Every year we hear of someone staggered out of their start point carrying all their provisions for two weeks on their back. You really don’t need too!
Many of the villages in the Challenge areas will have a shop where you can buy basic food supplies. It is though worth checking opening hours in advance as some independent stores may close for a half day or not open at all on Sundays. A quick internet search or a post on the message board will usually give you a phone number.
Specialist items such as dehydrated food or camping equipment are harder to find. Bigger towns such as Aviemore, Braemar, Ballater, Kingussie and Pitlochry have outdoor stores.
We encourage you to use local shops where possibly as it benefits the fragile Highland economy but it isn’t always practical. You can also post yourself resupplies of food and clean clothing. Most accommodation providers will hold a parcel until you arrive but please ask them first. At Newtonmore Hostel we often have 30 or 40 of them! You can also send a parcel to Challenge Control in Montrose for when you finish.
For those coming from overseas many of the food companies offering discounts will post to your start points or other resupply points. If you have enough time in the UK before starting many Challengers find it cheaper to send parcels once in the country. It is worth watching the size of your parcels as for a group it may be cheaper to send several small parcels than one large one.
Fuel for stoves can be tricky to access as it cannot be posted. Gas cannisters can usually only be brought in outdoor shops so it is worth checking in advance where you can access them. For those travelling from overseas there are large outdoor retailers and independent shops within walking distance of the train or bus stations in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness. Other fuels such as meths or petrol can be accessed from some garages and local stores but again it is worth checking before you leave.
If you are struggling to find out about places where you can resupply en-route a post on the message board will result in a wealth of information.