From the summit of Ben Lui, close to the west coast, you’ll navigate your way from the source of the River Tay to its tidal limit at Perth, close to the east coast.
Dates in May 2022 are TBC – please enquire to register your interest in joining the team.
The aim of this epic expedition is to follow the River Tay on its journey across Scotland from its source on the flanks of Ben Lui in the west to its tidal limit at Perth on the east. Starting on foot, you’ll complete as much as the journey as possible on the water once the river becomes navigable, only portaging the largest of the River Tay’s rapids.
At 188 km long the River Tay is Scotland’s longest river, almost bisecting the whole country from Ben Lui to where it flows into the North Sea at Dundee. The team will follow it for 140 km, using expedition packrafts, until reaching its tidal limit at Perth. Expect to be challenged on this expedition. Kicking off with a summit of Ben Lui to find the source, the team will be fully self-supported as you make your way across the country on your packrafting journey.
Why you'll love this adventure
- A challenging multi-day, self-supported camping expeditions across Scotland
- Brilliant team A to B team experience exploring mountains, moorland, lochs and rivers
- Summit Ben Lui, 1130 m
1 August 2021
1 August 2021
Rather than guided tours with set daily plan this expedition is run with a framework itinerary. The following is the outline plan for this epic Scotland expedition – the ‘substance’ rather than the specifics. A fuller itinerary is provided in the Scotland Expedition Handbook which is available when you make an enquiry.
- Professional leader carrying medical and communications kits.
- Accommodation from the night of Day 1 to the night of Day 7
- All packrafting equipment and shared camping equipment
- All food during the expedition phase (lunch on Day 2 until lunch on Day 7
- Travel to Tyndrum and from Perth
- Meals or drinks in Tyndrum or Perth
- Personal equipment (full kit list in the Handbook)
- Travel insurance (recommended)
- Visas (if required)
Hotel or B&B for Day 1 and 7, camping the rest of the trip.
Meals included: lunch on Day 2 until lunch on Day 7
Who is this trip for?
Minimum Fitness Requirements
- Daily activity: varies but up to approx. 10 hours per day.
- Trek: Ben Lui – up to 25 km and 1500 m of ascent depending on route chosen (day-packs only). During the packraft journey, up to approx 5 km for portaging but could be more depending on conditions.
- Carry: approx. 17-21kg including own kit and equipment and a share of group kit and food.
- Terrain: Varied. Rough, open moorland, with boggy and grassy slopes, steep corries and summits with possible occasional rocky scrambling. River crossings possible. Some tracks.
- Packraft. Average 30 km per day, mostly flat water but up to grade 3. We’ll need to portage boats and backpacks around un-navigable sections which will depend on water levels.
- Swim: strong swimmers who can swim at least 200m, are happy with the prospect of falling from a packraft in rapids and capable of pulling themselves back into a raft if needed.
- Climate: The Scottish Highlands in spring can experience anything from balmy, sunny weather to gales and rain. Most likely will be something in between but you’ll need to be prepared for all eventualities and expect rain.
- Age: over 21, fit and healthy.
I’m a total beginner at multi-day expeditions. Can I come?
Yes. However, although this expedition is UK based it is still a very challenging expedition and teammates should be prepared for the reality of multi-day, self-supported camping expeditions. Although the distances you will be carrying your full kit will be relatively short, your packs will weigh up to 21 kg and if you have never carried this sort of weight before you must practice carrying these weights in a backpack before the expedition. You must be physically prepared as per the Fitness tab and Handbook’s instructions, ensure you have the right kit.
I’m a total rafting beginner. Can I come?
Yes, training will be provided. The majority of the journey is on flat water, and for the white-water sections packrafts are very forgiving and great for beginners. If necessary, higher grade whitewater sections can be avoided by portaging although teammates should come with the anticipation of rafting as much as possible. Rapids will be risk assessed on a dynamic case-by-case basis with the skill and confidence levels of teammate taken into account. Although no whitewater experience is required, a little paddling experience of some sort would be beneficial so that you know it’s an activity you enjoy.
Can I talk with other teammates?
A WhatsApp group will be set up for this expedition prior to departure. This will help you answer kit and training questions amongst yourselves.
When it comes to getting off the beaten track these guys can’t be beaten. They lead pioneering expeditions to some of the most remote regions on earth. The organisers are dedicated to creating imaginative experiences for adventurers around the world and their team of expert military guides are some of the most experienced in the industry. Nowhere is off limits and no idea is too crazy. They have achieved ground breaking world firsts such as mountain biking in Afghanistan and mountaineering in Iraq and their first ever expeditions to walk across Madagascar and pioneer white water rafting in South Sudan both made the headlines…. and a bit of history.
Being wild and wacky is one thing but with their background as commanders in the British Army and experienced team of specialists in every kind of terrain and environment means that all of their adventures are thoroughly planned and the safety and security of teams is always their highest priority. Expeditions can be inherently risky, but they do everything possible to minimise potential hazards and for that, and the utterly extraordinary trips they put on, we salute them.
Scotland Packrafting Expedition
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