Friday, 30 March 2007

Over the sea to Skye

Back to Skye tomorrow for the second time this year. I suspect that there will be far too many kids and dogs in tow for any hills to get done but I live in hope. They'll at least get dragged up to The Old Man Of Storr so that'll be something at least.

The long range weather forecast was looking good, last time I checked, so a bare minimum of gear will be taken. Just in case.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Little marvel

Bought a Leatherman Micra via Ebay last week as my current SAK is a bit on the heavy side. The Micra's got everything I need (went for the scissors option rather than pliers) and it's a lot smaller. Might mean it's easier to lose tho'. Time will tell.

Cookin' wi' Gas

Spent a couple of hours on Sunday messing around with stoves, various bits of cookware and some of Bob's Thermawrap windshield/pot cosy stuff. The result? I'm rubbish at making stuff. Although, to be fair, I did fashion a windshield for the Vargo Triad stove and, despite a bit of scorching, it did work.

I also came to the conclusion that I prefer gas to meths. It's a lot less hassle. Or maybe I just need to practice more? OK, I could have made life easier if I'd bothered to get a bottle with a spout for the meths but no, I filled the Triad from the big bottle the stuff came in. Result was a bit messy. And, it was blustery outside so getting the stove lit was a lot harder than I thought; disposable lighter kept getting blown out, fire steel was fun in a Ray Mears way but it eventually took 6 matches to get a flame.

The gas stove lit first time.

However, the Triad, windshield and a wee fuel bottle can all fit in an MSR Titan Cup so I think that'll be a combo for calm days when getting a hot drink is a luxury rather than a necessity.

I've managed to convince myself that my Karrimor stove is too bulky and, rather than modifying it, I should invest in the Vargo Jet Ti. Funny that, eh? :o)

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Bad news for Baggers

Or rather, "compleators" (sic) as the Munro Society call in surveyors to assess whether 2 sub-munro hills can be promoted to Munro status. Details on the BBC website.

Makes nae odds to me as I'm no' interested in "bagging" anything but I can't help but smile at the thought of all these folk who think they've finished, having to fish out their boots and get back out there:o)

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Close enough

I was nearly right; wine gums rather than jelly babies. I passed them along to TFMD in order that she could share in the bounty :o)

Folding Spork looks rather dinky and has raised a couple of rueful smiles from the family. I nearly splurged on a Primus Micron but I think that, with a wee bit of modification, my trusty Karrimor stove should fit into my current cookset. I'll dig everything out at the weekend and give it a go.

The windshield kit looks like a job for TFMD cos she's a lot handier with the scissors than I am. If anybody can fashion a pot-cosy, she can.

Foldable Feet are a no-brainer. Should've bought these years ago.

My outdoor kitchen is pretty much complete :o)

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

We tried to deliver...

No surprise to come home and find a card from the postie. That'll be the stuff I ordered from yesterday. I've you haven't bought anything from Bob and Rose, then you should. They're a shining example of a wee company that gives its' customers outstanding service. I can't praise them highly enough.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Reality Bites Part 2

I went for a walk at lunchtime. Just a wander up to town, an excuse to get out of the office and get my head straight. Life's transient. We're only here for a short time and then we're gone. If I needed a poke with a sharp stick then today was it. I'm more determined than ever to get out more and and actually experience life.

So more wild camping, longer walks and more effort to get to the less accessible hills that I only ever read about.

I bought up a copy of TGO for the first time in months. Nice issue with a lot of interesting articles on gear. I was a bit taken aback that it's been 6 years since the "traditional versus lightweight" article. Time really does fly.

Went online and picked up a few bits, to finish off my "kitchen", from Knowing Bob, they'll be here tomorrow along with a wee bag of jelly babies.

Already thinking ahead to the first wildcamp in an age, preferrably before the midgies wake up.

The house is warm, the dogs are fed and walked and the future Mrs D is singing upstairs :o)

Life can be good.

Reality Bites

A sad start to the week as I receive news that a friend and colleague died at the weekend. I'm not going into details but it's a reminder that life is very fragile and we should all make the most of it. That's all I can say for now.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

The best laid plans

One look out of the window yesterday morning was enough to convince me that Plan A was a no-go. Time for Plan B; The Lomonds aka The Paps of Fife. Two wee hills that I can see from here and where I hadn't set foot for over a year. And so, after the usual faffing about, I set off for the Craigmead car park. In short, Dear Reader, I had a great time. Once I'd become used to walking into the teeth of the wind, it all became easy. I settled into my stride and my mind settled into its' usual musings.

It's territory that I'm familiar with; I've been over that ground more times than I can count but it was still a joy. The sun even put in an appearance as I sat in the shelter of a drystane dyke and looked out over deepest, darkest Fife, drank in the views and listened to the larks* high above, sharing the airspace with a couple of gliders from nearby Scotlandwell.

OK, so it wouldn't impress a bagger but sometimes it's nice just to get out and enjoy the landscape and appreciate what's around you. Wonderful stuff.

* At least I think that's what they were. I'll dig out Hostile Habitats and check.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Any Excuse

And speaking of reasons to stay indoors and watch the telly, if you haven't done it already, check out Heroes. It's great stuff and typical of some of the excellent SciFi that's come out over the last few years. That and Battlestar Galactica, which is just so frakkin' good that it's unmissable. I love SciFi. Always have.

The fact that
Firefly was cancelled after one season when some of the pish out there drags on and on really gets my goat.

Edited to say "Cheers" to Aktoman for adding a link to here from his very own blog (see links below) and to Weird Darren (link below also) for a mention in his weekly blog round-up over at Outdoorsmagic :o)

Fair Weather or Foul

Well, the forecast for this weekend is looking "interesting" to say the least. MWIS reports that progress on higher ground will be "impossible" at times with gusts of up to 90mph. Now, that seems like a perfect excuse to stay at home and warm up the sofa but that's not the name of the game any more, Dear Reader. No sirree.

Come lunchtime, I'll be off to Asda to pick up some supplies; veggie Samosa (The Greatest Hill Snack Known To Man), sandwich stuff, sweeties and own-brand Isotonic drinkies (waaaay cheaper than Lucozade Sport btw).

I wanted to go farther afield but I reckon
The Ochils would be a safer bet; close to home and almost impossible to get lost on. No big pointy bits to get blown/fall off of, either. Besides, I've a soft spot for the "wee" hills so they're never a chore.

Good excuse to field test the PHD Minimus Vest, as well :o)

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

All the gear....

....and plenty of ideas. Maps have been bought and plans are afoot. I can't say too much as the Weather Gods may be listening. Or Pestilence. Anyhoo, I've got seriously itchy feet and that's got to be a good sign.

Besides, I've got some cool stuff that never sees the light of day and it's high time it did. I firmly believe btw, that there is such a thing as too much gear. I could pack for the hill in next to no time back in the day when I had 1 rucksack, 1 waterproof jacket, 1 fleece etc. Now, it takes hours of faffin' aboot trying to decide which rucksack, which waterproof and so on and so forth. I draw the line at colour co-ordination tho'. Let's just get that clear. I mean, look at that photo below; Red and Black Aspira and a flouro-yellow pack? What was I thinking? :o)

Sometimes just getting oot the door is half the battle.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Anagrammatical Trivia

Just realised that Big Galloot is an anagram of I Blogg A Lot. Must be a slow work day.

And hello to The Bearded One who tracked me back to here. I wonder if he's part Navajo?

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Tempus Fugit

It's just over a year since The Future Mrs D and I went for a wander up Ben Vrackie. A day of mixed fortune; we turned back from the summit as we were running out of time and it was bitterly cold. TFMD enjoyed it enormously tho'. We'll go back soon.

Grey Saturday

It was all a bit dreich weatherwise so the day was spent in the hoose doing constructive stuff; cleaned the fish tank, moved some furniture around, sorted out some photies for our newly painted walls and caught up on some telly. Sky+ is great.

Step-Daughter turned up at tea time, fresh from an organised walk up near the Falls of Falloch. She's a bit disappointed that they didn't get up higher. Her first "hillwalk" and the bug has bitten :o)

The Boy seems to have picked up yet another lurgy from the Petri Dish that masquerades as a school. Lovely. Not only do the Weather Gods toy with my plans but Pestilence likes to get in on the act as well.

Friday, 9 March 2007

TFI Friday!

Chinese Chicken Curry and chips for tea. Excellent! :o)

The Weather Gods

This will be a recurring theme. I mean, have you seen the weather forecast for this weekend? That's what happens when I say, "I think I'll go for a walk on Saturday". The Weather Gods have it in for me.

Shiny Stuff

As we go along, you may find that I'll mention gear, kit, shiny things and whatnot. Mainly outdoors-type stuff such as the PHD Minimus Vest that landed on my desk yesterday. It's marvellous. Such a well-made piece of lightweight, fluffy lovlieness. Now I just have to get out there and use the damn thing.

What's in a name?

So why "Big Galloot"? Well, that's what my Grandfather used to call me, on account of me being so tall and him being about 5'4" on a good day. (He wasn't from Texas btw. He was born in Buckie).
And, as I credit him with introducing me to Scotland's hills, it seems a nice way to honour his memory.
He wasn't a hillwalker in any sense of the word but he had a quiet respect for the landscape and that's what rubbed off on me.
One year, 1974-75 IIRC, he borrowed a
Dormomobile, piled all of us youngsters in the back and took us on a grand tour of the Highlands. My love of the hills was born.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

And so it begins......

Well, it's going to be a bit rough around the edges at first but let's see how things develop, shall we?