Last year I walked from Edinburgh to Glasgow along the towpaths of the Union and Forth and Clyde canals. It was only about 50 miles miles and almost totally flat and it nearly killed me. Well it nearly killed my knees. By the time we reached the end of the walk I was existing on a diet of ibuprofen and whisky and vowed never to do another multi day walk again that wasn't supported by baggage carriers. That was until May this year when we decided to take a shot at the first few days of the Cape Wrath Trail.
Not known as Britain's toughest long distance trail for nothing the CWT is an unofficial, unmarked route from Fort William to Cape Wrath. There are a number of possible ways to go and we chose the Great Glen option, walking along the Great Glen Way to Inverarnan then heading north west to Strathcarron.
This allowed us to find accommodation each night without carrying a tent but which ever way you walk the Cape Wrath Trail there is no baggage support. Everything we needed had to be carried. I realised that I'd been lulled by the nature of the towpath walk into thinking it would be easy so I'd rammed everything I thought I might need into my pack and hoped for the best - change of clothes for the evening - check, lipstick - check, address book for postcards home - check. I wasn't going to make the same mistake twice. If me and my knees were going to survive we were going to have to travel light. So here it is. My kit list for the Cape Wrath Trail.
2 walking poles
1 rucksack with waterproof cover
1 waterproof jacket
1 pair gloves
1 pair waterproof over trousers
2 pairs walking trousers
1 sports bra
3 pairs knickers
2 pairs liner socks
2 pairs walking socks
1 pair boots
1 pair crocs
first aid kit
bivvi survival blanket
phone & charger
money, cards& tickets
The whole lot including my rucksack weighed just over 6 kilos and when I added food, water and flask each day I still set off each morning carrying no more than 7.5 kilos.
I managed fine for the 10 days we were away, washing tops, socks and undies as needed and although I've never been so pleased to see anything more than a bit of lippy when I got home my knees said - thank you and they meant it!