Ardnamurchan – Loch Sunart and Loch Shiel

02/07/2018 0

Packrafting has taken a back seat to Hillwalking for the past few weekends, so this weekend it was time to get back into the boat. I have a wee list at home of trips that I want to do and area’s that I want to explore by boat. The Ardnamurchan, specifically Lochs Sunart and Shiel (Aye, I know the latter is not strictly Ardnamurchan!) were two such area’s. The tides were right this weekend with High tide at ~8AM and Read More

UK Packraft Gathering

28/05/2018 0

For the past couple of years, the UK importer for Alpacka Packrafts – backcountry.scot – run by a guy named Andy Trop has organised a get-together for packrafters. I was just getting into it around the 2017 gathering, but made the gathering this year. Showing up at the venue Lagganlia near Kincraig on Friday night it was beers and chatter before a sensible night with lots planned for the following day. I had signed up together with 8 or so others Read More

Loch Ba and Loch Laidon Linear – Bike, Boat, Train

14/05/2018 1

I’ve been wanting to do the linear boat trip across Rannoch Moor via Loch Ba and Loch Laidon for a while. Finally, this last weekend the weather and the wind was favorable so off I set. I opted for a one night wild camp, meaning that the timings matched for a Lazy start and the train back from Rannoch Station the following day. [Skip right to the end for the video! | Find the full photoset here] I dumped my Read More

Loch Katrine

26/04/2018 0

The forecast was decent for Saturday, but rubbish for Sunday so I could not be arsed to drive very far this weekend. Against my better judgement, I paid Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Park’s ‘Wild Camping Tax’ – £8 to stay at the far end of ‘Three Lochs Forest drive’ near Loch Katrine. To get a spot on here in the summer requires booking a month in advance, but short-notice spots are available out of season. As one of the Read More

Two Ascents (and a paddle) in Assynt

19/04/2018 0

The Assynt region of Scotland, has to be one of my favourite spots. The mountains are not huge, but they are numerous, and rise suddenly and spectacularly from the surrounding landscape of rock, heather and many many lochs for a paddle! I headed up for Easter, meeting fellow members of the Ochils Mountaineering Club. We were staying at the SMC’s Naismith nut in the crofting settlement of Elphin. Being just north of Ullapool, its a fair drive on a Friday Read More

Lochs Ericht, Laggan and a Ski Tour

01/04/2018 0

With a half decent forecast and a new drysuit (Palm Fuse) to test it was time to get back out in the pack raft (boat) again. I left fairly late and headed up to Dalwhinnie with the intention of having a paddle on Loch Ericht. Loch Ericht initially looked promising so off I went looking for a place to launch; as is all too common, while I was setting up the boat, the wind started blowing. The initial paddle was Read More

Packrafter/Hillwalker/Kayak/Canoe Radio Equipment for Emergency Assistance (Mobile, PLB, Tracker, VHF)

17/03/2018 0

Usual Disclaimer: I gathered this information off the Internet and assembled it into this article. I make no guarantees as to its accuracy or suitability to your situation! Introduction I have visited a number of locations in my Packraft where I have launched  into tidal or coastal waters. These include the Ardnamurchan, Uists, Harris Jura, and the waters off Argyll. I love visiting the Scottish islands, and there is limited scope for Packrafting without sticking your boat in the sea, Read More

Tenerife – Walking and (Attempted) Packrafting!

28/02/2018 0

I got the chance of a short break in Tenerife for a few days at the end of Feb. My old man and not-so-wicked stepmother had a spare bed in their holiday abode where they had been hauled up for the past 5 weeks. I had been to the Canaries several times previously, Tenerife aged 12 and 17, and Gran Canaria aged about 27. It would be interesting to see how much the place had changed. ScroteRail+Tram+Easyjet+Bus got me there Read More

Christmas

03/01/2018 0

Some folks reckon Christmas is a special time of year, I am usually just glad when its over! Too much over-commercialised nonsense.  That said, I do enjoy the drink and food, and am partial to some cheap gadget purchasing in the inevitable sales that follow! This year we were headed up to Lucy’s parents in Dingwall, travelling day before via Tiso in Perth and Aviemore where we spent the night at Loch Morlich. The following morning the weather was completely Read More

Cairngorm Capers

12/11/2017 0

Somehow I have managed to avoid the A9 for the past 5 months; my last trip up that way being to a mates leaving do who headed off to Canada. Early this year I had 4 weekends away on the trot up in the north west – maybe I was just sick of the A9!? This weekend the local mountaineering club headed up to Mill Cottage near Kincraig. The location is handy for Glen Feshie, and another club member Colin Read More

Escape to the Borders

06/11/2017 0

Having not been south for eons, a trip to the borders (Megget Reservoir) was the plan for the weekend – bagging a Corbett and doing a bit of pack-rafting. My long suffering other half – (Loopy) Lucy seemed up for it as well – although she was not enamored with the cold having spent the previous 3 months cycling across the USA in the sunshine ! Saturday started off fine, got the boat in the water and set off for a Read More

Loch Shiel and Loch Sunart

16/10/2017 0

This weekend I was at Strontian on the Ardnamurchan peninsula with the Ochils Mountaineering Club staying at Sunart Camping. The weather forecast was pretty naff, but I did manage a bike ride, and a couple of trips in the packraft on Lochs Shiel and Sunart. Not as ambitious as my original plans, but pack rafts and howling gales ain’t a marriage made in heaven! Saturday Saturday dawned OK, I even saw (fleetingly) a patch of blue sky! The rain started Read More

Corbett Bagging and Paddle on Loch Tay

18/09/2017 0

After 3 weekends on the trot staying local, we finally had a weekend where both Saturday and Sunday looked half decent. Time to head off for the weekend in the van. I had a lone Corbett to bag from Glen Lyon (Cam Chreag) and fancied a paddle on the River Lyon – I had been late setting off, so it was dark when I arrived. I stopped at the same spot that I had done with my mother 6 weeks Read More

River Teith – Van, Bus and Boat

09/09/2017 4

With a decent forecast, a reasonable amount of water (SEPA: 0.85M) in the River Teith , and my buggered shoulder feeling slightly more mobile, it was time for another go at the River Teith. I had done a recce a couple of weeks previous, but had headed to a local loch for a paddle instead due to said shoulder. Original plan was to get the 10:19 bus from Deanston to Callander, but by the time I got my arse into gear, Read More

Loch Lomond Islands With Chums

03/09/2017 0

Loch Lomond, just 30 miles from home is the largest body of fresh water in Scotland by surface area. Loch Ness holds more water by volume while Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland is the largest in the UK at over 5 times the size. Loch Lomond’s main attraction for paddlers is the plethora of islands located at the wider southern end of the loch, which offer many camping and exploration opportunities. The largest island is Inchmurrin, also the largest freshwater Read More

Video Review: MRS Alligator 2S Pro Packraft

01/09/2017 0

Here’s a video review of my MRS Alligator 2S Pro Packraft. Short Version (better audio) Links: Boat Buoyancy Aid Paddle Also, see my first impressions and decisions re buying Long Version (27 Mins, rubbish audio!)  

Loch Ard

27/08/2017 2

This was my 1st weekend at home in Stirling for 7 weeks. The weather was a bit naff on Saturday so I spent it writing an article about my previous trips for the motorhome magazine ‘MMM’ – we shall see if they accept it. Then it was full-on website geeking migrating my personal photos gallery from the now defunct ‘Menalto Gallery’, which I have used since 1999 to Piwigo. The new gallery is here. The original plan for Sunday was Read More

River Balvaig

20/08/2017 0

I had been in Crianlarich for the weekend for a mates final Munro (A Scottish Mountain over 3000ft, there are 282 of them!). The hill was Beinn na Lap which we did in some terrible weather. We had booze at the top and then finished in a cafe/bar for more booze, before getting the train back to the Ochils Mountaineering Club Hut in Crianlarich where we had yet more booze! Grand day out despite the weather, and well done Colin Read More

Eaval, The Highest Hillock On North Uist, by Packraft

08/08/2017 0

It has to be said that the Hebridean islands off Scotland’s west coast are a superb location for a paddle. This was my 4th day paddling on Uist, and sadly my final day before getting the big boat north to Harris. I had been out in the boat in the morning, bagging a wee hill on Benbecula, it was from the top of this that I spotted Eaval (347M). Walkhighlands commented about the ‘boggy path’, but the map made it Read More

Packrafting – Loch Bi To Loch Sgiopoirt (South Uist)

07/08/2017 0

During a recent trip to South Uist, I had a few outings by Packraft and bike combo. Generally I have abandoned the bike at the end (complete with panniers and dry clothes), and then driven to the start. Its a great way of making linear boat trips with the wind/tide when you are on your own. This trip was one I saw on the map, and then went and googled to find that it had been previously blogged and was Read More

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