Scotland’s poor summer (#summerofwinter2015) makes it more tempting than ever to head overseas for a sunny holiday. But at this time of year, with the schools off, it’s not a cheap option. Instead, the staycation (stay-at-home vacation) really does have many attractions.
My ideal staycation is short and spontaneous.
These are the 9 ingredients for a great staycation
1) Going off-the-beaten-track
The destination needs to have a sense of adventure. It’s not difficult to find adventures in Scotland but I like to take things a step further and wild camp in a place inaccessible by motorised vehicle.
My top three staycation destinations are:
- Knoydart Peninsula with a six-mile walk in from Kinloch Hourn
- Sandwood Bay with an eight-mile walk to reach the stunning wide sandy beach
- Corrour accessed via a train on the West Highland Line from Glasgow. Currour is the UK’s most remote station.
2) Wild camping
A true outdoors staycation has to include wild camping. Scotland’s amazing Outdoor Access Code offers so much freedom and so it is possible to truly wild camp on a Scottish staycation.
3) Lightweight hiking
Taking only the minimum kit for the lightest weight of rucksack is an essential staycation ingredient. I hate to be laden down because it takes away the joy of a hike into the wilds so while I pack the essentials I also prefer to rough it a bit.
My staycation rucksack would include:
- Lightweight one-person tent (Mountain Hardwear SuperMegaUL 1)
- Sleeping bag (PHD Minim 400 down)
- Sleeping mat (Therm-A-Rest NeoAir Voyager)
- Small camping stove (Primus Lite+)
- Basic food and eating utensils
- Waterproof jacket
- Spare lightweight down jacket
- One change of clothes
- Small bag of toiletries
- Mobile phone
- Smidge (midge repellent)
4) Good wine
There is no point in being in a beautiful location if you can’t enjoy the sunset with a glass of good red wine.
5) Stunning views
…And there is no point in taking a half-bottle of good red wine if there are not stunning views to enjoy. My wild camping spot needs a fabulous view of mountains, moorland and lochs.
6) A good weather forecast (and being spontaneous)
A staycation in the wilds of Scotland is infinitely better if the sun is shining. So, it’s also important to have the ability to be spontaneous. If the weather looks kind then I try to make the most of the opportunity by shifting my work around to fit in a few days away.
7) Great company
8) Munros to bag
I like to have a sense of purpose on a short break and one of my favourite pursuits is Munro bagging. Choosing a wild camping destination that is close to some of Scotland’s 282 mountains with a summit of more than 3,000ft (Munros) offers the perfect daytime activity.
9) iPhone or camera
I like to look back over my staycation microadventures so an iPhone or camera is an important ingredient on any trip for taking lots of photographs.
* I came up with this blog and my staycation ideas as part of a Staycation competition.