On 31st May to 2nd June 2013 the team at Aaron Wallis undertook the Great Glen Kayak Challenge.  This was an 86km challenge from Fort William on the West of Scotland to Inverness on the East Kayaking across the Great Glen Fault.  Highlights included the Caledonian Canal, Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and of course, Loch Ness.

Route and Notes for Great Glen Kayak Trip on Google Earth (with thanks to Boots n Paddles - kayak hire firm in Inverness - for the notes)

Notes and Grid Refernces for the Great Glen Kayak - https://www.aaronwallis.co.uk/great-glen-kayak-grid-references.aspx

Essential Kit List

  • Sleeping Bag

  • Dry bags

  • Small Day Sack (or better to just use a dry bag)

  • Waterproof Jacket (lightweight cagoule type)

  • Waterproof Trousers (if it’s raining in the evenings around the campsites)

  • Shorts or technical trousers (for kayaking)

  • Deck shoes/trainers or wetshoes (probably 2 pairs, for kayaking)

  • Fleece / Warm layer (x 2 or 3)

  • Hat or cap (hopefully with Cliff the sun god with us we’ll need it to cope with the searing heat)

  • Paracaetemol and Ibuprofen. 

  • Dextrose and caffeine tablets (if that’s your thing)

  • Plasters / Blister Plasters and Strapping (Plaster type tape)

  • Insect repellent (100% needed)

  • Midge headnet

  • Sun Cream and lip balm

  • Head Torch for campsites (BWA do not allow paddling after dusk)

  • Mobile Phone and spare battery (or external battery pack/mobile charger)

  • Min 2 dry flow (quick drying) wicking type tops (short or long sleeve)

  • Nibbles (track mix, fruit bars – whatever your fix is)

  • ‘Platypus’ or water bottle

  • Compass (but hopefully navigation will be pretty straightforward but it is likely to be foggy/misty in parts).  We plan to hug the shoreline for the whole trip.

As a Group

  • Trowel (couple between us and some poop bags)

  • Toilet roll

  • Waterproof maps (we have 2 x full waterproof sets)

  • Hand sanitizer

  • First Aid Kit x 2

  • Wet wipes (group wet wipes will be available!)

  • Kitchen roll

  • Environmentally safe washing liquid

  • Imodium

  • 4 x Foil Survival Blankets

  • 6 x bed rolls to cut up as back/bum rests

Non Essential Kit and Overnight Bag

  • Waterproof phone case

  • Whistle (we’ll all be sticking together but it is likely to be foggy/misty at points during the trip) Min 3 pairs of pants (you do not want to get stuck without clean pants! FACT!)

  • 1 pair of comfortable dry clothes for milling around in the evening

  • Clean, dry, socks!

  • Wrist supports

  • Knee supports

  • Clean dry shoes!

  • Coat

  • Bin Liners or dry bags (for wet kit)

  • Wash kit.

  • Cooking Stove, utensils and plate/bowl/mess tins

Other Things

  • Locks and Portaging - Canoes are not allowed in locks as the turbulence encountered when lock sluices are opened (with a 28 feet (8.5m) drop), is very great, and could swamp a loaded canoe. So we’ve hired 3 x trollies to portage around locks (2 x craft at a time), i.e. carry both boats and gear - the distance around locks is often 200m and loaded they’ll be very heavy to carry

  • Bridges - All the bridges can be safely paddled under, apart from Muirtown Bridge (tidal) at the end of the trip and we’ll have to check the clearance before going under it (but Boots and Paddles, the hire firm, said whatever the tide you can get through but you might need to mind your head!)

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