Rucksack Readers

Rucksack Readers => Speyside Way, Buckie to Aviemore, Scotland => Topic started by: Keith_loon on August 26, 2008, 10:46:12 am

Title: Advice needed about daily distances and camping
Post by: Keith_loon on August 26, 2008, 10:46:12 am
Hello all,

A mate and myself are going to walk a couple/few sections of the Speyside Way in a week or two. This is partly as we've never done long-distance walking and intend doing the West Highland Way in the spring: sort of a taster.

We are both in our mid-40s and relatively fit. What sort of distance could we realistically expect to cover in a day (terrain-dependant I know)?  We plan on camping too which limits our overnight stays.

I thought - Spey Bay to Craigellachie (camping at Fiddichside). Then on to Grantown, but it looks like the Ballindalloch to Grantown stretch may be a bit taxing (and 25 miles in one day?)

Any advice greatly appreciated.


Title: Re: Advice needed
Post by: Jacquetta on August 26, 2008, 10:58:52 am
Welcome to our forum.  Speyside is a good choice for a first long-distance walk, but camping definitely makes it much harder unless you use a baggage transfer service.  However fit you are, carrying heavy loads (tent, sleeping gear, cooking stuff presumably heavy) puts a lot of extra strain on your feet and if it rains (always likely in Scotland) you'll have nowhere to dry things out if wild camping.

By September, you'll have only about 12-13 hours of daylight.  Anyway, most of our walkers look on anything over 17 miles as a long day.  So 25 miles sounds over-ambitious to me - unless you plan to jog. :o  If you haven't followed a long trail before, let alone practised carrying heavy loads, I'd suggest you consider 12-15 miles long enough for a day's walk.

But then I'm a softie, and I'd go for a nice warm dry B&B if I possibly could!  Can any campers advise further?

Title: Re: Advice needed about daily distances and camping
Post by: Stottie on August 26, 2008, 07:23:52 pm
Jacquetta's right.  12-15 miles per day is plenty if you're new to long-distance walking.

Title: Re: Advice needed about daily distances and camping
Post by: Keith_loon on August 26, 2008, 07:34:30 pm
Thanks a lot for the feedback I really wasn't sure about mileages. I'm not sure if "wild" camping is an option on the Speyside Way. Thought it was only designated sites. Am I wrong?

Looking forward to it, but will probably be asking more questions soon.


Title: Re: Advice needed about daily distances and camping
Post by: Jacquetta on August 27, 2008, 07:38:58 am
The bit on page 12 of our guidebook ( recommends the use of campsites, some with and some without facilities.  However, under the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC) you have a right to engage in "wild camping" as long as you exercise that right responsibly:

Access rights extend to wild camping. This type of camping is lightweight, done in small numbers and only for two or three nights in any one place. You can camp in this way wherever access rights apply but help to avoid causing problems for local people and land managers by not camping in enclosed fields of crops or farm animals and by keeping well away from buildings, roads or historic structures. Take extra care to avoid disturbing deer stalking or grouse shooting. If you wish to camp close to a house or building, seek the owner’s permission. Leave no trace by:
  • taking away all your litter
  • removing all traces of your tent pitch and of any open fire (follow the guidance for lighting fires)
  • not causing any pollution.

For more detail, follow this link to the Practical A-Z guide for recreation users (  NB you have to scroll down to W to find the camping bit (even though it's now headed "Camping", no longer "Wild camping").

Title: Re: Advice needed about daily distances and camping
Post by: bsmyth on August 27, 2008, 08:04:44 am
I am not a camper but having walked the Way last year in very good weather, I found the sections recommended in the  guidebook ( very sensible. Also, bearing in mind how wet it has been of late there will be a number of very wet and boggy sections to negotiate. I am a softy and very much a B & B man.
Good luck, whichever way you do it. I am sure you will enjoy it.  Surely September should be much better weather-wise?