5 day expedition Sound of Arisaig Wild camp
WHAT TO EXPECT The sound of Arisaig offers a wonderful area to explore by sea kayak, one of the best sections of coastline for a sea kayaking holiday on the West coast of Scotland. On this trip we will aim to explore as much of the Sound of Arisaig as possible - packing all the gear we need for a 5 day sea kayak expedition. You'll emerge from the expedition with a tale of adventure to tell and the epic photos to prove it.
TRIP HIGHLIGHTS A six day kayak expedition exploring the Sound of Arisaig - a winding coastline of hidden sea lochs, sandy bays and exposed headlands.
- Immerse yourself in a wild place on a five day self sufficient journey.
- Wild camp above beaches and on remote shorelines.
- Look for Seals and Otters in the Arisaig Skerries.
- the perfect chance to build sea kayaking expedition experience and improve your skills.
*THE SOUND OF SILENCE - The first few moments of an expedition are always a bit hectic - those last minute flashes of worry as you realise you may have forgotten something. Those awkward few minutes when you pack the kayak for the first time and wonder whether it will all fit. Those first few strokes out from shore, the paddle feeling strange and unwieldy.
Minutes later, and you find yourself a few hundred metres down the coast and still - it really strikes you - that sound of silence as the kayak glides and your world, that last week you were fighting to keep right is suddenly lost, replaced by the thought of future coastline, camp fires and good meals, effort and satisfaction. The start of an expedition.
DAY ONE *THE SOUND OF SILENCE
| Meet Arisaig or Fort William
| Prepare for the expedition
| Sea kayak journey
| Stay - Wild camp
*HIDDEN BEACHES - There is a hidden beach, not marked on the maps, covered by the tide at high water but exposed at low tide to reveal a long strip of white sand.
All afternoon bands of rain and sun had passed over the Sea Loch; hood up, hood down as we paddled through the channels between the islands. The small waves pushed us further into the Loch, the group finding a rhythm in the paddling, occasionally bringing each others attention to the way the sky was changing or the unique alignment of mountains and islands as we moved further from the open water.
The sea changed; the waves flattened out, the wind died and the light shone brighter. Turning a small headland in the Loch we found the hidden beach, its white sand inviting us over to land and explore.
DAY TWO - THREE *HIDDEN BEACHES
| Explore by sea kayak
| Stay - Wild camp
*FEELING AT HOME - One of the joys of an expedition is that feeling of being out there - immersed in a different world. At first it may feel strange and those urges to reach for your phone are hard to repress.
Slowly we get accustomed to our place on this coastline, we sink in to the rhythms that place us in touch with the landscape - watching the tide, learning from the wind direction and strength, finding folds and gaps in the coastline and weaving a line that is far from the straightest or easiest. As we spend more time on expedition we start to feel these rhythms as natural - we are meant to know them, to feel them and to work with them, and we start to feel at home, like we were always meant to live at this pace. Of course, eventually, we need to return to the speed of our daily lives - we need to leave those slower rhythms behind.
What we have gained is a new context, a new layer of meaning and connection to bring back to the everyday - and that is a thing to be treasured.
DAY FOUR - FIVE *FEELING AT HOME
| Explore by sea kayak
| Stay - Wild camp
| Trip ends - Arisaig or Fort William
ACCOMMODATION For this trip we will be wild camping.
FOOD Includes meals - lunch on day 1 through to lunch on day 5. We can accommodate any dietary requirements if notified in advance.
START AND FINISH Meet at Fort William 08.30 or Arisaig at 09.30 (no long term parking available in Arisaig). Finish at approx 16.30 Arisaig or 18.00 Fort William. Full details in trip info. on booking or by request.
GROUP Up to 6 people with one guide.
KIT LIST Our expedition kit list applies to this trip. All specialist kayaking equipment and camping equipment can be provided.
TRIP GRADE This is an expedition style trip, we will paddle variable distances each day depending on conditions but these could include days of around 15km. The Sound of Arisaig offers a mix of sheltered areas of water and more exposed headlands. We'll choose the exact route based on the forecasted conditions, aiming to make the most of the area. This expedition is usually quite progressive as we are able to start easy and gradually increase the level of challenge, therefore it is suitable for those who wish to build experience or who may benefit from more coaching and guidance at the start of the trip.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Individuals, couples or small groups of friends. This trip is not suitable for families.
A lot of learning about sea kayaking comes from experience and is best done as individuals on the move and in context. We won't spend time on long instructional briefings or static group skills practice but will give you hints and tips on the journey to make it easier for you and suggest improvements to your technique as we go along. We'll help you develop your knowledge and sea kayak handling skill throughout the trip but also allow plenty of time simply to enjoy the journey and the experience of sea kayaking.
The weather on the West coast of Scotland can vary through the course of the season and from area to area - Scottish islands and coastline can see dramatically better weather and more sunshine than more mountainous areas inland. The wind speed and sea state are the primary factors that affect the trip - if the conditions are difficult then we will seek out a more sheltered section of coast to run the trip. You should note that it is very rare that we have to stay off the water on multi-day trips and the vast majority of trips run as planned. For full terms and conditions see the link below. You can read more about the weather/cancellation/booking on our FAQ page.
Midges are most active during mid summer, although it only takes a light breeze or direct sunlight to keep them away and they don't venture out onto the sea so most of the time they are not something we experience a problem with. However, they can be present in mid-summer in still and overcast conditions so bringing a midge head net and some repellent such as smidge (no DEET products allowed) is a necessary precaution.
A 25% deposit is required at the time of booking, the balance is due 6 weeks prior to the trip, for cancellation policy please see our full terms and conditions.
OTHER TRIPS TO CONSIDER
Trip calendar - If you would prefer to view our trips listed by date then we have a full calendar view of our scheduled trips