A Conversation for Preparing to Walk in the Highlands of Scotland

Walking in the Mountains

Post 1

Barney's Bucksaws

Good article! Although I've never walked in Scotland, I did some backpacking in Canada's Rockies. I lived at 5,000 feet, and worked at 10,000 feet in a coal mine. Most of my hiking was at around the 10,000 foot level. One thing I found when I first moved to the mountains, and perhaps people should be made aware of, is that the air gets thin at altitude. Don't take on a too strenuous walk till you've spent some time adjusting. Trust me. When I first moved up there, I could have slept anywhere, anytime!

There's a lot of supplies to pack along when you go for a long hike. Everything has to be weighed in ounces, or grams! I don't know what the rule of thumb is now, but it used to be that your carry-weight was 1/4 your body weight. Down sleeping bag, nylon tent, and freeze-dried rations cut down the weight. In Canada we have to be aware of bears, and what used to be recommended is a portable radio tied on your pack, so there's enough noise to scare off black bears, or if you're in a group, keep up the chatter. If they hear you coming, they'll move away.

Walking in the Mountains

Post 2


Wow smiley - smiley Luckily (or maybe not so luckily) in Scotland you would never get to 5000 ft smiley - sadface and what I would give to have bears in the UK, but they have been extinct since 500? years ago smiley - sadface However, enough of my rambling, I was just popping by to say cheers for reading the Entry, and I am glad that you thought it was good. I didnae want to be handing out duff advise smiley - smiley Well, it is hometime so must dash smiley - smiley Until later....
BCNU - Crescent

Walking in the Mountains

Post 3

Barney's Bucksaws

Bears can be a pain in the butt! I lived in a mobile home in this mining town, and could have shot my bear-skin rug right in my back yard. A bear was head first in my garbage can! Another time one was stalking my dogs (an Irish Setter and a Bluetick puppy) who were on their chains at the back door. The Setter tried to come through the closed door, and the Bluetick wanted to go after the bear. It was a comedy, pounding on the side of the mobile with a running shoe, then reeling in 2 dogs! Yet another time, the game warden was trying to trap a bear, and they scared it. It ran into the undercarriage of my mobile and literally rattled the whole structure!

This excitement weighed against seeing a cow moose with her baby grazing in a meadow, an elk at the bedroom window (I don't know who was more startled - him or me!), a cougar in the bush behind the mobile, and just seeing bears from the safety of the truck. It was all an adventure!

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