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Showing posts from August, 2018

Hiking With Kids - Dumgoyne Hill

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Where is it? Dumgoyne hill is less than an hour's drive  north from Glasgow following the A81 road towards Aberfoyle. The number 10 bus  (to Balfron) from Glasgow will also stop at the Glengoyne distillery, which is opposite  The hill is situated on the edge of the Campsie Fells. This is a hill that looks impressive even though it is easy to walk to the summit within a couple of hours. The height is 427m, which is higher than I had thought, I also never told my kids this. The path here is easy to find and the walk is manageable for younger legs, although it gets steeper nearer the top so they may need some help.  It gets steeper near the top Facilities There is limited parking, just off the main road opposite the Glengoyne distillery. Also note there is no toilet facilities here, so a trip to the woods may be in order, if you need to answer the call of nature. Where To Go From the road edge we crossed the open grassland and followed the track up. This is

Camp Soap Review

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Product: Coghlan's Camp Soap Stockist: Amazon Cost: £6.99 Before my long distance walks on the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way I was looking for ways to reduce my pack weight. Granted a multipurpose soap, which can replace washing up liquid and shower gel won't save a great deal of weight.  It did eliminate the hunting for one particular soap and the hassle that can create, especially when it's raining.  I did a quick search and came across Coghlan's Camp Soap and an all purpose soap from Life Adventure, unsure which one would be the best, I decided to buy the former. I used this during my trip to wash stove pots, my clothes and myself. It was a benefit that the bottle was only 118ml size as it was easy to store in your pack. The top has a flip top nozzle which allowed you to squeeze a small amount of soap out at a time. This works really well on the pots and was able to give them a good wash in cold water. The pots and utensils felt clean afterwards with

Hiking With Kids - Arthur's Seat

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Edinburgh's Wee Hill What is it? Arthur's seat is a small hill, 250m in height, which is located in the city of Edinburgh. This can be walked in a couple of hours and is particularly suitable if you are walking with children, and on a good day you can get great views of the city and beyond. Getting There The start of the walk can be easily accessible from Edinburgh Waverly train station. Walking from the station to Holyrood park will take about 40 minutes. There are buses that will travel past this area, including the tourist sightseeing bus. If travelling by car then there are plenty of car parks to stop at. We were lucky enough to park opposite the Scottish parliament building. There are plenty places to visit around this area, including the afore mentioned parliament building, the palace, which has free toilet facilities and Dynamic Earth science centre.  Where to go This Way The track can be muddy There is a well worn path u

Highlander Ultralight Sleeping Bag

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Product: Ultralight Sleeping Bag Manufacturer: Highlander Stockist: Gap Year Travel Store Price: £32.99 The ultralight sleeping bag by Highlander is marketed as a 1/2 season bag that weighs only 500g (18oz). This is aimed at the summer hiker or camper who is looking for a bag that won't take up a lot of room, this is certainly the case  with the overall size of the bag being 150mm x 130mm when fully compressed. The bag and stuff sack weigh just over the advertised amount at 530g. The bag itself is a mummy style, with centre zip. It only comes in a cool blue colour and the details on the bag and stuff sack state that it is suitable for 1 season use. I used this for a five day hike along the Great Glen Way at the start of August. The bag was very comfortable to sleep in and having  the centre zip instead of a side zip meant that I wasn't lying on the zip in the middle of the night. The temperature during the trip was around 16 degrees Celsius, and I ne

Day 5, The Great Glen Way: Drumnadrochit to Inverness

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I got to Drumnadrochit on the Friday. I had arranged to meet my wife and children here, where we spent the weekend looking at the usual tourist attractions. We stayed at the BCC Hostel some six miles from Drumnadrochit. There is a campsite, hostel and hotels in the town  I got back on the Great Glen Way early on Monday morning. Since I was meeting my family in Inverness I had no need for some of my camping gear, so it stayed in the car. I also said goodbye to my boots and put my Keen Newport sandals on again. The distance to Inverness is about 18 miles. It starts heading out of Drumnadrochit along a footpath beside the A82. After a mile or so it heads off into the woods. It rises sharply and I wondered if I was in for another day of slogging up hill. The track evens out and  it turns into quite a pleasant walk through Abriachan, where there are toilets and a play park. If you have the time there are also a range of shorter walks around the forest, and a hide if you wish to

Day 4, The Great Glen Way: Inver-Coille Campsite to Drumnadrochit

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Early Morning Mist The good weather I had experienced over the last couple of days broke during the night, and the midges had also come out in force. with not much to eat apart from my cold soaked porridge I decided to pack up and walk the 2 miles to Invermoriston. Once there I had some breakfast at a local CafĂ© before starting the walk to Drumnadrochit. This walk is one of the more difficult of the Great Glen Way. There is an overall ascent of 600m during the 14 mile walk, including a steep rise out of Invermoriston that gives good views over the village and Loch Ness.  After Here, The Nearest Clog Shop is 53 miles Away Fallen Trees Near The High Route Closure Stone Cave Sign There is also a choice of routes, like the previous day you can hike a high or low route. On this occasion, however the high route was closed due to track damage. The walk led through a forest track for about 3 miles, past the stone cave to the Youth Hostel. At this point Drumnadroc

Day 3, The Great Glen Way: Kytra Lock to Inver-Coille Campsite

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The Canal at Fort Augustus After a long walk on Day 2, I had planned a shorter hike the following day. The walk from Kytra Lock to Inver-Collie Campsite is only 10 miles and takes you through Fort Augustus. There are gift shops, cafes and bars. The only grocery shop I found was the one attached to the petrol station. It was basic but did have a small pharmacy attached. I managed to pick up enough food and medical supplies for the rest of my trip. Fort Augustus is the start of the Loch Ness section of the walk, and you have to wait a while after hiking out of the small town before you get a glimpse of the famous Loch. Obligatory Forest Track Image Loch Ness There are two routes available to take during this section of the walk. The high or low route. I chose the low route as it was the most easily accessible to the campsite. The high route is longer, but has better views of Loch Ness. I Know How This Person Feels Can Be Reached By The Low Route  The c

Day 2: Great Glen Way - Gairlochy to Kytra Lock

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The plan for day 2 was to walk to a campsite outside of Invergarry. The campsite is quite a distance from the Great Glen Way, but Invergarry can be reached by hiking track just before Laggen. Another option was to walk to an informal campsite at Aberchalder, a distance of about 19 miles from Gairlochy. View across Loch Lochy From Gairlochy the track ascends up a minor road before detouring up a forest track. From there you cross back over the road and follow a track close to the shore line of Loch Lochy. There is another couple of miles of road walking, and a chance to see some lovely large houses, before Clunes.  Track to Laggen I decided to walk to Laggen first, once there I would see how I was physically. Laggen is about 12 miles away. I had taken my hiking boots this time instead of my sandles the boots were already hurting the balls of my feet. The forest track to Laggen is fairly flat but there isn't much to see, unless you like trees. There's not

Day 1: The Great Glen Way - Fort William to Gairlochy

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The original plan for the Great Glen Way was to tack it on to the end of the West Highland Way, however I decided to go home to let my swollen foot heal up before attempting anymore walking. Two weeks later I caught the first train from Glasgow up to Fort William, arriving just after 12pm. A quick trip to the supermarket opposite the train station and I was ready to walk the Great Glen Way. The way starts next to the local McDonalds and the first few miles are a walk around the outskirts of  Fort William and villages of Caol and Banavie. The majority of the ten and a half mile hike after Caol, is along the canal path. The path is flat and straight to Gairlochy.  The Start Next to the McDonalds Soliders Bridge Typical Waymarker Canal path It took me three and a half hours to cover the distance between Fort William and Gairlochy. My plan was to stay at a campsite a mile down a single track road. I decided instead to camp at the informal campsite located just

Trangia Gel Burner

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Product: Trangia Gel Burner Stockist: Amazon Cost: £6.99 To be honest I hadn't heard about the Trangia gel burner. A relative that was hiking the West Highland Way with me had recently bought one with his Trangia kit and had bought enough gel fuel for the trip for both of us. I was planning on taking my spirit burner but didn't see the need of both of us taking fuel, so I opted for a gel burner. The tin is very light, much lighter than the spirit burner which weighs in at 127g. The simple aluminium tin only weighs 18g.  I used the Vango gel pouches which are easy to carry and store. I was worried that the pouch may get damaged in my bag and leak, but the pouch is made from thick plastic and I was able to store this inside my Trangia. The gel burner too takes about 13 minutes to burn  about 50ml of gel, which is enough to make a meal and hot water for a  coffee. The pouch lasted me about 4 days, using it for breakfast and dinner, and the gel burner also cools