/ Hey! Needing a little advice!
Totally new to the UKH forums and hillwalking in general!
A little about myself, I'm currently rural living in the Scottish Highlands, and have recently found my feet with hillwalking. I'm currently on a two year plan of getting fit (losing weight rapidly/safely by climbing sub 2000s) and training myself for an Everest Base Camp trek in 2020.
I'm still a total newbie, and would love any pointers/advice you guys would have for someone starting out?
I would like some advice on how to repel horseflies as well since apparently they're eating the weight off of me each time I climb!! Turns out, I'm their favourite meal!
Kitted myself out with a decent set of Berghaus walking boots, a set of poles, the right clothes etc. I've fell in love with being outdoors and asked soon as I'm able, I'll be looking for the bigger challenges such as Ben Nevis etc!
For a total newbie I'd recommend getting competent and confident in your navigation. You may already be from other activities, but if not, learning map reading and more advanced nav will be essential for safe and happy hill days. The books by Peter Cliff, and by Carlo Forte are good introductions, or have a look for a course by a local provider.
Some walking groups also provide nav instruction, and if there's a walking group in your area this might be a good place to learn some skills and increase your confidence.
But you'll also learn from experience - from things that go wrong as well as right! Enjoy that experience!
Thank you for the super fast reply!
Thankfully orienteering has taught me well! This is some very good advice though. I'm sticking with sub 2000s for now as I know they're achievable for my skill set at present.
I'm off to the Isle of Skye in a couple of weeks to challenge myself further also. Quite looking forward to it.
My biggest issue right now is my fear of edges/heights on a cliff edge. If I'm in a narrow ledge, my absolute fear of falling kicks in, but I power through it.
I’d recommend joining a walking or outdoor activities club. Not only will you meet like-minded people and new friends, but this could also lead to the opportunity to discover and enjoy new areas you haven’t explored before, both locally and further afield. Enjoy making the most of the amazing weather we’re experiencing!
Have a look on the excellent WalkHighlands website.
They have walks all over Scotland which range form very gentle 1 or 2km strolls to full days in the mountains. All the walks have a map (though I would suggest checking the appropriate OS map as sometimes the detail on the maps on WalkHighlands is less than I would like), and photos of the walk.
Paper OS maps are still, IMO, pretty much the gold standard. Often the 1:50000 is fine but the greater detail on the 1:25000 is also, at time very useful. OS maps can be access online via Bing maps
One of the options on the drop down box is the OS map(BTW the OS map only shows if you zoom in far enough)
Although the OS are superb Harvey's Maps are also excellent and well worth a look at.
As you have been orienteering I'm guessing you navigation is pretty good and while nothing compares to being out and doing it, Mountain Navigation by Peter Cliff is an excellent book.
Repelling horse flies.
a) keep your arms covered.
b) Stay in doors.
c) Keep away from cows or horses.
Unfortunately only b is likely to work.
d - wait for cooler weather and a bracing wind.
Join a local club, have a look for FB groups, and keep going out. While I'm not knocking Everest basecamp, key your eyes open to the limitless possibilities elsewhere. The world is your lobster.
'Smidge' is very good at repelling horseflies and other insects and is much more pleasant to use than DEET based products.
That was my general opinion until two separate outings in the Black Mount a couple of weeks ago. On the second outing I was better prepared for the frenzied cleg attacks. Long trouser, long sleeved top with all exposed flesh covered in Smidge. In next to no time I was bitten on the back through my base layer. In desperation I sprayed my top with Smidge. I then watched a cleg land on a damp patch of Smidge on the front of my top and bury it's head in search of blood. As I flicked it away with my right hand, I was bitten on my Smidge covered left thumb. In future, if it's hot and sunny, Deet will be alongside my sunscreen at the top of my pack, ready for immediate deployment at the first sight of the dreaded cleg.
> That was my general opinion until two separate outings in the Black Mount a couple of weeks ago. On the second outing I was better prepared for the frenzied cleg attacks. Long trouser, long sleeved top with all exposed flesh covered in Smidge. In next to no time I was bitten on the back through my base layer. In desperation I sprayed my top with Smidge. I then watched a cleg land on a damp patch of Smidge on the front of my top and bury it's head in search of blood. As I flicked it away with my right hand, I was bitten on my Smidge covered left thumb. In future, if it's hot and sunny, Deet will be alongside my sunscreen at the top of my pack, ready for immediate deployment at the first sight of the dreaded cleg.
Interesting, Joak. Perhaps there are a different breed of cleg in the Black Mount. I was walking near Poolewe a couple of weeks ago and within a minute or so of getting out of the car the clegs moved in and had a feed, but applying Smidge stopped them. Most came near but flew off without landing, The few that landed did not stay and flew off without biting. Alternatively perhaps after walking a bit I don't smell very nice
Haha, aye the Rannoch Moor mob dinae mess aboot.
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