Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Worst......

Dave & Paul

Hopefully if your reading this then you should know the lead up story the added dog to the trip which was to end my trip early and smash my trip to bits.  So am not going into it read the blog post here.

So I had a full car and I do mean full one seat left for dog and my seat. I had took enough gear for a full week of camping anywhere.  I wasn't prepared for a dog that just couldn't hack the outdoors.

When I left the house I was blinded by the excitement of getting into Scotland and exploring. The meeting place was at a services near Carlisle where me, Dave and Paul would meet and drive up together. Dave would get there first followed by me then a little later on Paul would arrive.
We had a quick chat, postcode in satnav and off we went stopping only once for something to eat at a services.

View of Loch Chon
We arrived at Lock Chon where we would spend a night wild camping.  The weather was fresh perfect for me and the sun was out. To be honest it couldn't get any better than this. Perfect weather amazing views and great company.  We set up camp and took some pictures/video, then went gathering for fire wood. The wood was soaked but with the skills I have acquired over many months of fire lighting it wouldn't be a problem.

The fire was lite and burning very slow chopping more wood I caught my finger with my recently sharpened axe, needless to say it was quite deep no blood so I stuck the skin back over the cut and continued to chop, after a minute I had blood all over the place its was on my axe and over the wood.

I cleaned it with an antiseptic wipe and stuck a plaster on it, job done.  I went back to the fire and Mr Murphy had let it go out (i never told him to keep it going) needless to say me and Paul chopped and sawed the wood to be fair Dave did fan the fire. We were having a fun time with Dave's efforts.

Paul & Dave on the Kayak
Dave and Paul went out on the Kayak, with them gone I prepared the tea, it was to be a minty lamb casserole, cooked over the fire with my new dutch oven, I had forgot my peeling knife so had to make do with my bushcraft knife The Native, only thing was it was hard to peel with for me anyways its 4mm thick blade isn't meant for peeling tattys and chopping but nevertheless it did it.

With the lads back just as I was finishing off I helped them out of Kayak and finished off tea, I haven't used a dutch oven before and wasn't prepared how hot the bugger got, burning the meat at the bottom, lesson learned should have it higher from flames, for me the food was spoilt but it filled our belly's.

Izzie looking over Loch Chon
Most of the night was spent chatting and cutting wood trying to make fire to keep warm, the wood was soaked and the ground was so damp it wouldn't let the fire grow, it was bloody freezing and the dampness was making an uncomfortable  sit around the fire for Izzie (my dog).

I put her coat on her to try and keep her warm but she sat on the blanket shaking in the cold, she had been on the go all day and not rested, cold and weak she collapsed, this caused quite a bit of a shock, I put her on my knee and tried to give her warmth.  I retired early to the tent to get her dry and warm again.

She lay down once dry and curled up in the tent it was still freezing in the big vango and I put my coat over her to get some heat into her.  She rested for a while and then stirred listening to the owls and all the other wild life. Morning came with a nudge from Izzie, it was 4am still dark and even more cold, thinking she may need a wee I took her out but she didn't, I woke Paul half asleep he opened his bivi to see who it was wondering about at 4am.  Sorry Paul.

Reflection on Loch Chon

Back to the tent and coat back over her she would keep still till 7:45am, a much better time to be getting up.  The rain had been lashing down and wasn't easing up, I let her out and she did her thing, made her food and put her in car to keep dry whilst eating.  We began to pack all away leaving the tarps up to cook breakfast, I let the dog wonder about whilst I was packing up after about an hour dog soaked I dried her off and went under tarp to cook bacon sarnie.

So all packed up we left Loch Chon and headed to a campsite in Glencoe called Red Squirrel   We stopped on route for photos, and had a bacon sarnie.  When we arrived at the campsite we were greated by the owner a very nice bloke who chattered for quite some time, we made camp and got the fire going for tonight we were going to have beef and lamb cooked over the fire on my spit.

A few drinks whilst mopping the meat and a relax sitting around the fire was bliss again the dog was cold and absoulte knackered she hadnt stopped to sit once all day and eventually collapsed, again I scooped her up and sat her on my knee she soon fell asleep until the meat was ready and it was time to carve up.

The road we took to Glen Coe
I wont go too much into the food but lets just say it was the best lamb I have tasted and all of us enjoyed it a full £13 joint of lamb was consumed along with  most of the £10 silverside beef. We retired early into the tents I had downloaded a film onto my phone and I wanted the dog to rest, so I called it a night, sipping the rest of my brandy I fell asleep tired myself from all the events. I woke up at 1:30am to let dog out as she hadnt had a wee, to end the night, a quick out of the tent toilet stop for both and back in where it was a few degrees warmer, few minutes and I was back to sleep jacket over dog and she too was asleep.
Morning came (this would be my Birthday and my return home) the weather was nice if not a little cloudy, wind had picked up and it was bloody freezing.  Dog fed I put my bacon on and chattered to the lads.

Stars over Sgorr nam fiannaidh
Looking up at the stars from Red Squirrel campsite
I had a shower before packing up I had been informed that bad weather was on its way, checking my phone it sure was heavy rain.  I was planning to stop there another night and maybe try the dog up a hill for a walk but it was forecast rain from 6pm and that's when I was going to cook my tea. Now I don't mind sitting out storms in tents most of you will have seen my vids and 9 times out of 10 this is my trips but sitting in a tent till morning with dog wasn't my idea of fun, she would be restless and soaked when out for toilet.  So I made the choice that will haunt me for a long time, it was time to call my trip to an end and also let the lads free from me, as I didn't have the cash to put hundreds into fuel to drive to the top and that's what they wanted to do.

It was a hard choice and to be frank has pissed me off no end, the trip cost me a lot of cash which was mainly debt (credit card to the rescue) which I never mind paying off but for this trip will be a nightmare which I won't wake up from.

I have a week coming up and almost planned to revisit Scotland again in November but on my return I have spied the damage and I simply cannot afford to, which has added to my pain.  A trip I will not forget in a hurry but will go down as the worst trip I have been on, not cause of the company or the places I visited not even the weather but because I cannot look after a dog like mine in the outdoors.

It was a very stressing 2 days but I am following my 2 friends continue there trip as I type this in hope that 1 day I shall return to Scotland and enjoy the beautiful landscape it has to offer, it has become my obsession until I get back there, to complete my trip.

WoW over come with a video response from my 2 mates Dave and Paul thanks please like and follow these 2 nice blokes, hoping to get back out with these 2 lads very soon


  1. If you have enjoyed reading the above post then please comment, I need feedback or it is pointless for me to carry on with this blog. Thanks for taking time to read my blog.

  2. Lovely pictures mate, is that snow on the hills already?

    Sorry your trip was cut short, sounds like you need a fatter dog ;-)

    1. thanks mate, who ever you are :-) it is quite a bit on them high Scottish Mountains, lesson learned she ain't for the outdoors, your right she too bloody skinny lol never again she been on her first and last wild camp thanks for the comment

  3. Paul
    I always love watching your youtube vids and I know what its like when you plan a trip which dosent always go to plan. I think we all spoil our K9's so dont so dont be too hard on your self. Your Loch side pitch looks like a nice spot and who ever decided to take the kayak what a great idea. Scotland will still be there for another day, but at least you have experienced what it has to offer.
    Nigel S

    1. Some kind words in that comment thanks a bunch, like my ship then lol yea I was hoping to get out and about on it a lot more than I did too cheers

  4. Been following you guys on youtube for a month or two and just found the blog after reading a comment on a vid. Just wanted to say fantastic vids n wicked blog too such a shame about calling off early but it definitely for best i suppose. I have a lurcher and would LOVE to take him wildcamping but he is an old man now, although the issue with him would be the same as you found...just doesnt rest himself n it would be too much for him. Nice to read yours is allowed on the couch n sleeps in ya bed...mine does too lmao belting dogs wont get better...anyway im waffling just wanted to say great vids n blogs of ya wildcamping adventures you guys are sharing and inspiring others to get out there n live the dream...keep up the good work

  5. Just wrote a bloody essay on my phone hit send and wasn't signed in so I fired up the lappy this time lol

    Wanted to say gutted for ya, but it was probably for the best for ya dog, I have a lurcher now and would love to take him out wildcamping up in scotch but he's getting on a bit now and like you said in your other post, if they see owt to chase after, they are off. Such a shame though, man and his best friend out on the hills, thats the dream lol, still, mine sleeps on my bed and the couch too, must be a lurcher thing lol belting dogs though, won't get a nicer temperament than a lurcher or greyhound

    watched a few of your vids and kilburnicus and dave and his steaks on youtube (i'm dirtyarris) and they are awesome, just found this blog after reading a comment on one of the vids I have just watched, and wanted to say DONT stop the blog, or the vids for that matter, they are superb, and will be inspiring loads to get out there and live the dream, love watching all your adventures and places you get too and of course the gear, so whatever ya do, just keep on posting them up here and on youtube, there'l be loads taking great info from your blogs who don't necessarily reply to let you know.

    1. Wow a comment like this will keep me typing thank you for them kind words means a lot, It takes me quite some time to type up a post about my trip to put pictures on, reason I'm not a reader, so I get writers block as soon as I hit new post lol, when I was putting post after post and no one was leaving a comment, so it feel like am putting all the effort in and getting nothing back, now Ive had a couple of sweet comments makes it all the worth while, so thanks alot

  6. Paul I agree with Nigel, dont beat urself up! You did very well and Izzie obviously enjoyed it. That is obvious from the video! Also and this may sound odd, I read that a dog naturally shivers to warm itself up. So its a normal thing. You did good with bed and coat! I bet she loved it :-)

    1. Tony thank you for the comment, nto 100% on the shivering thing I panicked shivering in front of a fire and then she collapsed fuckt me up. I have a soft spot for my animals humans well....nuff said but she did love it reason why she never stopped and sat down for a rest or sleep she kept going till she collapsed wasnt nice to see, she a spoilt rotten house dog, and am keeping her that way lol, I will be returning to scotland not sure when but I will for defo and not in summer. Sooon!!!!!!! watch this space

  7. Good stuff! Enjoy Scotland :)
    Lurchers are different lol. Think I'm lucky with Bess not sure my previous dogs would have the brains to stay put all night lol.
    Long live Bess I hope...

    1. good point on having a tent dog can't get out lol sleep without worry :-) cheers Tony mate

  8. Defo keep up the blog mate, been following since buying the Allak off you, and really enjoy it. Have loved seeing the old videos of the Allak in use. No wonder the poles were bent! LOL. Me, the missus, and the dog have used it on a few trips so far, including the Anglesey Coastal path, where it was home away from home, especially on a couple of the rough days.

    As for dogs, we have a 11 month old border collie. Thankfully, he turned out as we hoped, to be a great hill dog, tireless and robust, which helps a lot. Only negative is his love of getting filthy, and the fact he's a feckin nuisance at home, having all that energy!

    Cracking end to the video by the way. Lol.

    1. cheers for that, am hoping to get the Soulo into some serious wind out wildcamping next week lets hope we get a mix bag of weather

  9. Fantastic report Paul, really enjoyed reading it... have gone back and read a few of your older reports and your passion really rubs off on your righting. Keep up the great work :)


    1. Glad you found reading them good, I should spend a bit more time on writing them but I get bored very easy and once typed thats it, I never look at the post again lol thanks

  10. Very nice posting with good photos.

    1. thank you very much for commenting glad you liked

  11. Replies
    1. thanks, I'm very happy with the camera cheers