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“Dream” route

I’ve been doing some research and have come up with my dream route. Unfortunately I don’t have enough time to do all of, but I might keep it in mind and if I can go away for long enough, and/or walk fast enough, then maybe I can get through it all. (Actually, this is not really my “dream” route, but more my “semi-practical, best case, what I’d really like to do” route. I’m pretty sure my dream route would be way longer and more continuous, with more tourism type stops on the way. But this is what I’d really like to try to squeeze into the time I might be able to get).

Here is a terrible map (sorry about the quality!) of where I’m thinking of going.
ImageStarting in Glasgow, heading north along the black line:
1. West Highland Way. Milngavie (pronounced “mull-guy”!!, 17km from Glasgow, bus or train) to Fort William. 151km in total. Suggested to do in 8 days. I’ll probably stick to 8 days, but with a side trip up Buachaillie Etive Mor (a big hill).

2. NE along the green line. Great Glen Way. Fort William to Inverness, 117km. Suggested 6 days. Probably do in 4 or 5.

3. North along the orange line. After taking a bus from Inverness to Ullapool, or nearby, I’m planning to walk up to Cape Wrath, via Quinag and hopefully a few other hills on the way (Ben Stack and Arkle, and either Stac Pollaidh and Suilven OR Breabag – these are a long way apart on the same northing so are kind of exclusive if I don’t want to add a LOT of extra distance in). This is the “serious” part of my hiking. No actual track, all relying on my own navigation and mostly in remote terrain with very few towns along the way. As there is no track, I don’t have an exact route and therefore no exact distance but I estimate about 100km. I’ve ‘budgetted’ 10 days for this section.

4. SW along the blue line. Rob Roy Way. After taking a bus back to Inverness then down to Pitlochry, this walk is from Pitlochry to Drymen (on the West Highland Way, 19km from my starting point at Milngavie). 128km, maybe 5-6 days (hilly but all tracks etc so easy walking).

The first and third walk are pretty much definites. The second (Great Glen) and fourth (Rob Roy) are optional. The last especially, I may not have time for.

Anyway, this is a total of 500km of walking and would require ~35 days, excluding flying time but including 2 days off before, after and between each walk. Friends, family, colleagues, dog sitters, voices of reason . . . let me know what you think!

On a side note, I did set my tent up the other day. Inside, because it was wet outside and I need to get seam-sealer to make it waterproof before I bother getting it wet. First impression . . . . I am sooooo scared of damaging it!! It is so thin and light, and slippery! And, I need new tent pegs! Here are a couple of pictures of it. The first is just the inner (yellow). The second is with the fly on. Bear in mind that this is completely un-pegged, so it will look a bit better when taut. No dog for scale as I’m too worried he’ll touch it and put a hole in it! Please note, in the second photo, the bundle of pegs next to it. I have pulled one of the pegs out so you can see it individually. I’d heard the Terra Nova pegs described as toothpicks, and now I must concur. 1g each but I can’t see how they’re going to hold the tent up!!

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See the bundle of 13 pegs near the bottom corner, . . . now see the tiny lone peg just below it!

 

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8 Comments

  1. annathrax says:

    The route looks cool! Definitely going to be different to the bib track. Have enjoyed discovering your blog. Greetings from Perth!

    • Helen says:

      Thanks! I definitely need to do some more hiking around here too – it’s easy to ignore what’s on your doorstep, so it’s nice to read about your bushwalking club hikes. And very nice to find other hikers close to home!

  2. thegomof51 says:

    Hi Helen I like the orange one! The tent looks good, I assume the inner clips onto the wands so can be erected/ dropped under the fly in wet weather. I forgot to give you my seam sealer bottle but its easily obtained so I assume you have it by now. I recall reading somewhere that if a seam is butt jointed or just overlapped the sealer goes on the outside, but if its a more complex folded seam the sealer goes inside. Read it after i did mine so did both sides! Anyway check with the supplier they should know.

    I bought a set of 8 groundhog pegs for my fly. http://www.mainpeak.com.au/hike-camp/msr-ground-hog-tent-peg-kit-8-stakes/ Am not sure where from but they are a mini starpicket, extremely light & strong apparently. As always after i bought them i came across a review of something even better but didnt bother to keep the address. Your mum’s here for coffee Bye!

    Steve G

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    • Helen says:

      The inner clips to the wands so it can be dropped, but the poles slot into the inner so you can’t pitch the poles/fly and THEN the inner (the poles won’t stay bent unless slotted into the innner). I’m thinking of trying to rig something to match the layout of the inner’s grommits (thin rope, or fabric, with grommits or loops on the end) so I could slot the poles into this to get them up, pitch the fly, then bring the inner in underneath. Will have to experiment.
      I’ve just done an hour or so’s research into tent pegs, trying to decide whether I should get V / Y profiled vs Nail (cylindrical). Am thinking I may get a combo of both, so need to have a good look at my staking points to see what I need. ie the two pegs on the inner don’t really need to be super secure, probably not the vent ones either, but the fly corner pegs are pretty crucial. (The msr ground hogs are on the list, but I’d like something a little lighter. 14 of them is 225g.)
      Haven’t got seam sealer yet, but will next time I drop into a mountain store.

  3. thegomof51 says:

    Had a similiar issue many moons ago with my 2-man tent. I made a length of seat belt webbing with an eyelet each end which lay under the floor when the inner was clipped in. Justified its existance by multi-function of emergy abseil harness(carried a crab), pack harness repair, litter, splint ties etc etc when I was taking groups. So a thin wide strap does work but I dont suggest belt webbing any more! ( Wide so its flat under floor rather than sleeping along a tightrope) must be something available these days altho weight is again the big issue. Maybe try a curtain shop for ideas of long strips of backing material. It could still be used for emerg.y cordage.. maybe. And 14 pegs??? A circus bigtop? Does Scotland have sticks/rocks? Steve G

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    • Helen says:

      “14 pegs” – I’ve only counted 12 guy points so far so maybe two are spare, That includes 3 vent guys, which could be optional. It’s already so thin and fragile, I’d rather pitch it with all the pegs!!
      Good ideas re: pitching without inner. I got a ground sheet with it, supposed to be Tyvek, but haven’t unwrapped it yet. I’ll see if it looks like it’ll work to hold the pegs. And weigh it to see how heavy it is. Otherwise, the 1″ climbing tape sounds perfect. I’ll talk to Muzz.
      Also nice to hear that my idea is not completely loony and should actually work!!

  4. thegomof51 says:

    Further thought on the tent fly pitching.. think about 1″ climbing tape instead of the old seatbelt webbing; its cheap i think & a sewn y-profile to match dimensions of the wands wouldn’t be too heavy, especially if it gives you the opportunity to constantly pitch in the wet. Rolled up/ scrunched wouldn’t take much space either. Try Muzz or friend for an old length to play with? SG

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  5. thegomof51 says:

    Yet another thought…this boy’s on fire ..3 thoughts in a single day! If you obtained the tent footprint it might already allowyou to pitch fly only, or you could easily adapt it to do so. That way you could always pack dry inner separately & carry wet fly/footprint in outer mesh pockets for next time as standard procedure. Footprint could then also become your sit-pad, easily accessable & enabling you to stretch out when taking a break. Or pitch only fly/footprint & still have a groundsheet. Also provides some protection for tent floor increasing longitivity. Footprint is usually very light as well as w/proof & right size/shape. More versatile than webbing. SG

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