Thursday, 21 April 2011

Your chance to tick off six epic Munros in 3 days

Whether you are ticking off Munros or simply fancy a trek into the beautiful wilderness of Scotland, Glentrek’s new Fisherfield Munro break is for you.

The Fisherfield Forest, near Ullapool, is home to some of the remotest Munros in Scotland, and in total there are six mountains over 3,000ft to climb.

These are not easy Munros and you’ll need to be prepared to carry wild camping kit, but the rewards for reaching the summits are almost indescribable.

The scenery is awesome, the route is tough but wildly fabulous and if you tell anyone in the know that you’ve done the Fisherfields they’ll be mightily impressed. "These Munros are the stuff of long-lasting memories," said a Munro bagger, who did the trip last year.

The Glentrek break offers walkers the chance to “bag" all six Munros in one guided trip.

As this is a strenuous three-day walking trip with remote camping, so you’ll need to be fit and healthy to join us.

The 3-day Fisherfields Munro trip:

When: Sunday July 10 to Wednesday July 13, 2011, inclusive.

Price: £280

Depart: From the Dundee area.

What you need: A high level of fitness, full hill-walking gear and a sleeping bag.

The price includes: One night B&B in hotel; two nights of high-level camping; guiding by an expert Mountain Leader; expedition rucksack; camping equipment and camping rations.

To book or for further information call: 01307 469536.

… And for something less strenuous

Glentrek still has places left on their guided Cateran Trail trip starting Aug 28, 2011.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Take care to avoid a summer menace

Summer’s here and we’re all much keener to get out in the great outdoors. While there are so many positives about Scotland’s outdoors playground, including fantastic scenery, the opportunity for adventures and improved physical and mental well-being, there is one less than attractive aspect of summer outdoors – ticks.

In recent years, there have been reports of a rise in the number of ticks, which sadly carry Lyme disease. However if you're aware of the summer menace and take the right steps to avoid them, ticks may never ever cause you a problem.

What are ticks?

The tiny, fly-like creatures feed on the blood of animals, and can also feed on human skin.

Young ticks, which are called nymphs, are about the size of a poppy seed, so they are not easy to see with the naked eye.

Where do ticks hang out?

In Scotland, ticks are found in woodland, on moorland and even in urban parks. There are more in the Highlands areas than in the south of the country.

Why are ticks to be avoided?

Some ticks carry the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease. If an infected tick bites a human, the bacteria can make people ill. The most common sign of Lyme disease is a rash spreading out from the bite, usually after one to two weeks. The rash usually looks like a bull's eye and it can become very large. Symptoms can include feeling like you have the flu.

In severe cases, Lyme disease can cause long-term joint pain and nerve damage.

But before you become too alarmed remember that if treated early, your chances of contracting Lyme disease are low.

How to avoid becoming infected with Lyme disease

If you’re out and about on Scotland’s hills or moorlands ensure you wear a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers tucked into socks.

Wearing light-coloured clothing can make it easier to see ticks and remove them.

Some insect repellents, such as a product containing DEET, can help to ward off ticks in the first place.

Inspect your skin frequently and remove any ticks.

Make sure you give your skin a thorough check after a day of walking. Be alert in particular in skin folds such as the armpits, groin, waistband area, under breasts and behind knees.

Also check that pets do not bring ticks into the home on their fur.

What to do if you spot a tick on your skin

Most ticks do not carry Lyme disease, and a tick usually has to stay on your skin for at least 24 hours before there's much risk of it making you ill.

But if you do spot a tick on your skin, make sure you remove it promptly. It’s important that you do not shock the tick into burrowing further into your skin so the advice is to use a “tick remover”, such as a Tick Twister.

Also ensure that all of the tick is removed at once. Clean the area with an anti-bacterial cream.

Simply knowing about ticks, and their potential danger, means you are far more likely to avoid any contact with the tiny menaces.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Popular Angus Glens Walking Festival returns

Walking festivals have been growing in popularity over the years, and nowhere more so than in Scotland. Almost every region hosts a number of walking festivals and during most weeks of the spring, summer and autumn there will be a walking festival taking place near you.

The local walking festival for Glentrek is the 9th Angus Glens Walking Festival. This year it takes place on June 2 to 5 and promises more walking routes and guided walks than ever before.

More than 400 walkers attended last year's festival, and this year is set to be even more popular, with the introduction of seven new walks, including a walk each day of the festival that is suitable for walkers of all abilities.

One of the great advantages of a walking festival is the experienced leaders, who offer a great deal of local knowledge, and make each walk a safe outing as well as an informative journey through the countryside.

The Angus Glens Walking Festival offers walk with countryside rangers, estate managers and ecologists who will be on hand to share their knowledge of local history and wildlife.

Walking festivals also create the ideal environment for meeting likeminded people and many have evening social events. The Angus Glens Walking festival is renowned for its programme of lively evening entertainments, including a quiz night and a ceilidh night.

Do remember that these festivals can be popular so the earlier you book your chosen walks the better. In 2011, whether you want to bag a Munro, enjoy a scenic trail along a coastal path or just find out more about the Angus wildlife you'd be advised to book your place early. See Angus Glens Walking Festival.