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Subject Topic: Scotland in December. Will I Survive?
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Message posted by VangoMan0231/10/2019 at 9:29pm
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Why not try a winter weekend first, this would give you a partial insight and a better understanding if you could do a week or more.
Also lets you see if your kit is suitable.

I only say this as you do not seem to be experienced and winter camping in the Scottish highlands is not to be underestimated and can change from a normal winters day to a blizzard in minutes.Your tent could end up looking like a sheet of pure ice.
Even experienced winter campers can get it wrong sometimes.

Even better would be to go with a mate, always a good idea in winter.

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Message posted by Bramston31/10/2019 at 11:30pm
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I was on the Lock Ness Project one summer. All the tents except my Phoenix Phantom were blown down. When I walked from the Military Road to the ridge above the Loch no problem, but trying to get back I went round in circles even with a map and compass. I got careful after that.
In summer, in Normandy, in a tent, I sat out the rain for a day. There's a limit for how long you can read, when you stop reading it starts to get boring. If it's cold you can't hold the book.

I'm an experienced camper, I wouldn't do winter camping alone, I'd want a group out there with me. We'd sleep in small mountain tents and have a larger mess tent. if things went wrong we'd bug out.


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Message posted by spiritburner via mobile 01/11/2019 at 1:09am
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I don't get bored with long winter nights backpacking. I cook, eat, have a brew or 3 then sleep.

Message posted by DeborahTurner01/11/2019 at 11:28pm
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Based on my winter camping in non-mountainous parts of southern England, I would say

Bell tent plus stove, as long as the tent has a properly fitted flashing kit, spark arrester etc.

I would take a CO detector, too.

Go to an actual campsite so that you can keep your car close, and take bags of kiln dried logs or log-substitutes that can burn in the stove.

Take loads of those little hand warmer things you put in your pocket. They are good in the bottom of your sleeping bag, too.

Hot water bottle.

Foam matting on the floor of the tent underneath your coir mat. The jigsaw type of foam mats. But sheets of cardboard wouldn't be bad.

Sleep on a mat with a high R Value (e.g http://https:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thermarest-Ridge-Rest-Solar-Sleeping/dp/B003F01QA0

Maybe off the floor on a camp bed.

Good quality sleeping bag, fleece blankets, fleece hat.

Bucket - you don't want to have to get cold and damp in the coldest part of the night.

I think you might get cold if you sit around reading all day, go for a good walk and then sit in a pub.

My kid did scout camp in the snow and ice, was fine.

Y


Message posted by Ewen c via mobile 02/11/2019 at 4:12pm
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My winter tent at a campsite is my vango force ten within walking distance of a pub. Actual backpacking into the hills is a different kettle of fish.
The idea of wild glamping with a bell tent does not sound appealing.
1. It would need to be carrying distance to your car so talking about roadside camping which isn't in the good books
these days.
You might not get snow but you will get rain and damp. If you do get snow, there may not be access or somewhere to park.
You will have to take your own fuel for your stove.
It gets dark early. Very early.
Go to a campsite with nice warm toilets, near a pub and with flat, level pitches and that is advice from someone who winter camps in wee tents in the middle of nowhere.

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Message posted by VangoMan0202/11/2019 at 7:47pm
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Good post Ewen, I have some experience of winter camping in small tents but not for a few years.
As you say snow is more likely in Jan and Feb but can snow in December and my concern for the Op was his idea of wanting to spend a week or two with not having any real experience of a Scottish winter.
Hence my suggestion to have a practise weekend before commiting to a longer stay.

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Message posted by stenzi via mobile 02/11/2019 at 9:31pm
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Thanks again for the input everyone. I'll definitely be trying a winter Weekender at a camp site first.

It sounds like my initial idea of glamping alone in the Highlands isn't at all practical (which is a shame), but good to know now rather than when I'm dragging a bell tent through the snow.

Will report back once I've spent my first night in a bell tent with stove to see if it's tolerable enough to stay anywhere for a week in winter.

Message posted by thebiz03/11/2019 at 11:37am
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Sensible decision stenzi, your holiday should be enjoyable and relaxing, not an endurance test.

Save your adventure till April or May when the weather won't be quite as extreme and get a smaller tent to make finding out of the way, solitary places easier.

Enjoy



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Message posted by DeborahTurner via mobile 04/11/2019 at 8:42am
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You wonít be crowded out on a campsite in winter, anyway!

Lots of posters here have camped in snow, there are many tent pics to prove it. Itís the lone trip to the off grid uplands that makes it tricky. Especially, as you say, dragging many kilos of bell tent!

Enjoy your try-out weekend!

Message posted by gld7317/11/2019 at 11:44am
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Asides from the winter-specific aspects (and don't under estimate how cold it can get up here!!)....I live in the Highlands and do a bit of camping - wild camping is accepted when it's a small tent for 1 or 2 nights, hidden out of sight. If you were staying for a week in a large tent, I suspect the landowner might think you were taking the concept of 'right to roam' a bit too far. If everyone starts to do it to save spending money on a campsite (even if that's not why you were planning it), the Highlands will go like the Loch Lomond area and ban wild camping for everyone. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code specifies wild camping is lightweight and for an absolute maximum of 2 or 3 nights only.

Personally I've only ever camped for 1 night if wild camping - pitching my tent late and leaving early, following the 'leave no trace' rule. For 2 nights or more in the same place, campsites would be better; people come to the Highlands for its wild and remote scenery, they don't come to see someone's tent pitched in that wild scenery for a week, however nice it is for that person staying in the tent! :)


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Message posted by Ewen c via mobile 17/11/2019 at 7:24pm
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Quote: Originally posted by gld73 on 17/11/2019
Asides from the winter-specific aspects (and don't under estimate how cold it can get up here!!)....I live in the Highlands and do a bit of camping - wild camping is accepted when it's a small tent for 1 or 2 nights, hidden out of sight. If you were staying for a week in a large tent, I suspect the landowner might think you were taking the concept of 'right to roam' a bit too far. If everyone starts to do it to save spending money on a campsite (even if that's not why you were planning it), the Highlands will go like the Loch Lomond area and ban wild camping for everyone. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code specifies wild camping is lightweight and for an absolute maximum of 2 or 3 nights only.

Personally I've only ever camped for 1 night if wild camping - pitching my tent late and leaving early, following the 'leave no trace' rule. For 2 nights or more in the same place, campsites would be better; people come to the Highlands for its wild and remote scenery, they don't come to see someone's tent pitched in that wild scenery for a week, however nice it is for that person staying in the tent! :)




It also puts a bit of money into the local economy. I'm doing the WHW in April and the two nights I'll be wild camping I will be spending money in the pub. The rest of the time will be in campsites. Use them or lose them. If there is a campsite I will use it.


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Message posted by salley22/11/2019 at 9:33pm
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http://www.comriecroft.com/    This place would, I think, suit what you want. It's a halfway house between wild camping and a campsite. You pay for a small clearing in the wood with a fireplace. 4m is the outside of what fits on their pitches but tell them the size of your tent and they should give you one that suits.   It has proper toilets a bit of a walk away and composting toilets fairly close, together with nearby close places to eat.

My other tip is hot water bottle. I love mine even if you have to refill it in the middle of the night.


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