Our sojourn to Moffat ended today with the weather forecast being wrong again. It rained the whole way home.
Driving south, the Howgills looked bad as did the Eastern and Northern Lakeland fells. The Southern Fells looked ok from the car.
It has been a good trip despite the lousy weather. (Although it would be possible to dispute the weather from the photo’s but i assure you it was bad).
The photo’s of the trip are here. Sorry there are 145 of them.
So, what a beautiful area the Southern Uplands are. Moffat is a good place to spend some time with plenty of walks available, both high and low depending on the weather. The campsite is run by the Caravan club but non members are welcomed. No kids allowed so that was very pleasant.
The hotels and pubs seemed to be doing well and there is a good coffee shop culture.
The walk from Moffat to Ettrick head is pleasant with fine views but the Ettrick Glen was magic in the rain and the wildlife such a pleasure to see and hear. The path from the bottom of the Glen over to Tibbie Sheils Inn is clear and well marked and even in bad conditions is easy to follow.
The camping facilities at Tibbies are basic but adequate although there is no way they can cope with the volume of weekend campers. The ground is good but i hear it can be liable to flooding occasionally so be warned.
Once we got the tent up i was in need of a warm shower, i grabbed my soap and stuff and once in the shower, which was barely warm, squeezed what i thought was soap on my hair, only to find out when it didn’t lather that it was Gerwhol foot gel. Back out to the tent for what i thought was shampoo and repeated the event with clothes wash. It was not my day. But we had a laugh later.
Tibbies itself is a great place, good bar and food and warm wood burning stove to dry out those wet clothes. Very helpful staff.
We managed to get a walk in up to Loch Skeen and the Grey Mares Tail in between the low cloud. This is a lovely walk and should not be missed. The surrounding hills were begging for us to walk them but it will have to wait until next time.
What about some of the gear we took.
Well before we went i couldn’t decide what to take regarding footwear. It was going to be very wet, we knew that. I decided to take my Meindl Softline Ultra GTX boots which have a membrane.
Big, Big mistake. I obviously had forgotten why we moved to trail shoes. They got wet and took on the guise of lead divers boots.
Yes, my feet were dry but back to the trail shoes asap! Boots are now redundant.
I have called these socks for ages because when i bought a pair years ago they leaked after about 1 hr and i never got over it. I bought Gore-Tex socks ever since.
However Sheila bought a pair against my better judgement but they turned out be slightly too big so i had them and wore them a couple of times through the week with my Inov-8’s. They were wonderful and didn’t leak at all. I take back my comments about them and i will wear them on future walks.
Optimus Crux gas stove.
I gave this stove another chance and to see if it could redeem itself to me after i was very harsh about it’s regulator. I thought that in a warmer clime and with full gas cylinder it would perform better but alas no.
The regulator is bad and only stays stable when full on.
Another piece of kit destined for redundancy.
Inov-8 130 Mistlite Overtrousers.
We both wore these for most of the week and they did a really good job. I have no complaints about them whatsoever and they have had a hammering.
Tarptent Scarp 2
Love this tent. The inner space is huge for 2. I don’t know a better 2 man tent. It’s a bit awkward to pack up with having fixed poles but you learn to get by with it.
It developed leaks at the very ends of the 2 roof vents where the vent is final stitched to the fly. All 4 places were found vulnerable.
It was easily resolved, i bought a tube of silicon and spread a little onto the stitching and underneath. Problem resolved until we get home, then i am going to add a circle of silnylon under the ends to give it some extra re-inforcing. I know you shouldn’t need to do this and it may have become worse if i hadn’t been base camping but i will live with it.
I had previously sealed the seams but this area is a vulnerability in my eyes and needs to be changed.
Icebreaker base tee.
I have always liked this base layer and it excelled this week. Warm when damp and fast drying. It didn’t smell after 4 days of wearing it and that included the smoky atmosphere created with the bothy wood burner. I am so impressed i am going to look for a polo neck type with a front zip.
Those 2 items will then do all my walks.
Carn Cobra shoe.
Sheila wore her Cobra’s throughout and found them excellent. Comfy, good grip and supportive.
She finds that they do take longer to dry than her Inov-8’s but with wearing Sealskinz socks it didn’t matter on this occasion.
Well enough of gear. It can get a bit boring and we don’t want that do we.
Thanks for reading.