TGO Challenge 2017: Reflections and Gear


My newish Osprey Aether 75 AG replaced my old and a bit torn Vango rucksack and was a great success.

I had Lowa boots this time and I think they are kinder to feet than the Altberg boots which are also good. Both types of boots are better for folk like me, who have wide feet.

Dodgy compass on right
Dodgy compass on the right


I already mentioned the problem with my compass. I will now always walk with a spare compass, and do a “compass check” before heading out on the hill (i.e. does the needle point north?). The duff compass was sent off to Silva (in Sweden) who fixed it for free and returned it in less than two weeks. I guess now for a while I am never going to trust a reading from one compass!


I was trying to keep the weight down as much as possible so used cereal bars and healthy type bars instead of the usual Mars bars and Kit Kats that I would normally have. The cereal bars do seem a bit like hamster food and are a bit boring, so I would review this before my next hill trip. You can’t beat a Snickers bar.

I used some bought dehydrated food. Most of it was OK, especially the Summit to Sea foods which I had not tried before. The worst dehydrated pack was Mountain House Scrambled Egg, Ham and Potato. This tasted awful and was like chewing bits of rubber, and I could not finish this.


I think I had a good crossing. I was fitter than my last two crossings, and did not get any blisters, and this made a big difference. I do tend to get back pain, despite trying to strengthen my back at the gym beforehand, but this was manageable my taking frequent rests and sleeping in a proper bed every so often – and taking Ibprofen like most other Challengers! But I did take a more conservative route from Braemar because of this.

Will I do the TGO Challenge again? Perhaps, but I would not do it every year – it uses up too many annual leave days.

As well as the blog, I also have more photographs on Flickr.

Previous Post: TGO Challenge 2017: Day 13 – Northwater Bridge to Montrose

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