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This is a post about our Cape Wrath Trail walk we completed in April 2022. We started in Fort William with the Camusnagaul ferry and finished in Kinlochbervie, after walking off the peninsular from the Cape Wrath light house. The weather for the walk was mostly pleasant, which was lucky for April. Typically, early May is the better time to start the CWT to have the best chance of good weather but avoid the midges, as the walk can be challenging in poor weather. We’ve set out an overview of the walk below, with some of the alternative options, based on the routes in the Cicerone Cape Wrath Trail guidebook and Harvey maps. Whilst we’ve included maps of our general route, and recommend utilising guidebooks and other blog posts, we always suggest choosing your own route, day lengths and camping spots, as the CWT has such a broad range of options that can mean you can have an entirely different experience based upon your own choices. At the end, we’ve set out some additional information, including our favourite gear that we used on the walk. – Link to gear list.

Day 1

Overview Map Part 1 – Fort William to Kinlochewe

We arrived at Fort William with plenty of time before the ferry, so decided a quick pint in a local pub would be a good start to the walk. The weather was a bit overcast, with occasional spells of drizzle, but the excitement of starting the walk meant we were in good spirits.

Camusnagaul ferry crossing

The first 5 or so miles after the ferry landing along the road are somewhat tedious, although there are occasional good views out over the loch back towards Fort William. Once the road walking finishes, however, the scenery immediately improves. The track leaves the road and heads up Cona Glen. This is easy going, which is a great start to the walk, but also takes you straight into the mountainous scenery. It feels remote, particularly after the busyness of Fort William and the cars along the road after the ferry landing. The glen closes in, with the hills either side, and it really feels like the trail has started.

Cona Glen, the hills close in as you walk along, with the feeling of remoteness beginning.

If you start the walk later in the day, there are a number of excellent camp spots towards the beginning of the glen, however the further you walk the fewer good camp spots there are. We started the walk at around lunchtime, so pushed on past the best of the camp spots by mistake, but in the end found a decent spot by the river about halfway along the glen.

Max with the Nordisk Telemark 2 tent
Mark in the Tarptent Notch Li tent

Alternative Route – Great Glen Variant

Instead of crossing on the ferry, an alternative route to start the CWT can be taken. This would involve taking the Great Glen Way out of Fort William, heading towards Mandally, Glen Garry and to re-join the CWT at Morvich. The alternative route along the Great Glen Way is easier but misses some really interesting scenery through Knoydart.

I would recommend the Glenfinnan route as, after the relatively tedious first few miles after the ferry, the walk drastically improves and immediately feels remote and mountainous.

Day 2

The rest of the walk along Cona Glen is pleasant, continuing along the track until it begins to climb gradually away from the river. You then head onto a footpath that goes over the pass, and its nice to be off of the track for a while. The path then begins to descend the other side, with good views over towards the next glen.

View down towards Glenfinnan

The path then turns into another track, that continues the descent towards Glenfinnan. It joins a river and heads into a forest, which is a nice change of scenery. Crossing the road towards the visitor centre was quite a shock with many people around, after a day or so of not seeing many people at all. As soon as we’d walked under the viaduct though, there were almost no people at all. This meant the walk up the rest of Glen Finnan was quiet, and it is fairly quick walking along the tarmacked track. Views open up towards some exceptional scenery with hills all around.

Glen Finnan, great views and easy walking

The route then takes the track over the bridge across the river around towards Corryhully bothy. This was the first bothy I have ever seen with working electric, and it even had a kettle plugged in! We were grateful for the coffee. The track then continues climbing the valley, towards the next pass. We decided stop a little bit prior to the final ascent, as the clouds came and it felt like rain. We’d been lucky with the weather all day, and did not want to push our luck. For these first two days we deliberately kept the mileage low. Although the Cicerone CWT guidebook suggests 21 miles the first day, we always feel like it’s best to ease ourselves into the longer distance walks. It’s definitely better to take it easy to begin with, as this increases your chances of finishing the walk, and if needed its then possible to do higher mileages later on as the packs get lighter and you get fitter.

Night 2 – looking up at the incoming rain

Day 3

I’d been woken up a few times during the night to the sound of fairly heavy rain, however when we woke up it was dry, which was a pleasant surprise. This was a sign of our luck to come, with multiple times on the walk it being dry all day and only raining at night!

The path finished climbing over the pass and began to descend into the next valley. The map shows the route staying on the left side of the valley and crossing the river further down. However, we decided to cross the river nearer the top of the pass, just in case the rain overnight had raised the river height significantly. Descending the valley to the right of the river did actually appear a steadier descent, with the marked route on the left appearing fairly up and down. Regardless of rain, I would recommend crossing the river early.

River crossing, still trying to keep dry feet dry, for now…

We re-joined the main route as Glen Pean opens up, and crossed the main river on the bridge. The route then heads along the river for a short while before following the tree line to the track. Make sure you do not stay too close to the river for too long, as it ends up quite boggy. We made this mistake and ended up having to cut back to the treeline. Once the track is joined at the houses, we decided to stay right and follow the track to the north of the River Dessarry.

Upper Glendessarry

The track ends at Upper Glendessarry, turning into a footpath that immediately climbs, allowing excellent views along the glen. It then heads along the trees for a while towards the rocky end of the valley tightens in around you. The path heads along through some fairly boggy ground towards Lochan a Mhaim.

By this point the sun had come out for us and we spotted a lovely flat spot by the river prior to the loch. We couldn’t resist the almost perfect spot, so stopped for the night.

Night 3, excellent camp spot just before Lochan a Mhaim

Alternative Route – Glen Dessarry

There is an alternative route to the one we took at the beginning of Glen Dessarry. This heads into the forest and stays on the southern side of the river. It is supposed to be quite muddy through the trees, and the forest hides the excellent views along the glen. There is a bothy at A Chuil, however if you’re not in need of this, the route we took along the track the other side of the glen was easy-going and allowed great views.

Day 4

The day started with some rain, and I did not want to leave my tent. However, by the time we’d gotten up, the rain had stopped and we were lucky again with the weather.

The route continues around the edge of the loch, which is a steady walk. After the water ends, the path climbs over a small pass which allows excellent views out to the sea loch. The path then descends fairly steadily down to the bay, at one point crossing a bridge over a gully that gives a worrying warning of being unstable. At the bay is the Sourlies bothy, which would be a great place to stop for the night if you were reaching it in the evening. We met a few people here and ended up having a long conversation. This ended up working in our favour, as the tide went out far enough for us to walk around the headland into the next valley. If you’re unlucky here, you have to climb over the headland rather than being able to walk around on the sand at the end.

Warning, unstable bridge!

Once around the headland, the route heads directly into the marshland. The route on our maps heads across the marsh towards a bridge, and then around the edge of the river. The river here is quite dangerous, which is why the suggested route goes across the marsh to the bridge and then back on itself. If you’ve been lucky with the weather however, staying out of the marsh and heading along the edge of the hill and to the track on the right side of the river may be a good option.

Heading into the marsh

The path continues alongside the river, and is easy-going with beautiful scenery, feeling remote the whole time. Once the path has gone through some trees, one of the suggested routes is to traverse around the hill to ascend to the track you’re looking to join that heads over the next pass. However, I’d recommend staying on the route suggested in the guidebook which follows the river for a little longer. Then, once you get to a beautiful flat spot by a pool in the river, that would ideal for camping, start to ascend towards the track. We found a footpath that was ascending, however it was not clear and easy to miss. The main track then appears above you, which then continues to ascend slowly towards the pass.

Steep climb to Mam Unndalain

At the top of the path the scenery changes once again. This is one of my favourite parts of the first week of the CWT, the walking up long glens and climbing over passes with constantly changing scenery. Descending from the pass, we decided to stop as the route then drops to a small farm, which we knew we didn’t really want to camp near.

Camped just below Mam Unndalain

Day 5

Our 5th day started with some light drizzle, however once again it cleared quickly. The path drops down towards Barisdale, turning into a track as it flattens out. There is a bothy and camping area at the farm, as well as a toilet. However, there is no wild camping once you pass the farm due to nesting birds, and then not really any wild camping along the length of the loch due to the terrain.

View from Barisdale Bay, nesting birds mean no camping on the lovely flat spots though!

The path turns off the main track about half a mile from the farm. This path along the loch is quite up and down and the guidebook warns that it will take longer than expected. This is accurate, with it taking quite a few hours to reach Kinloch Hourn. There’s a small farm café selling hot drinks and cakes, which was a good place to stop. Once around the bay, the track climbs steeply. There are a few paths that turn off, so its important to keep an eye out for the correct one. The track goes around the hillside into the next valley, dropping down to the river. This is a reasonable size, so may after a decent amount of rain be a challenge to cross. The track then traverses around the next hill, but before it ends its worth leaving to start the gradual ascent to the Forcan Ridge.

Snow on the Forcan Ridge

The climb to the ridge is a bit of a slog with no path, although once at the pass the views are again excellent. There’s a fairly dramatic path around the edge of the hill, which then continues around below the next peak. When you see a path heading off the ridge to the right, its worth dropping fairly steeply off to the left, heading down into the next valley. Eventually a path appears near the river, and this is then a nice walk gradually descending towards a larger river, Allt Undalain. After crossing the river there’s a large flat area that is a great place to camp for the night.

Camped by the river, we did have a couple of other tents nearby this night as there was lots of flat space

Day 6

The track descends slowly towards Shiel Bridge. Meeting the road was a bit of a shock after not seeing many people for a few days. At the campsite here there’s a shop and café by the road, however it seems to be shut Sunday, Monday and Tuesday which meant it was shut for us. The route follows the road for a few miles, although there is a great little coffee stop that sells bacon rolls and sandwiches outside of the Shiel Bridge Hotel. This made up for the shop by the campsite being shut, and we were grateful for some food that did not need to be re-hydrated.

Wee Bun House, Shiel Bridge. Delicious bacon roll and a coffee

There is an option here to leave the main road before the bridge crosses the end of the estuary and follow the south side of the valley. We chose to follow the main road over the bridge and turn off at the cemetery as it is a fairly direct route along to the forest. The track continues through the forest, following the river. A path then turns off the track and climbs up a really tight and pretty valley. At the top of the valley the path flattens a bit, and then descends to the top of the Falls of Glomach. From the top this is a fairly normal looking waterfall, however once you’ve descended around the path a bit, and look back towards the Falls, the gully looks quite dramatic.

Steep path around the Falls of Glomach

The path from the top of the Falls traverses around the edge, and is very close to a steep drop to one side. It would have been fairly treacherous walking around here in the rain or wind. After a short while the path reaches the valley floor, and the walking becomes easier. It then reaches a track which heads along Loch na Leitrach and continues for a few miles along the glen. A valley then heads off to the left, climbing fairly steeply.

This was a fairly long day for us, so we found a decent spot by the river for the night.

Camping at Coire a Chadha Ruaidh Mor

Day 7

We awoke to gorgeous blue skies, and felt very lucky. From where we camped we finished climbing the pass, before the path then gradually descends through some fairly boggy terrain towards the Maol-bhuide bothy. We’d not stayed in any bothies on the walk so far, however we always like to have a quick look around them, and they were all well-maintained. This one in particular had very interesting information about the building’s history, which is always a good read.

Looking back towards the historic Maol-bhuide bothy

After the bothy the route goes rough for a while, heading across the valley before climbing and then traversing around the end of the hill, before reaching Loch Calavie. There is then a nice grassy track around the loch, before it descends towards a much larger (and less nice) track that turns to head up the next glen towards Lochan Laoigh. After this loch the track ends quite abruptly, and the route goes wild for a few miles as it climbs to Bealach Bhearnais.

Looking out from Bealach Bhearnais

Just after the top of this pass is a great little path that descends slowly with excellent views of the surrounding scenery. Once the path reaches the bottom of the valley and the main river, there is a large area of flat grass that we decided was too perfect to pass up. So we stopped, sat in the sun, got the gear out to air and set the tents up for the night.

Excellent camping after Bealach Bhearnais

Alternative Route – Beinn Eighe

There is a popular alternative route that heads out around Beinn Eighe before re-joining at Kinlochewe. It looks really interesting, but would take slightly longer. We were running a bit low on food (and fitness…) so chose the easier route to Kinlochewe.

Day 8

The track follows the river for a while as it slowly descends towards a woodland. The track enters the woods and descends towards the road and into Craig, where there is a hostel that can be stayed at. I’d woken up to dry shoes and was delighted to be walking along with dry feet this morning. This did not last long however, as after the road walking there is an overgrown path up into the woods that appeared to be one of those footpaths that is eternally boggy no matter the weather.

Shortly before the boggy path

After a while, this path hits another forestry track. This runs a long way through the valley towards an estate house at Coulin. The track then climbs out of the valley. There is a path marked on the map through the forest, although forestry works mean the trees have all gone and the track definitely looked to be the easier option. This track continues around the hillside, where the maps mark it descending slowly around the hillside towards the river. There was a path on the ground that did this, however the main track turns into the woods and descends more quickly to the river and joins the A896, and this again looked to be the easier option.

View towards Coulin eastate house, most of this day is on tracks like these, but the great views ensure it is not overly tedious

The road then continues into Kinlochewe. We stopped in a small café called the Gorse Bush for our first non-dehydrated proper meal of the walk. The food was delicious, although the portion sizes suggested it was targeting the tourists driving around rather than the walkers. We were just happy for the solid food though! There is also a hotel with a public bar serving food, accommodation and a couple of small shops in the town if needed. It would be possible to pick up some stuff in the shops, and there are a limited selection of dehydrated meals. We picked up our 6kg resupply packages, to get us all the way to the Cape Wrath Light House.

Path towards Lochan Fada

Following the small road to Incheril, the route then turns off and a track heads up the valley. This is again easy going, and it feels good to get remote again immediately after leaving the village. The track then turns up Gleann na Muice, and climbs fairly steeply before turning into a gravel footpath heading towards Lochan Fada. There are some great spots by Lochan Fada to camp, although we had passed a few people today who’d said they were aiming to camp there. So we decided to stop prior to this, by Loch Gleann na Muice, and this ended up being a great spot with beautiful hills surrounding us.

Camping by Loch Gleann na Muice

Day 9

Overview Map Part 2 – Kinlochewe to the Lighthouse

The trail leaves the footpath at Lochan Fada and heads up the hillside. There are multiple ways of climbing here; we headed toward a gully between the rocks as it brings you out on top quite directly, without too much unnecessary ascent or descent. Once on top, views open up and this is one of the best locations on the CWT for scenery.

View from Coire Mhic Fhearchair

Heading across the open area directly is the best option here towards the end of the hill on the opposite side. The route then drops a bit before traversing around the hillside. Once Loch an Nid is in sight, drop towards the end of the loch, where the route picks up a path. This path is easy going, following the river along the beautiful valleys, all the way to Shenavall bothy. There is an option to follow a track a few miles before reaching the bothy, and cut off a few miles. If you have the time though, I would recommend walking out to the bothy as the scenery is excellent and the bothy is in a nice position near the loch.

The very well-positioned Shenavall bothy

From the bothy, the path climbs steeply up a gully. As it reaches to top of the gully, the path levels out and continues around the hillside to meet a track. The track then descends steadily into the trees. There weren’t many places along here to camp, but we dropped off the track down to the river and found a couple of reasonably flat spots.

Camping by Allt Gleann Chaorachain

Day 10

The track continues descending towards the road and then follows this road for a short while. The route then turns off the road towards the farm, before taking a small path climbing through a field. Once the path has finished climbing, it is a steady walk along the plateau for a few miles. Here, it feels likes the scenery changes from the more dramatic hills of the first half of the CWT towards the more rolling hills in the second half.

Inverlael and the rolling hills of the second half of the CWT

There is then a steep drop towards some houses, and a road towards Inverlael. At a car park, a track turns off the road and heads towards the forest. Once in the forest and across a river, we chose the follow the forestry tracks zigzagging up the hillside. There is apparently an option to climb directly up through the trees to reach the higher track instead of heading back and forth through the trees, but it looked quite steep and we didn’t see a path on the ground.

Inverlael Forest, the gorse was just one of the many flowering plants we saw whilst completing the walk in Spring

Before the end of the forestry track, another track heads off out of the trees. It then follows the hillside around before disappearing. It is rough walking towards a pile of stones that once you reach, another pile of stones is visible a little further around the hill. The stunning Glen Douchary is then in sight. Dropping into the glen towards the abandoned settlement, and then following the pristine river down the valley is one of the highlights of the walk for me. We were lucky with the weather, and the small path that follows the valley within the glen along the river Douchary is exceptional.

Stunning Glen Douchary

The path heads towards a valley. Here there was a large amount of new deer fencing and it blocked the footpath in multiple places. As the path entered the fenced off area, there was a terrible ladder that was virtually impossible to climb. Then the path heads along the deer fencing for a while. Here, the new deer fencing was completely blocking the footpath, with no sign of a gate or ladder nearby, forcing us to climb it. In fact, we had to climb the deer fencing multiple times in our attempt to follow the footpath. Deer fencing is not the easiest to climb either. Whilst I understand the need for fencing for conservation efforts, this felt much more like a landowner’s complete disregard for a footpath and access to the land.

Repeatedly having to climb deer fencing just to follow the footpath

Once out of the deer fencing, it was a short climb to Loch an Daimh, where we found a small fishing hut. It was unlocked and there was a nice message inside inviting people to use it. Initially we were just planning to have some dinner inside before setting our tents up by the loch, however as the wind picked up and the sun went down, we decided to sleep inside.

Fishing hut at the end of Loch an Daimh, grateful for shelter from the wind that had picked up

Day 11

Around Loch an Daimh, the path marked by the water’s edge was easy enough going. There is an option of climbing towards the slightly higher track due to the rougher nature of the walk by the water, but this looked to be adding extra distance for no particular reason. The track then continues past the Knockdamph bothy, continuing to the end of the valley. It then follows the river around to the Schoolhouse bothy, which is worth a look inside just to see the history if nothing else. The track then enters the woods for a few miles before dropping into Oykel Bridge.

Schoolhouse bothy

There is a hotel at Oykel Bridge, with supposedly a public bar serving food. It was not open when we arrived, with the timings on the website outdated, which was disappointing. The track then climbs through the woods before following the river Oykel for a long time. After the track ends, a path is signposted off which then joins another track shortly after. This track hits a small road before reaching Loch Ailsh. This road heads towards Benmore Lodge, before turning into a track again.

River Oykel

After a bit of a long day in mostly tracks, we were eager to find a decent camping spot. Just off the main river there was an excellent flat bit of soft grass just in the woods, and this was a great spot for the evening.

Great camping spot just after Loch Ailsh

Day 12

The track reaches a fork, where there is the option to climb up towards Ben More Assynt and towards Inchnadamph or stay lower and head more directly for Glen Coul. We’d woken up to low cloud and drizzle, so chose the second route. The track heads immediately into the wilderness, and with the low cloud and barren landscape, it felt particularly remote.

Barren around Gorm Loch Mor

The track follows the hillside for a few miles, before coming to an end. Slightly before the end of the track, it is worth dropping towards Gorm Loch Mor. After the end of the loch, the route heads right quite sharply, between two small hills. This is quite a rough walk through bog, but it does re-join a track at Loch an Eircill. This track then head down Glen Coul, with great views of the sea, before reaching Glencoul bothy.

Rugged Glen Coul

After the bothy, a track climbs steeply, and this was tough on the legs near the end of the day. Here, the track turns into a path and climbs around the hill into another glen, with great views of the sea lochs. The path then descends towards Glendhu, and this is tough going that takes quite a long time. As soon as we reached the river at the end of Loch Glendhu, we set up camp.

Camping at the end of Loch Glendhu – not many flat spots but we were exhausted

Alternative Route – Ben More Assynt

The route around Ben More Assynt is a great option in better weather, and more can be read here, from the second half of the Dover to Cape Wrath walk on this site.

Day 13

The track sets off around the Loch, towards Glendhu bothy. It is easy going on the track around the loch for a few miles, before it reaches Kylesku. A track can be used to cut the corner off, about halfway along the loch, missing out Kykesku. Its a nice walk along the loch though, with good views, so worth doing if the weather is half decent. There is a hotel across the bridge at Kylesku, though we had plenty of food so carried on.

Loch Glendhu and Kylesku Bridge

After leaving the village, the track climbs up onto the hills, feeling quite remote again and allowing views over the sea lochs. The track takes a left after a while, and climbs to a couple of peaks. Views from these peaks are some of the best on the entire walk, with the sea, hills and lochs. Its also possible to see towards Cape Wrath, and the walk feels like its coming to an end. The route descends from the second peak, with rough walking for a little while. It heads towards another track, although this is quite easy to miss as it was not clear on the ground. This track then heads towards Loch Stack, up and down along the top before descending to the road.

Can almost see the end!

Across the road, a track heads towards Lochstack Lodge, before going around Loch a Cham Alltain. It was getting towards the end of the day for us, so we were trying to find a a spot at the end of this loch, although there was not much flat ground. We did however find a small area, but the there were loads of ticks in the grass. We’d encountered quite a few ticks this walk, which was a bit of a surprise considering we’d started in April, and according to some people we’d spoken to it was quite a bad year for them. Side-effect of the milder winters I guess. We decided to leave the tick-infested spot behind and head around Loch Airigh a Bhaird. This turned out to be a good choice, as a little way off the track at the end of the loch was a nice flat area to camp.

Good camp spot at the end of Loch Airigh a Bhaird

Day 14

The track continues around the loch and then turns right, and here the route continues straight. Heading straight towards the right side of Loch a Garbh-bhaid Mor, the route is rough walking for a short while. Although not marked on the map, there is a footpath around the loch, and its quite a nice walk. About halfway along the next loch, the path turns becomes a bit larger and easier to follow, and slowly descends by the river towards Rhiconich.

Walking along Loch a Gharbh-bhaid Beag

The Rhiconich Hotel is a great place to stop, and we’ve had food here before. We were also allowed to camp in the garden previously, although it was too early for food or camping this time. After Rhiconich, the long section of road walking begins. For a while, the road walking is quite pleasant, with good views over the sea loch and the houses dotted along the hillside. It does quickly become a bit tedious though. We decided to break the road walking up by stopping at the Old School Restaurant in Inshegra, which served an absolutely delicious cooked breakfast, tea and a much needed beer. There’s also a great café at Kinlochbervie, Worth a Look, as well as a convenience store, if you wanted to continue further along the road before stopping.

Old School Restaurant and Rooms, great view from the outdoor seating

The main route continues along the road for a few more miles, before heading towards Sandwood Bay and then along the coast to the Cape. Our plan was to walk out to the lighthouse and back to Kinlochbervie, where we were getting a taxi. Therefore, as we didn’t fancy the long road walking section twice, we turned off at Badcall, before London Stores, and headed cross country. From Badcall, there’s a track for a while, however this ends fairly quickly. After that, its rough walking for a few miles, although not too bad going in the short vegetation. We headed towards to Strathan Bothy, where you could then follow the river towards Sandwood Loch and the beach and then along the coast to the Cape. As we were going back to Kinlochbervie via the coast, we decided to continue inland.

View towards Sandwood from An Grianen

Climbing quite steeply from the bothy, we reached the peak at An Grianen with excellent views of the coast and Sandwood. From here, we dropped to Strath Chailleach river, and stopped in an excellent camp spot by the river a little way up from the Strathchailleach bothy.

Camped by Strath Chailleach river

Day 15

On this alternative inland route we’d chosen, we left the river towards Loch Keisgaig. We then climbed to the peaks at Cnoc an Daimh and Cnoc a Ghiubhais. Again, these allowed beautifully expansive views over the Cape. From here, it’s a couple of miles further of rough walking, before joining the track towards the lighthouse, where we re-joined the main Cape Wrath Trail. It was then a short walk along the track to the lighthouse, where we stopped in the ever-friendly Ozone Café.

The Cape Wrath Lighthouse

From the lighthouse its back along the track, where we then took the main route back along the coast. This is an excellent walk, and I was glad we’d left it until last. It hugs the coastline, ascending and descending with dramatic views of the cliff face. Once the route gets back to Strath Chailleach river, it is possible to drop down to the beach early and walk along it further but only if the tide is mostly out. We were unlucky however, so continued along the top before dropping to the beach nearer to Sandwood Loch. From here, there are many excellent camping spots, and we chose a good one in the dunes for our last night on the trail.

One of many camping spots on and around Sandwood Bay

Day 16

From Sandwood Bay, the trail follows the main path up onto the plateau before turning into a track. This track meanders through the bodies of water before reaching the road. There is then the long slog on road back towards Kinlochbervie, where we stopped in the Worth a Look café. Great food, lovely service, would highly recommend this little café.

Long road walk to/from Kinlochbervie

Additional Information

We were exceptionally lucky with the weather, and this walk can certainly be challenging in the rain and cold. Starting in April worked well for us, as it wasn’t too busy and the midges were not out yet. Only resupplying once, in Kinlochewe, also worked well, but did mean we were twice carrying over 6kgs of food. This was manageable as we had good weather and didn’t have to take too much heavier winter gear. If the weather forecast hadn’t been so good prior to the walk and it had been the week before. Scotland had had -17C wind-chill, we would have had to add more warm clothing.

Mark’s Favourite Gear

Inov-8 RocFly 390 bootsThe Inov8 RocFly 390 boots were perfect for the ground conditions on the Cape Wrath Trail. They were light weight, very comfortable with highly cushioned soles and padding. The main advantage with non waterproof footwear is they are highly breathable, stopping my feet sweating. Also drained the water and dried quickly after the many river crossings. I found adding waterproof calf length socks worked well keeping my feet dry and warm when necessary. Read my full review of the boots here.
EDZ Plaid Flannel ShirtI always use merino wool clothing on long distance multi-day walks. I find it regulates my body temperature well and still keeps me warm when its wet. Plus it can be worn for a number of days and doesn’t smell if I’m unable to wash it. The EDZ Plaid Flannel Shirt was particularly good on this walk because it was warm enough on the cool days but could be unbuttoned to disperse heat when necessary. It worked well with the EDZ 135gsm T-shirt underneath it for extra warmth or the shirt removed on extra warm days. Read my full review of the shirt here.
EDZ merino wool underwearI normally wear merino wool underwear on long hikes. I realised how good they were during my Lands End to John O’Groats walk, I was having to wear them wet and they were much more comfortable than synthetic clothing would have been. I normally wear EDZ Briefs but also tried the EDZ Boxers during this walk, both were very good and it comes down to personal preference to what’s best to use.
DarnTough socksI always use Darn Tough socks on my long hikes, as I’ve found they last a lot longer than other makes. I used the Darn Tough Light Hiker and Darn Tough Hiker socks during this walk.

Max’s Favourite Gear

Katadyn Befree 1l Water FilterFor one person, this has to be one of the lightest, easiest, most efficient and best value water filters out there. I used it as my main water bottle as well as to fill my pot when cooking. It’s a great light weight filter ideal for use in remote areas of the UK, where the water is relatively clean. We also had the Guardian Purifier Pump with us for filtering lowland water, where animals may have been present.
Exped Synmat HL M, Exped Versa Pillow,
and Exped Schnozzel Pumpbag
I’ve only recently started using airbeds whilst camping, after years of using traditional mats. They are an absolute godsend, though often quite expensive. This Exped airbed is great value, light enough weight and warm enough. The Exped pillow is also great, comfortable, easy to inflate and light. The Exped Schozzel Pumpbag was likewise brilliant, really quick to inflate the airbed and simple to attach. It was also strong enough to withstand being used as my pack liner for the two-weeks away, and didn’t look at risk of tearing.
Inov-8 TerraUltra G 270 TrainersA great, ultra-light pair of trainers. After pairing with the correct socks, I suffered from no blisters most of the walk. Drained and dried quickly when wet and breathed well without letting in too much muck. Definitely need to use gaiters with them when walking rough though. I did start to suffer a bit with pain in my arches towards the end of the walk, but considering these are more trail-running trainers than walking boots, I was highly impressed. If I did the walk again I’d try the slightly heavier Inov-8 TrailFly Ultra G 300 shoes. I think a thicker sole would be more suited for long distance walks with a heavy pack.
Mark and Max Webb – Thank you for reading!

Further reading

Gear List

Book – Cicerone Cape Wrath Trail

The Book of The Bothy

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

9 Inspiring Books about the outdoors

My 11 wild camping rules

Wildwalkinguk is a blog run by myself with the help of my family. I pay for its running costs myself. I do 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 I’ve linked to) the company will pay a small commission to us. 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 our advertisers. Alternatively, you can buy me a coffee here. Thank you so much for your support. Mark.

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