5/ West Highland Way (the bumff)

I’m still updating this page as memory allows.

Updated 7/4/08

I’m back. 0503 today at Milngavie. I’ll have plenty of stuff to cover once I’ve had a bit of a sit down.

I’ll leave that bit in. It was a day of high emotion indeed. Below are lists of my kit and other bits and pieces edited into past tense from the original page.

I started in Fort William on the Friday 4th of April at “lunch time”. I got back at 0503 on Monday the 7th, well under three days.

I carried a SPOT Tracker and we had 3000 folk follow my progress live via the map at Adventure Trading Post and on LFTO. The Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum helped out. I was fed and watered, I used their computer to update here and the forums at LFTO and OM. They saved my soul for sure, and I will love them forever.

There was a wee news article on the official WHW site. I’ve had many visitors from it, I don’t know whether my story will have encouraged or frightened them off.

There were reasons for me doing it. In no particular order; righting the wrongs of July ’07 when we folded like a damp cardboard box under the weight of a falling wino at Bridge of Orchy, showing that it’s possible to go lightweight on the WHW safely and enjoy it, doing something that isn’t a hill, properly testing some kit, seeing if I can flatten the batteries on my camera/phone/ipod, having a laugh. I did all of that in varying degrees.

The lightweight aspect was important. I didn’t be going super-light as it was still very wintery so I took some slightly beefier gear than I would normally, a 390g waterproof instead of a 175g for example. But my pack was small and that’s the main thing. There’s still too many folk on the WHW still carrying 90 litre packs, bent over peering at the scenery through the haze of suffering, it shouldn’t be this way at all.


Live courtesy of SPOT and Adventure Trading Post


News article on the Official WHW Website

Kit List 

Test Kit (all now reviewed)

  • Haglofs: LIM Ozone waterproof jacket; LIM Utimate waterproof pants; LIM 45 Rucksack
  • Big Agnes: ThreeWire Bivy, eVent shelter
  • Rab: Quantum Top Bag AR, down sleeping bag
  • Exped: Synmat7; Drybags
  • SPOT Tracker
  • PacerPoles, Carbon
  • Optimus: Crux Lite stove; Terra Weekend Pot; Folding Titanium Spork
  • Dale of Norway: Merino Zip Neck long sleeve baselayer
  • Montane: Flux Primaloft Jacket; Oryx Polartec light midlayer

Own Kit

  • Smartwool Microweight Boxers
  • Bridgedale Ventum Light Hiker socks
  • Keen Targhee Mids
  • Buff 
  • Rab: Powerstretch Gripper Gloves

Food and Drink

  • Expedition Foods freeze dried food
  • Reiter Dehydrated food
  • Honey Stinger energy foods
  • Nuun Hydration
  • Jack Links beef jerky
  • Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons and Hot Chocolate sachets
  • GoAhead Jam Bakes
  • Maxwell House Capuccino sachets

Other Stuff

  • Dermatone sun/wind skin balm
  • Bloc Stingray shades
  • ASDA Handswash
  • AdventureMedicalKits #3 with Rennies, Ibuprofen, Paracetomol, Compeed, Spenco, athletic tape
  • Victorinox knife
  • Silva compass

15 thoughts on “5/ West Highland Way (the bumff)”

  1. Hi Ptc, what do you think your estimated fully laiden weight will be at start, & what would be your ideal starting weight ???


  3. woocheese, weight is around 6/7kg I think? I should really check, but I’m still not certain on the bag and mat combo with this weather.
    More later!

  4. good luck. I am getting nervous and I am sitting in London at a desk… :) Hope the weather is what you deserve… hehe

  5. Well,judgement day is almost here eh? Best of luck with everything,hope it all goes well for you.I will be following your progress with great interest over the next few days.All you need now is for the weather gods to be kind to you…oh,btw down here in west wales the weather is glorious,spring has finally sprung and the sun is shining…hope that makes you feel better!
    Keep safe,


  6. You must have walked right thru the night – well done mate – it takes more than just fitness & having the right kit to do something like that solo – it takes determination & a level of mental toughness not everyone has.

    Congratulations. :0)

  7. Is that 6-7kg with food or without food? I know its not all about counting the grams, but its nice to get an idea of whats achievable and having goals to aim for when starting out trying to shed kit weight. Prob forgot to put camera on that list ;-)

  8. The 7kg was with food but without water.
    The WHW is a good trail for going light. You can eat at lots of places on the way, so you can get away with carrying less food. The camping is mostly sheltered and low level so sleeping kit can be light, especially outside of winter.
    The track is often very hard underfoot as well, so less weight is better for your soles, and soul :o)

    You’re right about the camera, I’ll need to get back to finishing that list up there.

  9. Thats just madness, I carry (correction carried, not gunna be a donkey no more!!) around more weight than that just out for a long day!! Only problem is all this shiny lightweight stuff aint too cheap. You have a real convert here, tried changing just my footwear (after reading your blog) and carried a few less items the other day, and it made such a difference, not that that should surprise me (but it did, I am stoopid), its school-boy physics. Saved 2Kgs just with footwear alone! Keep up the good work!

  10. That’s good to hear that you’re getting sorted out :o)

    I look at photies from a few years back and I’m carrying huge rucksacks, but for the life of me I’ve no idea what’s in them and why they’re so huge.
    I’m not missing anything thesed ays, I don’t seem to have left out anything useful.

    It was a gradual change though, no splashing of cash all in the one go. And like I always say, ebay is there for the kit that doesn’t work out.

    Keep us posted!

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