Hell has been Postponed!

28 Aug

My first wild camping trip has been postponed 😦 .

MrP had been looking forward to a good laugh at my expense and will no doubt be sobbing in his tea, him now being forced to watch Casualty on Saturday night for similar, crisis based, entertainment.  The prospect of pitching up at 600m with showers and a north-westerly gusting to 55mph was considered inappropriate for a first-timer and so the fateful day has been put back for a month.  A couple of major events in the area had also conspired to make my trip with MrP as awkward as possible.  The 2 day Blair Atholl Horse Trials would have impacted on access to Bridge of Tilt but “Thunder in the Glens” near Aviemore was likely to have had greater consequences.

Apparently “Thunder in the Glens” did not refer to the possible gastric consequences of MrP’s proposed dinner menu for Saturday night of Pasta, Beans and Bacon – but the arrival in the area of thousands of hairy-arsed bikers leading to road closures and general mayhem in the Aviemore area.  All things considered a postponement seemed the best option…and, with a bit of luck, by the time our diaries once more coincide the midges should be nearing their annual extinction.



As part of my preparations for the trip I tested my lower back’s reaction to a bigger pack weight by loading my old Berghaus Freeflow III 25 + 5 litre backpack with 10kg of books.  I slung it onto my shoulders and awaited the inevitable progressive collapse of my spinal column.  Surprisingly it felt ok…and in a strange, oddly familiar, way.  Very roughly I counted the kilos…from when I started walking 4 years ago.


2kg for my cameras

1kg with by bag of bits and pieces (torch, first aid kit, spare x, y and z)

2kg between filled flask and water

2kg of waterproofs and jackets (depending on weather)

1kg heavy retractable dog lead

1.0kg of food, snacks, sweets, dog nibbles.

0.5kg Cicerone guide book


…and that was without trying too hard.  Looks like I was carrying the same weight on a day trip in those days!

I’m not sure what my current day pack must weigh – but it must be at least half of that!

However what this little exercise did highlight was the fact that my current 22 litre Lowe Alpine pack does not transfer any weight to my hips but puts it all down my spine whereas my old Berghaus pack, with its broad padded waistband, will transfer part of the load past the crux that is my lower back.  Maybe I’ve been creating an added problem for myself the past couple of years!

Offhand I couldn’t think of a reason why I would need to drag 10kg of hardback fiction up a mountain so I hauled the books out of the Berghaus pack and put in the current pack load.  The Fatdog and I stuck our heads into the pack’s remaining cavernous space, our breath echoing off the sides.  I stared at the big void…then at FD…then back again.  As the possibility of the Aonach Eagach Ridge flitted through my mind The Fatdog, tail down, s-l-o-w-l-y backed away.

I’m in two minds, well in fact a number of minds, about what we should tackle tomorrow.  With the strong winds scheduled to die down in the second part of the day FD and I should manage a wee hill somewhere.  The Fatdog has had a slightly dodgy left shoulder this week but it appears to improve with exercise.  With a big walk scheduled for Tuesday with Cap’n Jack – courtesy of a fair chunk of high pressure moving in from the Atlantic, I need to test out her resilience to a decent hill walk without overstretching her.  A somewhat delicate balance is required.

Somewhere between Tyndrum and Glen Lyon is looking a distinct possibility; somewhere only just over an hour from home…and of insignificant difficulty.

I’m off to look at some maps…


Posted by on August 28, 2010 in General Drivel


9 responses to “Hell has been Postponed!

  1. Tessa Park

    August 28, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    We have also had to postpone wild camping ideas. Forecast has been spectacularly off beam over the last couple of weeks though! No idea what’s in my backpack but suggest ‘too much’..

  2. fatdogwalks

    August 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Shame about that Tessa…you’ve had nae luck this year 😦 .

    I used my bigger pack today…and inevitably a couple of extra bits and pieces sneaked in. Mind you I think I’ll keep doing that for the next month so that the weight won’t come as a shock when I eventually do that wild camp with MrP.

  3. swanscot

    August 31, 2010 at 9:25 am

    “Ofhand I couldn’t think of a reason why I would need to drag 10kg of hardback fiction up a mountain”

    Oh, I can – to go Bookcrossing!

    (Though I don’t carry 10kg of books at any one time!)

    Bookcrossing on Toll Creagach
  4. fatdogwalks

    September 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Hi Sheila – glad to hear from you again. 😀 Really pleased to see you’ve been doing more on your blog recently…I’m just catching up!

    I thought the ultralightweight guys would have been giving you stick (or very small twig in their case) for lugging so much weight up a hill! Haven’t discovered one of your bags yet…how does this sit with the conservationists, cairn muggers, and no blot on my landscape thank you very much do-gooders. I like books – great idea 😆

  5. Andrew

    September 1, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    We cancelled our wild camp plans at the lat minute due to the forecast.
    Camped at Cannich camp site.
    Midges were bloomin awful.
    Glad we didn’t wild camp though as it was Baltic Sunday morning with really strong winds.
    Turned out quite nice in the afternoon.
    Drove home on the Monday in glorious sunshine.
    Hopefully the weather will continue until the weekend as I am in Glen Sheil this weekend.

  6. fatdogwalks

    September 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    I think the weather’s ok to about the weekend Andrew with winds picking up on Sunday – better be quick!

    Given your comments regarding the weather for the weekend past it’s just as well we cancelled our weekend wild camp! 😯

  7. swanscot

    September 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    FDW, the books I leave on the tops of our wee mountains don’t stay there long before being picked up so are much more ephemeral ‘blots on the landscape’ than the cairns I leave them on.

    As for lugging heavy weight up the hills – you’re right I do! I think some of the ‘lightweights’ would be horrified if they tried lifting my daysack, never mind my bulging, backpacking sack. As for my boots…

  8. Simon

    September 3, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    Well, I got 3 days – 2 nights – camping in Moidart in near perfect weather, so I’m happy. And we have rescheduled Ken’s introduction to camping, so he’s unhappy. And thus normal service has been resumed 🙂 .

  9. fatdogwalks

    September 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I’ll keep my eyes peeled for your books on my travels Sheila 😀 . As regards pack weights Simon’s trying to convince me that our wild camp packs will be well under
    10kg. Sounds like yours may be a tad heavier than that 😆 .

    Don’t worry MrP I have a veritable catalogue of excuses to call upon if need be. Starting with – “nurse says I’m not allowed out overnight” .


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