Wild camping

This is the essence of the Event. Your choice of shelter is of course entirely your but if you are coming from overseas be aware Scotland has a propensity to be windy, wet and cold . . .   Make sure your shelter and sleeping equipment will keep you dry and warm and will still be standing in the morning!

Bothies

Many Challengers will also use bothies. These are open basic shelters usually in remote locations and are part of the Scottish hill walking tradition. Many are maintained by the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) and if you plan to use any we would encourage you to support the organisation and their volunteers by joining or donating. Many estates have private bothies and lunch huts for use by their staff and guests but, though some are locked, many are left open for use by those hill walking or travelling on foot. The Monadhliath in particular has many open estate bothies. Unlike alpine huts there are no services available and they cannot be “booked”. A few have composting toilets but in most the “facilities” are limited to a bothy spade . . . It is therefore important to be scrupulous about the disposal of human waste. Many bothies will have a fireplace and some estates leave firewood. If you have to search for fuel please ensure you do not cut any live wood. Popular bothies may get busy so be prepared to camp outside if necessary. They are great places to socialise and cook even if you chose to sleep in your tent. If you might use a bothy please respect the bothy code.

Campsites

Commercial campsites are marked on the map with a blue tent symbol. However, in recent years, many have started limiting tent pitches and some have stopped taking them all together so pre booking is often advised. Braemar and Ballater campsites are popular with Challengers. They are always very accommodating but can get very busy. Both offer discounts which can be seen here.

Whilst some Challengers spend every night under canvas – or should we say thin synthetic material! – most will spend at least a few nights somewhere with a comfortable bed and a hot shower or bath. You are after all on holiday and a little bit of luxury and dry clothes go a long way to raising moral. Most establishments welcome Challengers with open arms and many go that extra mile to make us comfortable, clean and cosy. Some places such as Cougie, Ault-na-Goire and Callater even open up for us – you will find them in the Event Details.

Hostels

Scotland has a good network of hostels SYHA  are once again offering Challengers members rates – just quote TGO18 when booking. Most Independent hostels are listed here – and you might find a familiar name amongst them!

Luxury accommodation – ie roofs and flushing toilets!

Whilst some Challengers spend every night under canvas – or should we say thin synthetic material! – most will spend at least a few nights somewhere with a comfortable bed and a hot shower or bath. You are after all on holiday and a little bit of luxury and dry clothes go a long way to raising moral. Most establishments welcome Challengers with open arms and many go that extra mile to make us comfortable, clean and cosy. Some places even open up for us – you will find them in the Event Details.

Scotland has a good network of hostels SYHA are once again offering Challengers members rates – just quote TGO18 when booking. Most Independent hostels are listed here – and you might find a familiar name amongst them!

Most B&Bs and hotels in the Highlands are small and family run and are used to accommodating walkers.  Simply searching the town or village where you want to stay will give you accommodation options but Visit Scotland, TripAdvisor and other commercial sites such as booking.com are useful resources. Check though that when they say a property in nearby it is easily accessible by foot. Whilst staying in Kilchoan before the Challenge last year we met a rather disgruntled couple who had booked a hotel within a few miles of Tobermory. Well they had but there was a little matter of a mile of sea and an expensive ferry ride in the way!

Don’t forget the start points too.  These are mainly hotels and hostels all of whom have supported the Challenge – many of them since it’s inception.

One last thing – please add any pre booked accommodation to your route sheet and send it to us.  Should you be late with a phone in your accommodation is the first place we check so it saves some detective work!