Planning for Knoydart Trip – Few days to go… No ratings yet.

With the Knoydart trip fast approaching, it seem that almost everything is now in place. The route is our Escape from Knoydart route, no reason to change that now! The weather looks like we’ll get at least a few exceptionally fine days, but there will be rain, make no mistake.

Getting there. The difficulty we had in organising the trains almost scuppered this at the off. We ended up taking our time over the trip with the Crewe – Glasgow leg being cheap first class seats, and the lengthy final leg to Mallaig being in steerage. All the sleepers seem to have been booked for this weekend, either by the Scots returning home for the weekend or some of the English escaping the celebrations for their own queen.

Food. This has caused the most headaches. I couldn’t decide on lunches and breakfasts, so in the end decided to go for the lightest and easiest option of freeze dried food all the way. Mountain House scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast (yes, all of them!) along with various other meals for the lunchtime meal. Evening meals however will have to be Fuizion, with a chicken tikka and a creamy pasta for two of the nights and a greedy sized Mountain House lasagnae for another. A single Grower’s Cup coffee has been taken for each morning, each one different.

The rest of the grub is mainly soup and hot chocolate and some home made trail mix, see here how we made it! Two gas canisters will suffice, I hope. I often read of people who can get days on end from one canister, but I like having cuppas during the evening and expect a canister to last two days.

I’ve even made some trail mix that’s mainly chocolate, but with some nuts and jelly babies thrown in for good measure. I’ve avoided taking too much chocolate, preferring flapjacks for slow release energy.

You can see what four days’ worth of food looks like in the pics!

Kit. Depends on weather! My largest golite pack – along with a new PHD  Combo bag as it looks like it will be turning cool.

The tent looks like being my trusty old Laser due to internal space. The Nemo tent is a tad on the cold side as well.

It goes without saying that we’ll have the maps, compass and emergency kit (first aid, cable ties, duck tape, etc) plus a waterproof map case and document case.

Clothing is easy on one hand. Paramo Velez Adventure smock and Quito trousers (if they arrive on time) make up the most important part. A few base layers will be needed, and this will probably be a merino icebreaker for travel, evening and sleeping and two more in order to be able to clean one and wear one, but I need to keep respectable for the train. So a lightweight pair of trousers for travelling are essential, along with a smart fleece for casual wear and extra insulation. A Rab microlite down jacket, pair of lightweight running shorts and an old montane windproof make up the kit. Gloves, hat, sunglasses and a midge net are essential.

My trusty old Inov8 boots may be showing signs of wear, but I reckon they deserve a decent expedition to Scotland before being put out to pasture.

Electronics. My mobile will need charging on returning to civilisation, so to minimise weight I’ll take my battery pack and a USBmains charger. This means that I’ll only need the one mains charger. An old mp3 player will be charged from that, along with my Garmin 110 for logging the route. I’ve invested in a few extra batteries for my camera along with a 32GB card, I’m sure that 6,000 images will be more than sufficient.

The main luxury item is a new Kindle touch. This is mainly for the train journey, but will be useful in the wilds as well. I’m not convinced of the Kindle’s merits over a proper book, and I don’t think that I ever will be converted. There’s a beauty in books that an electronic device will never match. Unfortunately they’re also heavy, and in this context I’m afraid that the Kindle wins. In order to maximise the weight gained over a regular paper back, I decided to take the entire Lord of  the Rings trilogy as it’s about time I got round to reading them. I’ve also got the Chris Townsend book  Scotland (World Mountain Ranges) – which is a hefty tome in it’s regular incarnation.

Finally, personal toiletries will be at a minimum in the wild. Other than a bar of soap and a microfibre towel, I’ll have toothpaste and that’s it. I’ll stock up once again once I get to Fort William. It makes no sense to carry that sort of kit through the wild when I can buy them at my destination.

So that’s the kit for four days’ walking through Knoydart. It would have been 5, but there was difficulty getting accommodation in Fort William due to the Mountain Bike World Championships! So we’ve got a hotel and a hot shower for the Wednesday night – with the option of cancelling the Thursday and getting out for another wild camp if the weather holds.

I’ll update the post with the weight on Thursday night, once I’m fully packed.

We’ll feature the trip on the site in the coming months.

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Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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