Our friends from the Swedish outdoor brand, Haglofs, invited a small group of staff from the trade to enjoy an open canoe descent of the Spey in late April this year.
The river flows a little over 100 miles from it’s source in the Highlands north east to the sea on the Moray Firth. A quick flight from Bristol saw us in Inverness and a short drive to our accommodation at the Alvie Estate, near Aviemore.
After an introduction the rest of the team, we were treated to a very generous handout of clothing and equipment for the following days start on the river.
A Haglofs Ursus sleeping bag (a down/synthetic mix) and Fjell Softshell jacket were quickly ferreted away along with hats, trousers and other goodies. Last, but not least, our accommodation for the trip: a Hilleberg Nammatj 3.
Disappointingly, this had to be returned at the end of the trip!
The journey started at Lynchat with a steady paddle to Loch Insh followed by some instruction in boat handling and for me, as the token novice, plenty of practice in the art of remaining in the boat…
By the end of day 2 with great coaching from Nick at G2 Outdoor, I was feeling confident and thoroughly enjoying the experience, even looking forward to “the washing machine” and rapids at Knockando.
Then it drizzled, then it sleeted and then it snowed. A lot.
Huge thanks are due to: