TGO Challenge 2012 - My Crossing of Scotland

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Urban X

Nomad
Apr 6, 2012
272
0
Thanet, Kent
Looks like that's gonna be the trip of a lifetime, green with envy but sincerely wishing you all the best, as per everyone else can't wait for the pics and blog. :cool:


Si
 

Imagedude

Full Member
Feb 24, 2011
1,966
7
Gwynedd
Looks like it'll be an experience. I may give it a go in 2013. I'd like to be fit enough to do it via the peaks rather than the valleys which is why I've started training already. My current (un)fitness level allows me to do 15 miles and 1200 metres of ascent per day carrying a 14Kg pack, doing it for almost 2 weeks is whole different kettle of worms. I've done the first half of your day 1 and it is a slog, not difficult just boring.
This is Edinburgh Uni's hut which you will pass halfway through day one.

There's a better photo of the location here http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2152427
If you're planning on having a few beers in the Kintail Lodge Hotel you'll need a thick wallet. The beer is usually good though. I'll be there doing the 5 Sisters of Kintail a few days after you depart.
We should hold a sweepstake on the weight of the kit that you carried but didn't use. I'll start the bidding at 4lbs.
 
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PropThePolecat

Tenderfoot
Mar 29, 2009
94
0
Mainland Europe
Ive read about the challenge almost 5 years ago and ive wished to to do it every since. Hopefully ill will be able to participate in the future.

Have you prepared physically in any way? Doing long walks? Lifting weights?

Are you bringing a GPS with the waypoints plotted in as backup or you going map and compass all the way?

I'd bring 2 extra things in my kit...a SAK (incredibly useful) and a phone (for emergencies).

Good of luck...ill be watching this space!
 

Podcast Bob

Full Member
Just looked at your kit list Shewie and the only thing I would suggest considering is the weight, and use, of your MSR filter system?

Within a few hours of your start you route will take you high enough not to have to worry about water quality until the last 2 days, when you get back down to low level run off. It'll save you best part of a kilo which I very much you use very much. Of course last few years we took our Drink Safe water bottle and only screwed the filter back in when we got close to the coast. Its just that we could still use the bottle as storage every day. Something you can't do with pump systems.

I would also seriously think about 'Ticks' and tick removal too. Especially using your sleeping and shelter system. Rose picked up the name 'Ticky Rose' a couple of years ago when I had to pick off her 23 when we got to the Tomdoon Hotel one night! The tip you'll see everyone doing is before you set up camp, or every time you stop for a breather, just brush down your clothes and ankles by hand. The little buggers are so small like fleas when they are first on your skin and harmless enough. Scrape them off with a fingernail. However once they start to gorge they are little 'bast*rds' to get out.

Sweaty places they love. Arm pits, groin and backs of knees. In some areas they are hard to come by, in long grass, heather and bushes they just sit and wait for the next passing lift. Your gaiters are the most vital item you have in your gear. Good for keeping them away from ankles (on the way up the trouser leg) and good for keeping the peaty bits in the water out of your footwear.

The other missing item which you can pick up on route to your start point and well worth considering is some Crocs or similar. For no other reason than resting your feet and letting them breath at the end of the day. Most people just clip them on the back of their rucksack and chuck them away at the end. You'll see them by the dozen in all the pubs! I do know of a couple people who do the whole 200 mile walk in them!!

If you don't take other footwear, and you don't want to use Sealskin Socks (which stink very quickly in your pack) inside wet footwear when you go to the pub, then the cheapest and equally effective lightweight option is a decent couple of plastic bags.

From experience, the only other item I would suggest if I've read your list correctly is an additional 150gm merino type layer to top up the insulation of your Fireball in bed and a hat. If it drops to -5+ which is can do in certain places, you might be a bit chilly some nights. And it'll warm you up and can bee added to the fleece in the mornings too. But you may be a hot person anyway (baby!!)

Forgive me if I'm teaching you to suck eggs, but if it looks like a starry sub zero night looming make sure you have a hot drink before you bed down. Your bag will only keep you warm, not make you warm.

Otherwise though, a good kit list and very respectable for a first crossing. You'll see some people starting out carrying sideboards, but you'll soon have a smirk on your face when they arrive at your campsite shattered ;-) Enjoy it, you look well prepared.
 

Shewie

Mod
Mod
Dec 15, 2005
24,260
17
44
Yorkshire
Looks like that's gonna be the trip of a lifetime, green with envy but sincerely wishing you all the best, as per everyone else can't wait for the pics and blog. :cool:


Si
Cheers Si :)

best of luck looks like a good challenge enjoy.
Thanks Karl

Looks like it'll be an experience. I may give it a go in 2013. I'd like to be fit enough to do it via the peaks rather than the valleys which is why I've started training already. My current (un)fitness level allows me to do 15 miles and 1200 metres of ascent per day carrying a 14Kg pack, doing it for almost 2 weeks is whole different kettle of worms. I've done the first half of your day 1 and it is a slog, not difficult just boring.

We should hold a sweepstake on the weight of the kit that you carried but didn't use. I'll start the bidding at 4lbs.
Cheers Bob and thanks for the info, we'll only be checking out at the Kintail Lodge on the Friday morning so I'll save my beer tokens until we get to Fort Augustus.

About the sweepstake, not a chance, the only thing that will remain unused in the FAK hopefully.

Ive read about the challenge almost 5 years ago and ive wished to to do it every since. Hopefully ill will be able to participate in the future.

Have you prepared physically in any way? Doing long walks? Lifting weights?

Are you bringing a GPS with the waypoints plotted in as backup or you going map and compass all the way?

I'd bring 2 extra things in my kit...a SAK (incredibly useful) and a phone (for emergencies).

Good of luck...ill be watching this space!
Thanks mate, yeah done lots of training over the last twelve months, just walking and tuning the kit list. I'm not really a weights person though.

It'll be map and compass all the way with the occasional check on SatMap if we're in poor visibility.

Phone will be packed, we'll have two between us on different networks too which will be handy. I've no need for a SAK though and the only stuff I can fix if fabric so I'll just carry a small fixing kit.

... < Snip > ...
Great info again thanks Bob

The filter weight is something I can live with I think, I've a couple of pals who've been badly after drinking Scottish mountain water and I think the 244g is worth it for the peace of mind if nothing else. I have heard you and Andy talk about taking it straight from the streams though and I've done it myself plenty of times, I just don't want to end up with the trots on day two :)

I'm well rehearsed in the tick department too, plenty of canoe trips on the west coast of Scotland soon got me a good routine. My bivvy bag, sleeping bag and clothing have bee thoroughly doused in permethrin and they'll get another treatment before we go.

I was breaking in some Salomons this weekend and was quite happy with the wet feet thing, I made a schoolboy error though and left the Sealskinz at home on Friday, not too bad the first night as my feet were fairly dry, last night was more unpleasant though and I was kicking myself. Once the shelter was up I got out of the wet shoes and socks and powdered my feet and got some dry thick socks on which worked a treat. I had to put the cold wet stuff on again later though and it didn't seem too bad. Both socks and shoes were just about dry this morning having spent the night under my tarp, that's good to know.

I've got the Fury fleece which works well over the Fireball at night, I tried the combo last night and I was much warmer, the hood is handy too if there's a draught blowing through. I'll add my Ninjaclava to my list too for the colder nights.



17 more sleeps to go, eek !
 

andythecelt

Nomad
May 11, 2009
261
2
Planet Earth
Not long now. eh? My route is extremely similar to yours between Fort Augustus and Tarfside but because I'm starting at Mallaig I'll be a day behind you most of the way. Nice pack weight, I thought I'd done well getting mine down to 12kg or so! It's a huge drop from the kit I was using a year ago though. I might run into you in Montrose, I'll the the knackered looking bloke with the green tent. Good luck with it, let's just hope we get decent weather eh?
 

Shewie

Mod
Mod
Dec 15, 2005
24,260
17
44
Yorkshire
Not long now. eh? My route is extremely similar to yours between Fort Augustus and Tarfside but because I'm starting at Mallaig I'll be a day behind you most of the way. Nice pack weight, I thought I'd done well getting mine down to 12kg or so! It's a huge drop from the kit I was using a year ago though. I might run into you in Montrose, I'll the the knackered looking bloke with the green tent. Good luck with it, let's just hope we get decent weather eh?
Have a good one yourself Andy

We'll be taking our time no doubt so you'll probably catch us up :)

Fresh dump of snow on the Campsies, NE of Glasgow.
It's looking like next week will be similar, hopefully if the predictions are right May should be a decent month



10 sleeps to go :)
 

Scots_Charles_River

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Dec 12, 2006
3,217
1
8
paddling a loch
www.flickr.com
May is a funny month as you can get hail or sunburn !

Almost better to be cooler to avoid overheating.

Biggest hill days I have done - Lawers 5 Munros 22km, Lochnagar 5 Munros 32km, Glenshee 5 Monros, 21km. Main thing was achy legs and feet. It helps when on hills though as the ground is softer than rough estate tracks etc.

After 4 or 5 days I think you will get fitter and find it easier. I found after 10 days in a row, Alpine road biking, at least two cols a day, I survived. I was tired every night but as I am not really a roadie, maybe one or two rides a month, I was shocked I could manage. I think eating enough breakfast is key.

Doug Whillans put weight on before a big expedition as part of his 'training'.
 

Shewie

Mod
Mod
Dec 15, 2005
24,260
17
44
Yorkshire
I've just got my food requirements sorted tonight, I was cooking and dehydrating meals all last week and then picked up my lunches and snacks today. In case anyone's interested ....


TGO 2012 – Food


Friday – Day 1

Breaky: Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder
Lunch: Bagel + Primula
Tea: Spicy penne + Cup-a-soup


Saturday – Day 2

Breaky: Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder
Lunch: Bagel + Primula
Tea:- Spag Bol + Cup-a-soup


Sunday – Day 3 – Fort Augustus

Breaky: Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder
Lunch: Bagel + Primula
Tea: Fish & Chips


Food carried from start:-

3 x Porridge/Hot Cereal
3 x Milk Powder
3 x bagels
1 x Primula
1 x Spicy Penne
1 x Spag Bol
1 x spare Mince & Veg
3 x Cup-a-soups

3 x Trail Mix (Pretzls/M&Ms/Choc Raisins/Banana Chips/Sunflower seeds)
1 x Jerky

* Collect food parcel 1 at Fort Augustus





Monday – Day 4

Breaky: Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder
Lunch: Buy in Fort Augustus or Soreen
Tea: Stodge + Cup-a-soup


Tuesday – Day 5 – Glentruim Camp site

Breaky: Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder
Lunch: Soreen
Tea: Curry & Rice + Cup-a-soup


Food carried from Fort Augustus:-

2 x Porridge/Hot Cereal
2 x Milk Powder
1 x Soreen
1 x Primula
1 x Curry & Rice
1 x Stodge
2 x Cup-a-soups

2 x Trail Mix
1 x Jerky

* Collect food parcel 2 at Glentruim






Wednesday – Day 6

Breaky: Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder
Lunch: Oatcakes & choc-peanut butter
Tea: Chilli & Rice + Cup-a-soup


Thursday – Day 7

Breaky: Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder
Lunch: Oatcakes & choc-peanut butter
Tea: Spag Bol + Cup-a-soup

Friday – Day 8 – Braemar camp site

Breaky:
Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder
Lunch: Oatcakes & choc-peanut butter
Tea: Pub ???

Saturday – Day 9 – Rest day in Braemar

Breaky:
Cafe
Lunch: Shop bought
Tea: Pub/Shop bought


Food carried from Glentruim:-

3 x Porridge/Hot Cereal
3 x Milk Powder
3 x Oatcake servings
3 x Choc-peanut butter servings (in squeeze tube)
1 x Chilli & Rice
1 x Spag Bol
2 x Cup-a-soups

3 x Trail Mix
2 x Jerky

* Collect food parcel 3 at Braemar







Sunday – Day 10

Breaky: Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder
Lunch: Bread + Ham/Cheese (shop bought)
Tea: Stodge + Cup-a-soup

Monday – Day 11

Breaky: Bacon butties in Tarfside hostel
Lunch: Bread + Ham/Cheese (shop bought in Braemar)
Tea: Pub ?????


Tuesday – Day 12

Breaky:
Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder /Fry up in Edzell
Lunch: Buy from Edzell (sarnies/pies) ???
Tea: Chilli & Rice + Cup-a-soup


Wednesday – Day 13

Breaky: Porridge/Hot Cereal + Milk Powder



Food carried from Braemar:-

3 x Porridge/Hot Cereal
3 x Milk Powder
2 x Bread + Ham/Cheese (bought from Braemar shop)
1 x Chilli & Rice
1 x Stodge
2 x Cup-a-soups

3 x Trail Mix
2 x Jerky



I'll be supplementing all the above with fresh fayre picked up along the way, plus cereal bars/cakes at brew stops etc