17 hours 15 minutes of night

by backpackingbongos

Last week in the far north of Scotland the sun rose at 8.46am and set at 3.31pm. The extended periods of darkness almost became meditative as the moonless nights swallowed the land. Bothies were my refuge; a fire, candles and the beam of my head torch pushing the darkness away. When dawn finally came the light was soft, the sun when visible low on the horizon.

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15 Comments to “17 hours 15 minutes of night”

  1. Achnanclach is fair game as an MBA bothy – but the non-mba bothies just shouldn’t be publicised online – just my opinion of course, but I’d rather the respectful requests of the owners and estates who maintain the private bothies are complied with – else they won’t be there for future generations of bothy goers as some muppets will have trash them. History has a way of repeating itself. Please think before you post.

    • Bothybagger I think it is important to introduce walkers to the world of bothies so that they don’t get the impression that there are areas of walking which are closed off to them like some kind of secret world. Having read these posts over the last year I am planning on joining the MBA which has got to be a good thing surely? Obviously we need to treat these places with respect but I don’t think grid references are ever mentioned which might enable people to misuse them. I know there are bothies in Northumberland where I have been walking for over 15 years but I still don’t know where they are so I think bloggers are generally being discreet about the exact whereabouts.

      • rucksakerose, Within about 5 minutes of backpackingbongos post elsewhere – on a Facebook forum – everyone who viewed that post could find a previously little known private bothy. This was because the post mentioned it was close to a named MBA bothy and included a series of photos which clearly identified its likely location by reference to the landscape. It took people no time at all to find it on google earth / bing etc. Please just pause for thought about what you post – including photographs which identify the location of non-MBA bothies. Introduce walkers to as many bothies as you like – but stick to the MBA bothies online please. These are already publicly referenced and the grid refs are available online on the MBA website. If an MBA bothy is abused – at least someone is looking after it. If a private bothy is abused, it is likely that the estate / owner will simply wash their hands of it and it is therefore lost to everyone. It’s not about some sort of elitism. It’s simple common sense. The place to find out about non-MBA bothies is around a bothy fireplace – not online.

      • Thanks for your comments Bothybagger. Hopefully we have resolved this over on the Bothy Facebook page, so won’t add anything here.

      • Good points there Rose. Bothybagger was making a distinction between the MBA ones (widely publicised) and the Non MBA ones which are not publicised so as this could result in the owners closing them down.

  2. Looks as if you and Reuben had a fantastic trip James

  3. Great photos mate, really capture the essence of a night in a wild and lonely bothy.

  4. Missing the Bothy fire contemplation thingy now. ( Craig bothy is the best for that sort of thing in my opinion)

    Recently spent a night in me candlelight Soulo tent listening to LW in the cracking Sneem hill and corrie land of south Kerry ( it’s a empty land in Summer, nevermind the Winter)
    Dreamt of playing cricket in tropical heat. ( the frost settled 400m below me)
    I never played the game and never went further south then 40degree North…..

    Very very strange.

    PS found a cracking 1970s Blacks of Greenock “Oregon” tunnel tent with loads of headroom out front during a house clearance of a old professors house.
    It’s in perfect condition, the fabric quality is astounding.
    Do not have the guts to take it out on the bothyless Irish hills but will bring it to Scotland for the bullshit angle alone.
    You should see it.
    It’s a beautiful 1970s orange.
    A artifact from a different era.

    • Not a tunnel tent, excuse me
      A ridge tent with two very simple poles.
      It beats the crap out of me old north face mountain marathon for space and warmth ( everything does).
      Not sure about it performance in wind though.
      It is however a statement, a vivid red /orange statement.
      The polar opposite of the stealthy green soulo.
      Perfect for a pitch outside Sourlies or something in conjunction with a American firebox.
      Infinite bullshit possibilities…….

    • Hi Keith, good to see you pop back again! The old tent sounds interesting, love 1970’s orange! I can remember using an old canvas Force Ten one about 20 years ago, leaked like a sieve!

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