I completed one of my bucket list adventures this week kayaking and wild camping on Islands around Loch Lomond in Scotland. I've always wanted to go on a wild adventure exploring and living out of a kayak, the Loch's in Scotland were the obvious location. After trying to find someone to join me on this adventure of mine and not really getting much interest surprisingly I finally convinced my girlfriend to join me. It has been an idea floating around in my head for almost 10 years and I'm sure you can imagine I was pretty excited to say the least.
It is truly an amazing place and you definitely get sucked in by how big the loch actually is. The weather wasn't the best and in the true Scottish fashion it rained most of the week but I think it added to the experience.
Day 1: The Journey
Sunday 13 Aug 2017
After spending a day packing and buying supplies we decided to drive through the night to avoid as much traffic as possible on the epic 500 mile drive from Portsmouth. After only a couple stops and plenty of Coffee it took around 9 hrs in the end.
We didn’t book any accommodation as the plan was to wild camp but after driving through the night and arriving in torrential rain I decided to book a Glamping pod to give us some luxury before the roughing it began.
After catching up on some sleep we spent the day exploring the local town of Luss and grabbed some grub from a very nice fish restaurant.
Day 2: Time to explore
Monday 14 Aug 2017
Waking up to sunny skies we setup the kayaks and prepared to explore the South end of Loch Lomond to get a feel for the area. After taking in the awe of how big the Loch is we came across our first island which just looked like a mini round forest sticking out of the black water. After landing on a little beach we realized this little island has a lot of history with a small castle nestled in the trees. After a quick google search we found out that the Clan MacFarlan once owned the castle and it was burnt down by the British.
Tuesday 15 Aug 2017
After a rather spooky night sleeping in an old castle which had what seemed like a dungeon we decided to head out and explore more of the Loch. After quite a long paddle and some horrible sideways rain we stumbled across what looked like another good place to spend the night with long beaches and a beautiful view of Luss.
We setup camp and lit a much needed fire to not only get warm but to get rid of the annoying midges. The missus was not impressed with the cold down poor's of rain but once she had some warm food in her and I pulled out the Presecco her mood changed.
Waking up to yet more rain it was clear the Slugs had a good party on our scraps while we slept.
Wednesday 16 Aug 2018
Last day of exploring and we had a long paddle ahead of us but on the plus side the weather started to cheer up. We stopped off on a nice little sand bar for break and took in the rays.
The wind picked up and it became rather unpleasant so we decided to find a sheltered cove for some lunch. It might not seem much but noodles and tabasco was amazing sat back taking in the picture perfect background.
My missus being a big animal lover discovered some ducks and decided to feed them as you do.
Time to go home, I'll definitely be returning and focusing on the fishing more than the paddling. If you like the idea of kayaking around Loch Lomond I've put a rough list of all the kit I took with below.
Packing List (The following is just a guideline and the basic equipment required in my opinion)
Kayak: (Waterproofed in Canoe Bags)
Cooking system i.e. Jet boil or metal mug
Waterbottle (Take enough fresh water but you can boil the Loch water)
Toilet Paper/Wets wipes/Toiletries/Insect repellent
Waterproofed Phone (Vodafone has really bad signal around the Loch!)
Any other treats i.e. Alcohol
Booties or trainers
Gortex Jacket & Trousers