TGO Challenge 2015: Reflections

Things that worked well, things I enjoyed

The Akto tent. OK, it is Victorian and heavy compared to some of the modern tarps and space-age materials, but it is bomb proof, easy to erect and has a good porch. I won’t be looking at a replacement any time soon.

Having Memory Map on my android phone. Easier and quicker to use than a paper map or my Satmap GPS. You can even pinch the screen (or whatever the action is called) to make the map bigger to save reaching for the reading specs.

Ainslie Harriet cup-a soups – very tasty.

The train journey to Mallaig was quite special, as was the boat trip to Inverie.

Things I could improve upon/did not like

Perhaps a lighter rucksack. The Vango I have is quite comfortable, but does weigh 2.4 Kg.

I noticed that a lot of folk use a bum bag or OMM pouch or similar for holding a map, reading specs, compass and odds and ends. I have bought one of these since I got back.

Losing some weight – off me.

Possibly not having a rest day but programming in a few shorter days instead. The rest day was enjoyable, but I felt I could have been on the move.

Having a long last day. My last day was 31 Km and a lot of it on a hard surface or road. And it was a bit boring. I need to plan better.

Mountain House Sweet and Sour Chicken dehydrated meal – tastes awful and looks like vomit (Mountain House Spag Bol is still the best).

The Deeside Way – the bit from Ballater to Aboyne I enjoyed, the rest is a bit contrived and more suitable for a bike. Actually the Deeside Way would make a good railway line.

Thanks to

Roger Smith, my vetter with good advice and suggestions.

All the staff who manned control. Cheery voices with weather updates and other advice.

Everyone I met. Fellow TGOers help to keep you motivated and upbeat when you are wet and have a sore back.

Ian Sommerville for the excellent description of the Deeside Way which he made available via a link on the TGO Challenge noticeboard.

See more photographs in my Flickr pages TGO Challenge 2015 Part 1 and TGO Challenge 2015 Part 2

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