Saturday 11 June 2016

Wild Camping on the TGO Challenge

Camp in Glen Doll

For me backpacking is as much about wild camping as walking. Where I camp and how long I spend in camp are important. Camping is an opportunity to stop and spend time in a place in contrast to moving through it during the day. Staying overnight I can watch a place change with the light, the pattern of clouds, the sunset and the sunrise. On this year's TGO Challenge I had many fine campsites and enjoyed much time both wandering round the sites and watching them from inside my shelter. Here are some wild camping pictures from the trip, featuring the Mountain Laurel Designs Trailstar.

First night's camp by Loch Morar after a frosty night
View from the Trailstar at the camp by Loch Morar
One advantage of the Trailstar that's not often mentioned is that it's roomy enough to set up a camera and tripod inside and take pictures like the next one

Chceking the map before heading out on a cool windy day
A flash of sunshine after a very wet night in Glen Banchor
Dusk at a camp in upper Glen Feshie

I've written about my TGOC trip for my column in the July issue of The Great Outdoors. That issue will also includ a piece about the gear he used on the Challenge by Will Renwick plus a list of my gear. I'll then be describing how key items performed in my online columns on the TGO website.

1 comment:

  1. Over time it was revealed to me that, for the very reasons you point out, the camping experience in amazing locations plays a larger part in my attraction to hiking than X number of miles per day or the scale of the hikes themselves. Perhaps my only real 'day in day out' trail was the Golan Trail in Northern Israel, one that some easily speed through in a mere 5 days but I somehow managed to stretch it out to just over two weeks in duration, an example of what seems to be my natural pace.

    During it I had found that packing everything up pre-sunrise every day to beat the heat while half asleep, to ensure I reached the next point that day was not always that much fun. Stopping for 2-3 days in one place and seeing the same environs in different forms of light and enjoying the stillness, waking up leisurely and visiting surrounding areas of my camp with a day pack that was inside my main pack, was.

    Part of one of Paul Kirtley's Podcasts in which you were his guest (very interesting insights in it by the way) then mentioned this, where you suggest people trial small durations of hikes and see how they feel during it and at the end, to determine what works for them and their suitability (or not) for the dramatically longer hikes. Even though the 'idea' of the mega trails over in the U.S attracts me from the comfort of my home, the reality of sustaining the required momentum probably wouldn't suit me at all. It appears that section hiking suits me better than embarking to tackle some of the epic multi month trails in one go.