Planning Scotland canoe trip later in the year

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novembeRain

Nomad
Sep 23, 2008
365
3
38
lincoln
Please move if this isn't really the place... I couldn't decide


First of all, hello everyone! I'm an old member returning after some 8 years away so please be gentle

I find myself in quite a fortunate position this year and I'm aiming to make the most of it; the girlfriend's gone (permanently) and I've got a job that's 4on4off so I can have 12 days away for the price of four!!

I'm planning a trip later in the year and I'm going to need a little help along the way, if you can. So, I'll outline the plan for a start and see where we go from there;

Where and when;

There's nothing much set in stone here except to say that I'd like a Loch that I can drive to, not far over the border but as remote as possible - not one of the huge lochs that suffer from strong winds but a reasonable sized island that I can call home for a couple of nights would be good. And, one of the most improtant things; either before or after the midges but without very severe weather..... I know, I don't ask for much, do I!?

How;

Seems a strange question but here's the thing; I've not set foot in a canoe for at least 20 years... and I've yet to buy one so any and all advice is welcome on the matter though I'm sure a few outings would be enough for me to pick it back up. I have a landrover so just need some roof bars and I'll be able to get to and from my chosen Loch.

Fishing:

I took up fly fishing last year and love it, the chance of catching and cooking my own meals would be something very special to me - a bit of a childhood dream I suppose. I'm happy to pay for it but on the other hand; lochs with no fish or no fishing would be something to avoid.

Gear;

Though I've not been on here, I haven't let go of bushcraft - I still have all the gear I need and I've just bought a larger axe specifically with this adventure in mind. I do need a few more bits and pieces though so I'll make a list, shout if you see anything missing;

Knife
Axes (small forest axe and the equivalent to the wilderness axe)
f.a.k (see above lol)
ferro rod
cooking pots (nothing fancy but doesn't need to be)
Hammock & tarp
sleeping bag (+ bivvy bag and mat if the weather dictates)
head torch and plenty of spare batteries
fishing gear
Mobile sharpening stuff (I need to have a think about that)

Clothing isn't really a concern, I've been very active outdoors as a trainee mountain leader and climber for years now and can assess the required gear pretty accurately

What I've yet to get;

canoe (1-2 person would be fine imho) I'm keeping my eyes open for a bargain or one that needs a bit of tlc
boyancy aid
Paddle (obviously)
folding spade

Now, that's an awful lot compared to my usual list but this time it's about having a good time, not a hard time. That in mind, I'm not done yet;

Anyone remember the tracks challenge? In short, it was on telly - a group of people had a period of "survival" training and were then pointed at an area and told to survive. They got points for using their skills but there was also a chest full of all sorts of goodies from knives and fishing gear to sausages and they'd have points taken away if they took anything out (a veggie took sausages on one episode!). I'll be doing similar in that I'll have a stash of food and dry clothes back at the car just in case things don't go to plan but they're just a sensible precaution in my opinion.

So, what are your thoughts?
 
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John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
22,082
1,628
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Pembrokeshire
Welcome home!
Leave electronic stuff like Smart phones in the car - but take a simple mobile that makes and takes phone calls for emergencies.
Take some good books - I often take Kephart or Nessmuk or similar with me on solo trips.
In my experience a folding spade will fold - but a Cold Steel Spetznats (SP?) shovel is bomb proof and entertainment in one - and could replace one of your axes as well:)
Have fun!
 
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Dreadhead

Bushcrafter through and through
Welcome back.

There's not a huge amount of decent paddling lochs near the border, you really have to travel an extra few hours to get anywhere decent. Loch Etive is a stunning one, but may be a bit too heavy on your first outing at it. I'm sure those with more paddling knowledge will have better locations as i'm a land lubber.

Also, are you set on going solo? would be worth tying in with some meetups or whatnot so there are other folk around even if it's just the odd day here or there.
 

novembeRain

Nomad
Sep 23, 2008
365
3
38
lincoln
Also, are you set on going solo? would be worth tying in with some meetups or whatnot so there are other folk around even if it's just the odd day here or there.

For this trip specifically, yes. But leading up to it I'm more than happy to tag along or plan other trips.

I'd rather keep the mileage down if possible, it's not cheap in a land rover and I'm a lorry driver so roads and driving in general have more than lost their "shine" to be honest - if there really isn't much choice though, I can take it on the chin for what'll hopefully be a truly epic trip.

Thanks for the welcome guys, much appreciated
 
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novembeRain

Nomad
Sep 23, 2008
365
3
38
lincoln
That's about as far as I'd got too; I looked at Galloway but it doesn't look ideal, might make a good plan b though. I'll have a better look now that you've mentioned it, thankyou
 

Trig

Nomad
Jun 1, 2013
275
59
Scotland
Galloway is maybe my favourite area for exploring, but being honest, it probably wouldnt be my first choice either. I havent been for a few years now but i was always a bit wary of parking around loch doon, though i never actually had any problems. It can be quite busy around some of the more accessible lochs, and a bit of a party atmosphere at times. And the midges are a bugger too.

Forget i mentioned it maybe :p
 

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