Hebridean Bikepacking Adventure
MONDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2019 – THURSDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2019
Join Love Her Wild on this exciting bikepacking adventure through the remote and stunning Outer Hebrides. This is as raw as an adventure can get. In a small team of women you’ll spend 10 dayes following the open road, wild camping, enjoying rugged views, wildlife and all the charms of Scotland.
For those of you who are new or unfamiliar with bikepacking, be prepared to have you mind blown….experience the total freedom of adventure on two wheels, the ability to travel far whilst still feeling the elements of the environment you are passing through – the changing weather and scenery, the wildlife, the sounds and smells…
It is unlike any adventure you will have been on before.
Unlike travelling on foot or by car, bike packing allows you to access truly wild places in relative comfort, you can carry more on your bike than you can on your back and your minimal profile will allow you to access places cars and campers simply can’t.
And where better to experience this for the first time than the Outer Hebrides. Sat out off the coast of North West Scotland, this remote archipelago is a bike packers dream…miles of empty roads, pristine bleached white beaches, rugged moorland and access to limitless wild camping.
Here you can truly get off the beaten track; camp amongst the dunes, watch the seals play as you cook breakfast, watch golden eagles sore over head, forage for mussels and fish for your supper..it will be an experience to truly remember.
What experience do I need
So that you can learn the most from your leader while experiencing a real adventure, you will be part of a very small team of 6.
This will be a challenge…. whilst the terrain is fairly easy, the trip will push you both physically and mentally. You will be cycling with all your equipment, food, water and clothing, covering up to 20 miles per day and camping every night. We will plan a hut stay mid-expedition but the rest of the nights will be wild camping, foraging for our dinner and washing in the sea.
You need to be competent with road cycling and comfortable cycling with a load. We won’t be racing or covering marathon distances. The pace will be relaxed, favouring plenty of stops to take in the views and stops in local cafes to grab a hot drink, food and to chat to the locals. There’s not lots en route but where possible we will aim for a cafe stop each day to break up the cycling and to have a sheltered rest.
As well as coping being under expedition conditions, the weather will also be a challenge. You don’t need me to tell you Scotland isn’t know for its weather. You need to be prepared for frosty mornings and potential rain. You’ll see Scotland in all its rugged glory.
Your adventure will start in the busy port town of Oban. We will meet in the morning on the first day of the expedition to run through the plan and check kit. Most of you will likely want to arrive the night before and we will suggest a place to stay so you can start getting to know your group.
Once the briefing is done we will set off on a ferry to the Isle of Vatersay. From here, over the next 10 days you will follow your guide north through the islands of Barra, South and North Uist, Harris and finally Lewis. Each island has a different feel and offers different scenery, wildlife and cultures…all are wild, beautiful and will leave you changed and eager to return for more.
Your guide will be Love Her Wilder Kate Owen. Kate is an experienced and passionate cyclist and Mountain Leader who has completed a 700 mile bike packing journey around the Outer Hebrides, Skye and North West Scotland. Over the ten days Kate will act as your guide, advising on the route, where is good to camp and helping to fix punctures but this is an adventure expedition, there will be no fixed plan, you will camp where opportunities present themselves, cycle as far as you are able, forage for food where possible and the rest will be up to the weather!
You will have an opportunity to take an active role in leading and learning all elements of bikepacking so you have the skills to plan your own future expeditions.
We will finish the expedition at the Butt of Lewis before heading back to Stornaway in order to catch a ferry to Ullapool on the mainland. From here pre-arranged transport will take us to Inverness where you can either catch a train back to Oban or home.
We advice using public transport to get to and from the start and finish of the expedition to help keep this adventure as eco-friendly as possible!
Kate will be attending the Love Her Wild Weekend South and will be running a bikepacking workshop. If you are able to attend, this is a great opportunity to ‘meet’ Kate’s bike and to see first hand all the gear she will be taking. You’ll get an opportunity to speak with Kate about the expedition and to hopefully meet some of your teammates ahead of time. We strongly suggest making the most of this opportunity if you can.
- Experienced and insured expedition Leader
- Group kit including first aid and bike repair kit
- Training in navigation, bike repair, route planning and expedition skills
What’s not included
- Travel to and from the start and finish of expedition
- Ferry tickets and planned bunkhouse stay (The cost is approximately £120 in cash. We suggest budgeting double this in case of unplanned accommodation stays due to bad weather)
- Food and snacks during expedition (we will be buying as we go. There will also be cafe stops most days where you can have a break from expedition food for a wholesome lunch. This is a great way to support local economy as well!)
- Personal Equipment
- Additional accommodation either side of the expedition (we recommend booking a night in Oban before the expedition on the 6th and a night in Inverness at the end of the expedition on the 17th. We will provide a recomendation of where to stay so you can be with the other team members)
What you need
- Bike with rear wheel rack
- Bike luggage (panniers or bags – this will be discussed in the preparation meeting)
- Bike lights rear and front
- Tents – we will be sharing 2 person tents
- Stove – We will be sharing 2 to a stove
- Trainers for cycling
- Spare set of shoes for wearing in camp
- 2 x water bottles
- 2 x padded cycling undershorts
- Clothing suitable for cycling – mix of shorts, trousers, long and short sleeved tops
- Warm layers
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Warm hat and gloves
- Sleeping bag and roll mat
- Waterproof socks
- Warm spare set of clothes for the evening ( you will want something warm and comfy to change into on arrival at camp, this should include warm socks)
- Cycling gloves (optional)
- Head torch
- Sharp Knife
- Camping bowl, mug and cutlery
- Book, cards and personal kit
Dates: 7th – 17th October
Where: Oban, Scotland
To book your place on this expedition (or if you have any questions) please contact Bex: [email protected],com
Note that spaces are limited to just 8. Bookings include a £50 non-refundable deposit. Full booking terms and conditions can be read here.