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This is my Cape Wrath Trail gear list for walking the trail in April. I’ve also included a review of the gear at the end of the list. The Cape Wrath Trail is a very remote walk and should only be attempted by experienced hikers. Scotland’s weather can have very unpredictable and you need to know how to survive in wet and cold weather for a number of days. My gear list takes this into account and I tend to air on the side of safety rather than the lightest weight possible. You can read a full account of the walk here.

My Cape Wrath Trail gear list – April/May

CATEGORYITEMWEIGHT
RucksackULA Catalyst 75L       1255
 Shoulder strap pockets & hand loops – ULA170
 Pack liner waterproof – Sea to Summit 80
   
ShelterTarptent Notch Li554
 Pegs – various sizes inc. bag115
   
Sleep system        Sleeping mat – Thermarest Neoair Xtherm                   424
 Pump sack for sleep mat55
 Pillow – Exped UL47
 Sleeping Bag Liner – Cocoon merino wool282
 Sleeping Bag – Down    877
 Socks – EDZ merino liner64
 Bag for above – Dyneema 12
   
Cook bagStove – Vargo Triad multifuel stove 30
 Windbreak and alloy base + Vargo windshield43
 Pot + Lid – Evernew 92
 Mug – Alpkit 400ml62
 Knife – Deejo Naked pocket knife15
 Spoon – Esbit titanium long handle18
 Gas Lighter 21
 Meals and coffee sachets for the day  
 Bag for above – Dyneema28
   
Outside pack Phone/Camera/GPS/Mapping – Ulefone Armor Tough Phone            361
and in pocketsCompass – Silva34
 Head torch – Petzl Bindi35
 Rubbish bag – Sea to Summit XS stuff sack17
 Water bottle – 2L Evernew                                  40
 Water bottle – Inov8 HydraPak 500ml 31
 Waterfilter – MSR Guardian Water Purifier Pump   640
 Bag for above – MSR66
 Sit mat – Thermarest Z-seat  57
 Reading Glasses + soft case35
 First Aid Kit bag221
 Repair + Spares Kit bag89
 Wash Kit bag 79
 Paper and Pen                            
 Maps – Harveys south and north119
 Bag for above – Dyneema13
   
Toilet bagkitchen roll and antibacterial wipes      (for the day) 
 Toilet trowel – The Duece 2    16
 Dry bag for above – Dyneema 1L 12
   
ClothingSocks – Darn Tough Hiker         75
often in packSocks – ToeToe liner40
 Socks – EDZ waterproof calf length160
 Underwear – EDZ merino briefs 69
 Baselayer – Inov8 at/c merino hoody     (spare & sleep in)250
 Midlayer – Paramo Bentu fleece jacket                                         417
 Outerlayer – Paramo Bentu windproof jacket (waterproof with Bentu fleece)               433
 Warm outerlayer – OMM Raid Jacket 410
 Neck tube – EDZ  merino          51
 Headband – Buff Windstopper20
 Hat – Buff beanie20
 Gloves – Convertible mitts69
 Gloves – Montane synthetic insulation56
 Gloves – Montane pertex shield45
 Bag for above – Sea to Summit 13L drybag                  28
   
                                                                                                                                TOTAL =    8252g
   
Gear worn orFootwear – Inov8 RocFly 390 boots         size UK9781
carried in handsSocks – Darn Tough Light Hiker            55
 Mini gaiters 55
 Underwear – EDZ merino boxers90
 Baselayer – EDZ 135gsm T-shirt113
 Base/mid layer – EDZ Plaid Flannel Shirt335
 Trousers – Montane Terra343
 Hat – Rohan sun100
 Walking Poles – Black Diamond – 120cm adjustable for tent – pair  460
 Watch – Lorus64
 Wallet – Cash, credit/debit cards50
   
                                                                                                                                   Total =   2446g
   
 Consumables – 7 days                                                                     +  Resupply Bag 
 Water500
 Food – Dehydrated Meals – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner – 7 days4500
 Snacks – Chocolate/Nut & Chewy Bars, Beef Jerky, Crisps, Coffee sachets2900
 Fuel – Methylated spirit – 750ml750
 Loo Roll (kitchen roll)  100186
 Wet Wipes (Antibaterial)   30164
                                                                                                                                    Total =     9000g
   
Cape Wrath Trail Gear List – April

Review of the gear used on the walk

The above gear list was perfect for the conditions that I encountered. I was very lucky with the weather, it was warmer and drier than it could have been this time of year. If I had set off a few days earlier than I did, I would have had to contend with -17C wind chill and heavy rain. Then I would have needed to have carried more clothes as my list was fine for the -1 to 15C temperatures that I had. I was happy with everything on the list and didn’t take anything that I didn’t use, so wouldn’t change a thing if walking it again. Of particular note;

Footwear

The Inov8 RocFly 390 boots were perfect for the ground conditions, they dried quickly after river crossings and were very comfortable. I had no issues with my feet, no blisters and I found that adding the EDZ waterproof calf length socks worked well keeping my feet dry and warm when necessary.

Shelter

The Tarptent Notch Li shelter was perfect in the good weather, but if it had been windier or stormy as is quite common this far up Scotland. I would have been happier taking a shelter that was more suitable for high winds, like my Nordisk Telemark tent or the Terra Nova Laser Compact 1 tent.

Sleeping

I carried a down sleeping bag because they pack up smaller than a synthetic bag and they’re lighter weight. It was a good choice because I was able to air it regularly and keep it dry. I used a sleeping bag that I knew would keep me warm to temperatures 10C below what I expected. This way I knew it would still be warm enough if it got a little damp, but a synthetic one may be more suitable choice if you had more rain than I did, or you struggle with condensation inside your tent.

Inside the sleeping bag I used a Cocoon merino wool liner to protect the bag from dirt and sweat. I find it controls my body temperature well and is a lot nicer to sleep in than a silk liner. It’s a it bit of a luxury item because it’s a lot heavier than silk but I like it. It also means I don’t need to carry clothes to sleep in.

On this trip I used just one mat, often I take two on long trips in case one gets a puncture. The Thermarest Neoair Xtherm sleeping mat and it was perfect for the Cape Wrath Trail in April. It was warm and comfortable on some fairly uneven ground and some pretty cold nights. A lower R value and lighter weight mat would probably be ok as the night time temperatures only went down to about freezing. But it can be a lot colder this time of year and because I wasn’t carrying many spare clothes I aired on the side of comfort and safety.

Full gear review

Most of the gear that I took with me is my standard kit and I’ve reviewed it before. Please read my LEJOG and 3 Peaks Walk: full gear review for information on this gear.

Resupply

Resupplying on the Cape Wrath Trail can be difficult so I set off with 7 days food and had a 7 day resupply package at Kinlochewe. I didn’t book any accommodation and wild camped every night. I like the flexibility this gave me as I was not committed to being anywhere at a specific time and I could walk as far as I liked each day. But you could reduce the food weight by sending more parcels and resupplying more often. It is possible to buy supplies at a number of places on route but often this means leaving the main route. This also means buying what’s available and that will probably be heavier than the dehydrated meals and have a limited shelf life. This is fairly limited in the Kinlochewe shop, they do sell dehydrated meals but every time that I’ve been through, they’ve only had about 6 or 7 on their rack and not much other food suitable for hikers. But fine if you’re only resupplying to get you to Ullapool.

Weight saving note – The easiest and cheapest way to save pack weight is to carry less food and water. Planning well can save more weight than buying expensive light weight hiking gear, by knowing where you can resupply and not carrying more than you need to get you there.

The Cape Wrath Trail

Further reading

Our April 2022 Cape Wrath Trail walk

Cape Wrath Trail – Cicerone book

The Farthest Shore: Seeking solitude and nature on the Cape Wrath Trail in winter

Wildwalkinguk is a blog run in my spare time, and I pay for its running costs myself. I have some Amazon affiliate links and adverts on the site. If you click on these adverts or links and buy what you need (it doesn’t have to be the item we’ve linked to), the company will pay a small commission to me. This money goes towards the costs of hosting the blog. I would be extremely grateful if you could consider using our links when you next need to buy something from my advertisers. Alternatively, you can buy me a coffee here. Thank you so much for your support. Mark.

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