Walking and Camping Gear for Back Packing around Scotland and Scandinavia
Q. Looking for advice: I am going to pack in work, get rid of all my possessions, no fixed abode etc and permanantly back pack until my increasing age puts a stop to it. I am 64 and have always wanted to do this since I backpacked years ago in my 20's. My aim is to travel around Northern Scotland and to experience a winter up there under canvass. Then go to Scandinavia. * I have been advised to get a Heavy duty Terra Nova Quaser bearing in mind I will be setting and breaking camp many many times. But somebody advised me it might be too heavy. (It was suggested to me that an ideal back pack weight is no more than 35% of my body weight). Also I need the correct rucksack and sleeping bag. I have spent a lot of time researching the equipment I need for this venture but some advice from your experts would really help.
Roger Sharples, Wolverhampton
A. Hi Roger. You'll find loads of great information in our Product Reviews/ Walking Gear Tests section.
For some independent reviews of suitable Back Packing Rucksacks & Backpacks see Backpacks, Rucsacs & Rucksacks - Product Reviews.
For reviews of suitable Sleeping Bags see Sleeping Bags - Product Reviews.
You are going to need a pair of high quality Walking Boots so make sure your see Walking & Hiking Boots - Product Reviews
Finally - take a look at Anyone got a Terra Nova Ultra Quasar Tent? for some fellow thoughts on the Terra Nova Ultra Quasar Tent.
Hope this helps . . .
A. Wild Camping and The Law in England, Scotland and Wales.
Tents cannot be pitched just anywhere because every piece of Britain is owned by some individual or some organisation and according to the strict letter of the law permission must be obtained prior to pitching tent and camping.
In practice however, this is often impractical and wild camping is usually tolerated in the more remote areas - typically, more than half a day's walk from an official campsite or other accommodation providing you:
- Keep groups small
- Camp as unobtrusively as possible
- Leave camp as you found it
- Remove all litter (even other people's)
- Carry out everything you carried in
- Carry out tampons and sanitary towels (burying them doesn't work as animals dig them up again)
- Choose a dry pitch rather than digging drainage ditches around a tent or moving boulders
- Toilet duties should be performed 30m (100ft) from water and the results buried using a trowel
- At all time, help preserve the environment
- And if you are in any doubt about what you're doing, find out more
In Scotland, the current access legislation (which came into effect in early 2005) is explicit about your right to wild camp on hill land. However, there are exceptions. Since March 2011 you are not permitted to wild camp between Dryman and Rowardennan on the shore of Loch Lomond. See Loch Lomond Wild Camping Ban for more information.
There appears to be an exception to this with respect to camping in Dartmoor National Park where the right to wild camping is actually enshrined in the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act, 1949 amendment Dartmoor Commons Act, 1985 - see Wild Camping in the UK for more details.
For the definitive answer with respect to wild camping in Scotland see the answer supplied by the Scottish Natural Heritage
For a few (tongue in cheek) tips on wild camping see Some Wild Camping Tips.
NB. go4awalk.com cannot offer any advice on suitable locations for wild camping - but click here for walks from exisiting campsites.
Hope this helps