For this years hike my friend Colin has persuaded me to join him in entering the 40th running to The Great Outdoors Challenge. This challenge, organized by the magazine of the same name, is to walk across Scotland in a two week window of time, starting at one of a number of designated start points on the west coast, and finishing on the east coast. One designs ones own route but it has to be vetted by the organizers, and one has to phone in at regular intervals so they can keep track of one and dispatch search and rescue if you go missing. Entry is limited to 350 and walkers come from around the world. I am one of 8 from Canada this year. It is inevitable that one has to camp en route, but staying in hostels, B&Bs, hotels etc is allowed on just has to walk the whole way.
Colin and I are starting from Sheil Bridge, close to the isle of Skye, along with 75 others. Colin and I have chosen a generally low route, keeping to established paths for 95% of the way, and also designed to minimize the amount of camping and cooking we have to do.