Adventure Planning Part 2


How am I going to fit all this stuff?

A bit ago I wrote a bit about how I plan adventures, you can find it here.  Since then I can’t say I’ve made a whole lot of progress…little bits and pieces here and there, but I’ve been bearing down on the gear end of things and while I’m still pretty undecided I figured I’d lay it out so you can see how this goes.

My goal is to be able to backpack solo, for at least 7 days*, in the Scottish Highlands.  Further more I want to bring my mid size DSLR camera, a few bits of sound equipment, and a solar panel to give me a shot at recharging things.  The craziest bit is that I’m hoping to fit all this into my 55 liter backpack.

Now, I have no idea if I can manage this…so I’m coming from a place of guessing it’s possible and setting about finding a way to do it.

Here are my thoughts…

  • Go with a bivy sack and a tarp in place of a tent.  I’m honestly not sure how much space this would save me, and the lack of trees plus the rain makes bivying in the Highlands seem very questionable.  The appropriate spelling of bivy is a whole other question :)
  • What if I keep my camera out of my pack?  It’s in a rugged padded bag and the bag has a rain cover, so maybe I can attach it to the chest harness of my pack, kangaroo style?  On the up side it makes my camera way more accessible on the go, and saves space in my pack, but on the down side it could be awkward or uncomfortable to have the extra weight on my front.  Additionally while the bag has a rain cover it’s not 100% waterproof so it could potentially get wet.
  • I could travel by bike…this would be a game changer, a new way of traveling, more social as I would come across more people on roads…the big draw back in my mind is that I don’t really have bike touring gear and it would severely limit the places I can go.  Bike touring the Cuillin’s for example would be rough.
  • Throw money at the problem, buy an even smaller down sleeping bag, a smaller lighter tent, and…I don’t think there are any smaller visions of my other gear.  I suppose my cooking pot could be smaller but currently my stove fits snugly inside it so…yeah, a smaller pot might not make much difference.
  • Of course plan B is to just strap everything that doesn’t fit on the outside.  This is a classic move, I call it the “yard sale”, and while it looks super unprofessional I’ve found I can slap a rain cover over the whole thing rain or shine and no one’s the wiser.

So that’s where I’m at so far…if any of you have any other ideas I’m all ears.

* Just realized this line is pretty misleading.  I’m going to be backpacking for 3 to 4 months, and will be going a week at a time without resupplying on food.

4 thoughts on “Adventure Planning Part 2

  1. The photo looks like its on the West Highland Way, are you going to walk the WHW? It’s amazing! Don’t worry to much, I did it with all the wrong gear (too heavy; cotton trousers etc) and heavy canned food, and still managed to do it and enjoy it. Just go with the gear you have now and enjoy it; but consider taking a tent if you have one, not only because of the rain but merely because of the Scottish midgies!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yup that’s the WHW, I did most of it last time I was in Scotland in 2012. I’m usually not quite so picky about gear/kit. I think the difference with this trip is that it’s way longer then I’m used to (3-4 months in a tent), I’m going to be mostly on my own, and I’ll often be way out in the wild off trails with no people or towns in sight. I guess it just feels pretty committing.

    That said you made a very solid point, and odds are I’m still overthinking things big time :)

    Also, yes, midges :( We had a rough time with ticks too, did you run into them?


  3. Pingback: Adventure Planning Part 3 | simon beckford

  4. Pingback: Scotland Planning, Episode 4 | simon beckford

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