Hillwalking in Scotland

Wild Camping and Backpacking

This page is a collection for all my wild camping related information. Wild camping is camping away from designated camp sites, typically in mountain areas. Provided you follow the code wild camping is allowed in most areas of the Scottish countryside. This page covers my camping equipment, planned camping routes and sites, and a report of previous trips out with the tent.

Pitched besides the Feshie

The image above shows my Tarptent Scarp 1 tent besides the River Feshie on the second night of a three day trip through the Grampian Mountains in March 2012.

Wild Camp Trip Reports

DateNameRouteJournalPhotosDistance (km)Ascent (m)
Carn an Righ View View Carn an Righ Wild Camp Day 1 46.5 2075
Glen Gairn Wild Camping View View Glen Gairn Wild Camp 43.1 1778
Atholl Forest and Western Cairngorms View View Blair Atholl to Aviemore Highlights 82.7 3895
Attadale Hills Wild Camp View View Attadale Hills Wild Camping Trip 36.0 3160
Glen Orrin View View Glen Orrin 45.2 1687
The Ben Alder Region View View Jun 12 - Ben Alder Wild Camping Highlights 64.9 3470
Western Cairngorms Wild Camp View View Western Cairngorm Wild Camping Day 1 47.4 2256
Glenfinnan to Glen Cluanie View View Glenfinnan to Glen Cluanie Highlights 82.7 2997
Eastern Cairngorms Wild Camp View View Eastern Cairngorms Wild Camp 40.1 1648
Loch an Daimh Circuit View View Loch an Daimh Circular 33.1 1945
Ardgour Corbetts View View Apr 13 - Ardgour Backpack Highlights 47.9 1676
TGO Challenge View View TGO Challenge 2013 322.1 7216
Ben Cruachan View View Ben Cruachan Day 1 42.3 3051
Killin to Kingussie View View Killin to Kingussie 118.4 4158
Glen Lochay Overnighter View View Mar 14 - Mamlorns 31.0 1038
Mullardoch Munros View View Mar 14 - Mullardoch Munros 27.1 1956
Fisherfield Munros View View May 14 - Fisherfield Highlights 100.3 5171
Ben Starav View View Ben Starav Group - Day 1 47.4 3227
Beinn Dearg and Seana Bhraigh View View Nov 14 - Beinn Dearg and Seana Braigh 42.3 2521
The North Monar Hills View View Mar 13 - North Monar Hills 35.2 1848
Coulin Hills View View May 15 - Coulin Hills: Highlights 34.8 2414
Loch Treig Hills View View Aug 15 - Loch Treig Hills 32.2 1539
Glen Cluanie Horseshoe View View Sep 15 - Cluanie Horseshoe 47.1 2203
Western Glen Affric Munros View View Oct 15 - West Affric Hills 48.8 1948
Hadrian's Wall Path View View Mar 2016 - Hadrians Wall 132.4 963
The Fannaich Munros View View May 16 - Fannaichs 66.9 4278
Hills East of Glen Roy View View Aug 20 - Glen Roy Hills 36.7 2084
The Clachlet Traverse View View Sep 20 - Clachlet Traverse 36.0 2127
The South Shiel Ridge View View Jun 21 - South Glen Shiel Ridge 46.1 2413
Gulvain View View May 23 - Gulvain 29.0 1348

Kit List

My list of lightweight camping gear which I took on my last backpacking trip into the Scottish mountains can be viewed as a PDF by clicking this link (or view the spreadsheet directly). My overall 3 season gear list is a work in progress, with tweaks and alterations before and after each trip.

I am currently operating with a rough base load of 7kg/15.5lb which is fairly respectable considering I carry a double-skinned tent and low rating sleeping bag. There are areas I can improve on but my main aim in 2011 is to get out a good few times with this gear, find out what works and what doesn't, and then tune it to minimise weight without compromising safety or enjoyment.

Trip DateTrip TitleNo. NightsBase WeightConsumablesSkin OutKit ListGear Analysis
June 2010Glen Dee, Cairngorms17,04693410,977ViewRead
April 2011Carn an Righ16,5041,99711,209ViewRead
April 2011North Glen Shiel16,7483,123112,456ViewNot Yet
June 2011Loch Avon, Cairngorms16,6941,52010,239ViewRead
October 2011Loch Einich, Cairngorms17,4741,41710,916ViewNot Yet
February 2012Glen Gairn, Cairngorms17,0051,36710,897Not YetNot Yet
March 2012Blair Atholl to Aviemore, Cairngorms26,6302,14110,925ViewRead
May 2012West Monar Hills, North West Highlands27,5221,70312,459ViewNot Yet
  1. I took sufficient food for 3 days of walking but ended up cutting the trip short

My main bits of gear are listed in the table below:

ItemDescriptionWeight (g)Photos
Tent (3/4 Season)Tarptent Scarp 11322View
Sleeping Mat (3 Season)Exped Synmat UL 7460View
Sleeping Bag (3 Season)PHD Minim 400 Down (Rated to -5C)863View
Stove (Gas Canister)Optimus Crux & Pot284View
Stove (Meths)Trail Designs Caldera Sidewinder & Pot180View

I am currently using both Expedition Foods and Fuizion dehydrated meals which are supplied in tough, plastic pouches. They simply require the addition of hot water. The Expedition Foods are higher calorie (roughly 800kcal per meal) whilst the Fuizion meals are slightly lower calorie (~500-600kcal) but are very, very tasty. So far favourites are the Expedition Foods Chicken Tikka Masala and the Fuizion Lamb Stew with Pearl Barley.

Other People's Wild Camping Pages

Geoff over at V-G has put together an excellent series of pages on wild camping, covering everything from legality and pitches through food, equipment, water and hygiene. It is definitely worth a read if you are just starting off.

Wild Camp Ideas

I've read quite a few inspirational trip reports involving a wild camp high on a mountain and want to use this approach to get even further into the wilderness. Here are a few of my ideas for forthcoming trips:

  • Gleann an t'Slugain before the ruin
  • Loch Etchachan
  • Below Stuic Buttress
  • Glen Affric - Sgurr Gaorsic lochan camp
  • Glen Cononish for Ben Lui Group or Corrie on Ben Oss at around nn292256
  • Glen Shiel
  • Fisherfield
  • South of Ben More Assynt as per MCofS Walk
  • The Loch Monar Hills from Craig
  • The Fannaichs
  • The Grey Corries
  • Knoydart

Tips and Tricks