans are therefore to be avoided, as they are heavy when wet and provide no protection from the elements.
Waterproof Trousers: Waterproof trousers are essential in keeping the legs dry, as water resistant trousers will not keep out any significant rainfall. Walker’s should look for waterproof trousers that are breathable, in order to avoid being soaked with sweat.
Base Layer: A breathable base layer should be chosen in order to let sweat escape from the body. This should ideally consist of a breathable synthetic, specially designed fabric, though a polyster or sports T-Shirt is sufficient.
Mid Layer: A Mid Layer goes on top of the base layer and should consist of a 100 weight micro fleece, or a rugby typed thick shirt. The layering system is important as it allows walkers to quickly adapt to changes in the weather as well as body temperature.
Outer Layer: The outer layer should consist of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece. This is the final layer and walkers should ensure that this layer provides ample warmth.
Waterproof Jacket: A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will require when hiking. Walkers should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable in order for them to be protected from sweat. Materials such as Gore-tex are often the best choices.
Hat: As most heat is lost through the head a good hat is essential. The best hats are those of a fleece design, with wool also being acceptable.
Gloves: Gloves are essential in the colder months as walkers will require the usage of their fingers for various activities such as map reading. Windproof or better still waterproof gloves are the best choice.
Rucksack: A good Rucksack that is comfortable to wear is essential, and required to carry both food and equipment. Expedition sacks should have a capacity of around 60+ litres with equipment being placed in water proof bags inside.
Emergency Equipment: A number of items should be taken in case problems occur whilst walking in the hills. Emergency equipment becomes of greater importance the further from civilisation walkers are. Equipment should include spare food stuffs of high energy, a survival bag, a whistle, a medical kit, a torch and something to make fire, either storm proof matches or a firelighter.
Food & Water: At least two litres of water should be brought for each day hiking, with more being taken if cooking is required. Due to the amount of time away from a proper water supply it is recommended that you bring water purification equipment or products, to reduce the risk of drinking water from mountain streams. Enough food for the duration of a walk should also be taken. Food should be of the high energy variety, with hot food being able to be eaten raw if necessary. Boil in the bag meals, while more expensive than packet noodles, are nutritous and also reduce the amount of washing up you have to do. A stove is also required, remember to bring adequate gas for your needs for the journey. Don't forget to bring a plate and eating implement - modern plastic packable plates, bowls and cups are ideal, along with a metal spork which has a spoon at one end and knife/fork at the other.
Tent and sleeping bag/mat: Your tent should be lightweight but suitable for camping in wet and windy conditions. A warm sleeping bag is advised as temperatures at night in the glens can get down to near freezing point even in May, and a sleeping mat must be brought - modern memory foam type mats are ideal for getting a good night's sleep.
Other bits: We may be away from civilization however that doesn't mean we stop looking after ourselves - pack some travel sized deodorant, shower gel and lightweight travel towel for those impromptu opportunities to freshen up. Midge repellant and sun cream are also essential.
Mobile Phone: A mobile phone should also be brought and kept in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies.
Food & drink
You will need to provide your own food for the five days, note that you will need to carry all your food throughout the duration of the event.
The meals that you need to plan for are from lunch on the Tuesday through to breakfast on the Saturday. We might choose to eat at The Old Forge in Inverie on the Friday evening - menu http://www.theoldforge.co.uk/assets/files/Old%20Forge%202015%20ALT.pdf
You will need to carry water - up to 4 litres is recommended, depending on how much you require for cooking. There are a couple of locations where water bottles can be refilled from mountain streams - this is at your own risk.