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Thread: Loch Ken

  1. #1
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Loch Ken

    I've had a couple of meetings in England this week, and between them had the great pleasure of spending a night hanging with some Bushcraft UK folks, a couple of whom (tripitaka and Gailainne) are also members here at HF. I came to know tripitaka a while ago when I shared some Amsteel blue and SMC rings I had with him. Stuff like that is hard to get in the UK.

    The location was Loch Ken, in Southern Scotland. The campsite was on the Loch itself, a short distance from a parking area. This was car camping at its best. The locals came very well equipped! Gailainne brought a Kelly Kettle and seen in action it is very impressive.

    I came with what you see below...my full kit in a GoLite Ion. I'd brought along 1 extra length of 5' webbing, and two 6' lengths of extra suspension line. I needed it all to get my hammock hung around the available trees!



    Here's Trev and Gailainne marking time on the beach.


    Gailainne is using a DD hammock, on the ground. The number of trees available for hammocks was very limited. tripitaka had a Blackbird under a HH hex tarp just out of sight of the picture. Trev doesn't hang and was on the beach around the corner behind the tree he's leaning against. My hammock was a bit further down the way.



    The DD appears to be quite a rugged piece of kit. The midges in Scotland are notorious, and the DD netting is up to the task. We mostly had breezes that kept the buggers away though.

    Trev is a joinsman (carpenter who specializes in joining pieces of wood, e.g. doors and windows) and brought a canoe he'd fashioned himself. It is a brilliant piece of work.



    There are AMERICAN crayfish throughout the Loch, like most Americans in the UK, considered to be a nuisance. Seems they were introduced to be farm breed but some of the nasties escaped. Here tripitaka and Gailainne are catching them.



    Gailainne put a piece of shrimp on a line, dropped the line in the water, a crayfish would grab the shrimp with his pinchers, and then they'd scoop him up. That was the theory anyway. They caught two that way, then later Trev and tripitaka went out in the canoe, discovered that the crayfish climb up and cling to the bottom of lily pads, and came back with a harvest of a dozen or so. Here's a big one just before going for a swim in a pot of boiling water.



    tripitaka was a gracious host; I had a great time meeting up with him, meeting Gailainne and Trev as well. tripitaka also gave me some pointers on stealth hangs in the English Lake District, a topic I'll reserve for another report.

    Grizz
    Last edited by GrizzlyAdams; 07-01-2009 at 01:21.

  2. #2
    New Member STOCKHOLM-SYNDROME's Avatar
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    HI GrizzlyAdams -
    You would not believe that when I was groing up we used to go camping and swim in that exact Loch Ken .
    Small world .We used to hike up the six miles from our village and set up camp next to the Loch .
    There is an old arched metal disused railway bridge near by and when we were kids , we used to jump of of it into the water , I know that was pretty stupid , but then we were only 10 at the time , thinking we were invinsible .
    That area of the GALLOWAY HILLS has amazing views .
    Scotland is a very picturesk country , and most of the time you have the countryside to yourself .
    To the west of you is the GALLOWAY FOREST PARK which is full of all kinds of deer , ospreys, hawks ,even eagles , and boy are they big !!!
    The only two busy areas for hiking are the SOUTHERN UPLAND WAY , and THE WEST HIGHLAND WAY ,any where else should be quiet and peacefull .
    The only big problem is the midges , they will just keep at you from morning till dusk .
    They are persistant little buggers !!!!!!!!!

    Dave .................
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  3. #3
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I am sooooo jealous Grizz. Looks like to had a great trip.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it." -Terry Pratchett



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    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing, Grizz.

    Is this the first 'international' HF hang?
    “I think that when the lies are all told and forgot the truth will be there yet. It dont move about from place to place and it dont change from time to time. You cant corrupt it any more than you can salt salt.” - Cormac McCarthy

  5. #5
    Senior Member SmokeHouse's Avatar
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    very nice,,, thats an awesome canoe... Thanks

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Nice pics! Any fog off the Loch?
    Trust nobody!

  7. #7
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    hey Stockholm-Syndrome, that's really neat. There was what might have been an old railroad bridge a half mile or so south of where we were camping (which was itself about half a mile south of Drumrash. This is more the middle of the Loch, not the southern end though.

    Cannibal---I didn't see fog on this loch, but stay tuned for a trip report on my subsequent hiking in the Lake District....

    Grizz

  8. #8
    Dutch's Avatar
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    mmmm crayfish. I too am jealous.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Gailainne's Avatar
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    Very good to meet you too Grizz

    It was a very relaxed weekend, with some interesting wildlife to study.

    Red Kites, rare in Scotland, but they were flying directly over the camp, on the Sunday morning we even saw one taking a frog back across the Loch to we presume fledglings, at one point on Saturday we had 5 Red Kites and 2 Honey Buzzards(perhaps) soaring on thermals across the Loch, amazing sight.

    The Loch, no fog


    The railway viaduct which splits the Loch


    Trev at ease in his very impressive canoe


    All too soon it was time to pack up


    BTW The reason I took to the ground is; Trip had one of the only 2 sets of trees that could be used for hammocks, and as I knew Grizz would be bringing his Bridge, I gallantly left them to him, sounds good no ?

    That DD was my first hammock, its been on a few adventures with me, and its bomb proof, using it as a bivi caused no concerns.

    Last but not least Grizz not only allowed me to photograph his Bridge and suspension system, he let me have a lie in it, very, very comfortable, and not at all tippy, which I must admit I found with the Jacks Bridge.
    The foot end, very nice detail on the noseeum, should keep even the dreaded Scottish midge at bay


    Outcome is the DIY bug has bit again, I've been sourcing various material and cord, to try and make a Grizz clone, to that end Grizz I hope you are open to a "few" Pm's on dimensions and such ?

    Regards

    Stephen

  10. #10
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gailainne View Post
    ...
    BTW The reason I took to the ground is; Trip had one of the only 2 sets of trees that could be used for hammocks, and as I knew Grizz would be bringing his Bridge, I gallantly left them to him, sounds good no ?
    and here I was thinking it was so you could be near the fire and the Foster's <grin>

    Last but not least Grizz not only allowed me to photograph his Bridge and suspension system, he let me have a lie in it, very, very comfortable, and not at all tippy, which I must admit I found with the Jacks Bridge.
    The foot end, very nice detail on the noseeum, should keep even the dreaded Scottish midge at bay
    ...
    Outcome is the DIY bug has bit again, I've been sourcing various material and cord, to try and make a Grizz clone, to that end Grizz I hope you are open to a "few" Pm's on dimensions and such ?

    Regards

    Stephen
    PM away, happy to help. Perhaps I ought to write this one up too...I was sorta waiting until I was sure the mossie net design was up to the task. I know now that it is...I was swarmed with midges at Haweswater and the net did what it needed to do...KEEP THEM OUT. A "Trial By Fire" such as I have rarely encountered before.

    I haven't worked out just why yet, but having significantly different spreader bar lengths and correspondingly differently sized suspension triangles noticeably reduced tippiness over previous of my hammocks that were symmetric.

    Grizz

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