The Mountain's Silhouette

Hiking and backpacking in the mountains of Scotland

Loch Avon Overnighter - The Gear

Not a lot changed between this trip into the Cairngorms, and the two overnight trips I did in April. The night-time temperature, once the rain and clouds cleared, fell well below freezing so I was glad I took both my Icebreaker Merino baselayer and my PHD Down Vest, both of which were worn towards the end of the night. I was also pleased that my 13l Sea 2 Summit Ultra-Sil drybag kept all my down and camp gear dry during the walk in on the rainy and snowy Saturday.

In all my baseweight came in at 6,694g (14.8lbs) with only minor kit being dropped this time to give a similar weight to the last couple of trips. With about 1.5kg of consumables (food, fuel and water) plus my standard summer walking clothes and Terroc shoes, I had a skin-out weight of 10,239g, which is easily my lowest total weight for a camping trip so far. You can view my full kit list (in PDF format, 120kB) at this link.

Scarp 1 at sunrise

The Scarp 1 tent proved again to be a great shelter, easy to pitch and keeping me sheltered from the snow and rain on Saturday evening. I did have some fun getting the pegs into the tough ground of the Cairngorm plateau, but a little gentle persuasion from a found rock helped them in. Once the rain had passed I had both the outer and inner folded back to enjoy the views.

View from the bedroom

I'm still waiting to get a pair of lighter, thinner gloves for use outside of winter. Unfortunately my fleece gloves were left outside a dry bag so were quite wet by the time I got to camp. Lesson learned and I fully intend to pick up a rubbish compactor bag for use as a cheap pack liner to keep things beyond my down stuff dry.

I wore an old pair of waterproof over trousers on Friday which appear to have developed a bit of a leak around the back of the knee. I think I will need to replace these with something lightweight, either the Golite Tumalo Storm or something from the Paclite range.

Cooking dinner above Loch Avon

Cooking was again nice and straightforward thanks to the ease of the Optimus Crux stove. I had a Fuizion Freeze Dried Food Chilli Con Carne meal on Saturday evening which was delicious. The Expedition Foods Porridge and Sultana was a good breakfast although I probably ate more food than I really needed for just a quick overnighter.

I had a few nice chats with folk walking in towards MacDui whilst I was heading back to the car. Most were surprised to hear I had been camping given the size of my sack, and my lack of poles (I completely forgot these but didn't really miss them over the easy 28km route). I passed on some tent recommendations to a guy who was in the market for a light one-man tent to start some wild camping.