I’ve just counted the days until our Scottish Coast to Coast and now wish I hadn't - 38 days is a long time.
Booking the flights a few weeks ago made it all seem real and I’ve been busy getting or making the things I need to take. Gear-wise I think I’m getting there, gradually ticking things off the list. It was quite shock to see how many extras I need. It’s the little things that I wouldn’t take on an overnighter but are necessary for a longer trip. Things like a tick remover, foot cream, a length of dyneema, a larger pack towel, a few more dry bags, a toilet trowel and of course a larger hip flask! Like most lightweight enthusiasts I’ve also made the very light MSR tent peg toilet trowel, courtesy of Colin Ibbotson! This has to be the equivalent of my 18th birthday in terms of lightweight backpacking!
Some of you may remember that I was after a lighter pack for this trip and had decided on the Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus. However it looks like this isn’t going to be coming with me as Grant at GG and Ian at Winwood are all out of the medium sized packs until an unknown time in September. I highly doubt I’ll be able to get one in time so I’m planning on taking the trusty Litespeed for now.
There are a couple of logistical issues I still need to iron out before we fly and these are an unfortunate consequence of our mode of transport. Although we knew that flying enabled us to make the most of our time in the hills, some inconveniences are quickly restoring karma! As I can’t take gas onto the plane I’m having to work out where I can buy gas or if I can post it ahead. For most this wouldn’t be a problem but timing on the first day is a little tight so we could do without having to go into Inverness to buy gas. I’m sure we’ll sort something.
I’m having to be quite careful with packing so I can get the poles inside the pack for the flight and not have to carry too much as hand luggage. I’ve got an OMM Trio chest pouch for additional storage which I’m hoping will make life slightly easier.
I’ve been playing with my spreadsheet (I know, I know) and bar a few last minute additions I think I’ve got the overall pack weight to around 10.5kg. This for me is positively heavy but I will tolerate it knowing that I’m carrying 6 days of food and fuel. The base weight for this trip, including spare clothes and crocs etc is 7.7kg so by mid-way through I should be looking at a more reasonable weight.
More to follow as the plan evolves….