Planning Galloway Forest

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juliojordio1983

Forager
Oct 15, 2015
150
24
Blackpool
Evening All,

I am planning on heading here in the morning, last minute, spur of the moment thing!
I've been pouring over google earth looking at the Lochs in that area, as I would ideally like to pitch up alongside one.

I will be using my Varanger Camp, and a campbed, as I intend to stay for 4 nights, so If I could drive up very close to a Loch, and have room to pitch, and not have to carry all my gear and wood/stove etc very far, then happy days.

I have noticed Clatteringshaws and Dee, It looks like I can drive up pretty close, but I wanted to tap the knowledge on here and see if I will have room to pitch here, or if there is somewhere else which would be better for me? I've never been to this area before, so any help is welcome. I'm heading up from near Blackpool, after a set of night shifts, so 3.5 hour drive is pretty much my limit.

If anyone can give me any pointers, rough area's, I'd really appreciate it. Please feel free to PM if you would rather not share on the forum.

Thanks in advance,

Jordan
 

juliojordio1983

Forager
Oct 15, 2015
150
24
Blackpool
Just an update on this guys....

I made my way to Clatteringshaws and had a walk around, I was struggling to see anywhere where i would have enough room to pitch the Varanger, so I made my way down towards Loch Dee, and found a place to park and pitch up by a small stream just downhill from the White Laggan Bothy. This was great as a basecamp location. The midges/mozzies were in very low numbers, and I saw one chap whilst I was leaving who was off fly fishing, so its still very quiet up there.

I spent three days there, the weather wasnt great, so I only managed a few half decent photo's, and I didnt get any chance to appreciate the Dark Sky. However, I intend to head back on Wednesday, and I am looking at Loch Trool this time.

As i was using my Varanger and I have a wood burning stove, I didn't have a fire, but there is evidence of fires everywhere you look, there were three 'fireplaces' made of stone with scorched earth at the spot i pitched up at.

Ideally id like to pitch up on a Loch shore, but having so much gear means walking far with it is a pain! Can anyone recommend a place where I can get close to shore-side with lots of gear? Edited to add; Stroan Loch looks a good bet, thank you for that! The Otter Pool looks a good bet too, i'm just a little concerned that spot might be busy...
 
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huntersforge

Full Member
Oct 14, 2006
756
49
southern scotland
Loch trool has plenty of nice areas with good access as there was once a campsite there. Not right next to the loch though but you could get next to the river.
Its quite popular with walkers at this time of year though . I camped there during the winter a few years back and it was quiet.
HF
 

huntersforge

Full Member
Oct 14, 2006
756
49
southern scotland
Here’s a few pics of my varanger set up.
Got down to about -8
Cold but comfortable
 

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juliojordio1983

Forager
Oct 15, 2015
150
24
Blackpool
Looks a very similar setup to mine mate. Is that the 6-8 man? I have the 8-10 man Camp version. I have a Cyprinus carp Bed/Chair in mine, with a memory foam mattress. I also have the Frontier Stove. I too have been in my Varanger Camp down to around -8 and I was lovely and warm. Nothing better than blowing some life into the embers when you wake up and being able to warm the place quickly.

I like the headroom, I like the Camp entrance (I can store food etc in here that I don't want my dog to get at during the night!) I like how ridiculously easy they are to pitch. I like the 6kg packed weight. There's very little i dislike being honest. The only downside is the footprint/space I need to pitch it. I was in the Lake District in January and February in the worst of the storms we had, and the Varanger just laughed at the wind, while everyone else was bailing out. One morning i woke up at Sykeside Camping Park and i was the only person left! There was just a wheelie bin full of smashed up tents giving away what had happened!

Do you have the inner and or the floor with yours? I'm not too fussed about the floor, but I keep thinking about the inner.... Warmer in winter, cooler in the summer. I find the Varanger becomes very hot when the sun shines on it.

Regarding Wednesdays trip, I think I am going to head to Stroan Loch first, providing theres enough room to pitch up as it looks on the photo's. If not, I will head across to the Otter Pools and hope it isn't too busy there.There looks to be plenty of space here to pitch, It just seems quite a popular spot, and I would prefer not to have people nearby me ideally. My dog is very protective, especially at night.
 

huntersforge

Full Member
Oct 14, 2006
756
49
southern scotland
I have a groundsheet in mine but never really felt the need for the inner as it cuts down the size quite a bit. I find the 4-6 varanger is perfect for me and the dog.
The forest drive/ otter pool area will be quiet during the week. I have in the past caught some beautifully marked brown trout just up from the otter pool
 

juliojordio1983

Forager
Oct 15, 2015
150
24
Blackpool
The inner does eat space.... and they ain’t cheap!

That sounds promising, if it’s quiet mid week I may try the Otter Pools then.... it looks a stunning place!
 

juliojordio1983

Forager
Oct 15, 2015
150
24
Blackpool
Guys, I wasn’t sure where to post this, but I could use some advice...

I came back to the otter pool this morning, parked in the same place, pitched in the same spot. I’d been here an hour, I was cooking some sausages, and a ranger came, and very rudely told me I had to pack up, and I couldn’t camp here and my wood burning stove is a fire risk (yet there is a bbq brick built here to use?) There is a sign saying no overnight parking, and she said a sign saying no camping. I went and had a look at the sign, and what it actually says is, IF you are wildcamping, please follow the code, stay away from buildings and roads. I’m pitched as far as I could be from the toilets here and the road. She left, so I have moved my car as it does say no overnight parking, but I have not taken the tent down and I intend on staying. Is this lady in the wrong as I suspect? She told me to go and read the sign, that it specifically says no tents, but it says nothing of the sort. I’m in Galloway Forest Park, so I’m free to wild camp. I suspect she will be back in the morning so any advice how to handle her would be appreciated. Despite her rudeness this morning I stayed very polite with her. I have my 15 year old cousin with me.

Thanks in advance

Jordan
 

huntersforge

Full Member
Oct 14, 2006
756
49
southern scotland
I would remind her that the forest park is there for everyone to enjoy as it is publicly owned and access to it is actively encouraged. The rules aren’t being broken and you will phone her office on Monday for clarification on her requests and that her attitude is a bit off.
In the meantime I won’t be moving because you say so.
Top marks for keeping your cool fella.
HF
 

juliojordio1983

Forager
Oct 15, 2015
150
24
Blackpool
Thanks for the reply mate.

I’m just really glad that the sign she was so keen to point me at, and was convinced said no camping, simply said if camping, please do so responsibly. She hasn’t been back so far today, but my car is still down the road, so I’m breaking no rules so to speak. There are a group of Scottish families here today pitching tents, so it’ll be interesting if she does return!
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,683
2,610
S. Lanarkshire
I think the Ranger was wrong to be so offensive, and mistaken in the advice she gave, but I wouldn't do her job for love nor money.

One of my friends does it as a seasonal ranger, and the public can be a nightmare. Fire is an issue, but simple advice to be careful and responsible usually does the trick, strike up a conversation, most folks are on board with the whole leave nothing behind but thanks ethos....that's usually...the burnt out tree thread recently is all too common a sight. Overnight parking is also an issue, not just with the damage the parking does to the ground/road verges, but because it can attract the kind of people who go out to the forests to get utterly blitzed and leave behind so much filth and destruction that even clearing up the litter (and human waste) doesn't restore the site, and they don't come alone, iimmc. They're inclined to come by the van loads.
You know you and your cousin aren't like that, she doesn't, but I don't think her way of approaching things sounds at all effective, let alone encouraging good behaviour and being enthusiastic about folks engaging with the outdoors in a meaningful fashion.

I know it's discouraging, but you sound as though you have been both courteous and non confrontational. Always best to keep your cool in this kind of situation I reckon.

I hope you aren't put off from your trips, that your young cousin enjoyed the weekend, even if there was a bit of bother, and maybe contacting the Ranger's office might give some clarity, and a bit of sound quotable advice should you come up agin someone like her again. I hope you don't. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has been enjoying reading of your jaunts :)

M
 

juliojordio1983

Forager
Oct 15, 2015
150
24
Blackpool
Thank you guys.

She did come back on Monday as we were leaving. She approached me with the same attitude, asked me why I had disobeyed her I took her to her sign, explained I’ll leave no trace, and I’d moved my car. I explained that she was like an attack dog with the way and manner she approached me. That I can camp here. Her whole attitude then changed, she explained she has been dealing with exactly what you described Mary, which I agree is disgusting. There was rubbish, a tent and even sleeping bag someone had left. She couldn’t fit this rubbish in her truck, so I took it with me which she really appreciated. By the end of the conversation I think she realised not everyone wants to trash the place, and we were being responsible, and left no trace. So all ended well!

Yesterday we moved to a beach near Annan. The suns shining, the worlds a good place. I’ll add some photos to this thread when I’m home :)
 

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