Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Wild Camping 2011/06/27
I headed up North a while ago, determined to find some bushcraft
spots and good quality beef! It was an amazing trip, with weather that
was the warmest in Great Britain. The area was Loch Lomond and the
Trossachs and I was wild camping.
Start of West Highland Way
It takes a while to walk away from the noise and hurry of cities; the
first few hours walking are always weird but then it all starts to
settle in and then you are free to explore and simply walk with no
worries of deadlines or time constraints. My walk started by following
the national trail and with a fair distance to walk before the first
wild camp spot. It took longer than I had anticipated so I had to fall
back on some night navigation and whip the ol’ head torch out.
Artificial forest blocks are not the
nicest of places to be in, especially at night. They are very silent as
the biodiversity is so low. The species of pine in them are for timber
production so grow very quick but support very little wildlife. The
trees alter the pH of the soil. Moreover the fact they are grown so
close to each other that all the sunlight is blocked out, so nothing of
worth grows on the forest floor. It sounds very bleak, but that’s just
what it is. Walking through one in the dark is slightly worrying to say
With camp eventually set up I put my
lantern on and got the Primus Express Spider out. Dinner was well
overdue and I was hungry. There was darkness all around with a very calm
breeze moving through the trees as I settled down for my first night up
A lovely bright morning and already starting to warm up. Walking
out of the forest block I started to see the lochs opening up in the
distance. The huge fault lines (Highland Boundary Fault) that cut
through Scotland create island chains that you can see from kilometres
away. My plan was to wild camp around Loch Lomond and the surrounding
area. I wanted to get away from the crowds but also to get my fill of
classic Scottish food and relax as this was an outdoor holiday as well.
I spent the next 5 days exploring the area, island hopping on an open
top canoe and soaking up the atmosphere while spending time relaxing
watching the world go by. One of many highlights was canoeing across to
Inchcailloch Island which seemed to be out of a Jurassic Park movie.
Everything seemed a riot with nature with a very ancient feel.
Sleeping next to the Loch with the sound of tiny waves, a calm breeze
and the sun burning the sky into such deep vivid colours was just what I
wanted. I noticed a few other people camping in the distance, some had
small fires. As a person who is very much a leave no trace advocate I
could not help but be concerned. The next day I started to see rubbish
here and there and of course those appalling disposable BBQs.
I had bushcraft on the mind but this
was a hiking trip. So I had my trusty trail stove with me. This meant I
did not need to light any fires and was much easier for me to leave no
trace each night.
I moved further north each night along the Loch, finding a new wild camp
site each night. As time slipped by my last day was upon me in Loch
Lomond and the Trossachs wild camping.