Bushcraft Canoe Expedition,
River Spey, Scotland
The River Spey Descent - a Classic Canoe Journey, with Bushcraft Skills
The River Spey is a fantastic touring river and the fastest flowing in Scotland. With its scenic, wooded shores and white water it is a journey to remember. The journey starts with gentle meanders and small rapids, allowing you to build up your confidence before the larger rapids towards the middle and end of the trip. This makes it enjoyable, but not too daunting for the novice canoeist.
The expedition is a four day paddle starting from Loch Insh, high up the river and ending at the sea. We will be combining white water canoe skills, bushcraft and nature watching while en route. We include a half day to get you paddling effectively on still water before embarking on the river.
The trip should suit anyone from a moderate river canoeist to a beginner - we will train you in the skills required to negotiate the river.
Travelling by canoe can be great for watching wildlife. On a recent trip down this river we saw an otter (it carried on fishing midstream while we drifted past!), ospreys and a variety of waterfowl.
The distance to be traveled is around 60 miles and the river is classified as grade 2. We will be wild camping at strategic points along the river.
Here are some of the key skills you will be learning:
basic paddling (for beginners)
white water skills such as breaking in and out, ferry gliding which would contribute towards necessary 3 star BCU experience
basic camp-craft and "Leave no Trace"
knife and saw use
primitive firelighting techniques with reference to local tinders and cooking on a fire
local plants and their uses
shelter principles, clothing, and how to set up a hammock and tarp system (available for hire or purchase on the expedition)
identification and ecology of wild animals encountered en route
Price: £470 per person
Location: Loch Insh, Kincraig. Can arrange to pickup from Aviemore Station
Duration: 4.5 days: starts 13.00 day 1 and ends around 15:00 on day 5.
Group size: Usually 6 people
Facilities provided: Tarp, canoes and associated equipment, drinking water, hot drinks, cooking pots, and food for all main meals.
What to bring: Course-specific kit list
be over 18 years old;
have some outdoor experience (e.g. hill walking, camping, adventure sports, bushcraft etc.)
have a reasonable level of physical fitness (you will paddle 20 km per day)
be able to swim 200 metres