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Canoe the Tay Microadventure

Posted by Gearpest Andy on

The Tay, the Tay, the silvery Tay. It flows from Perth to Dundee every day :-P

I really love microadventures. So does Gearpest Gus and Gus Sandeman from Haglofs does too.

This is why on a balmy Wednesday evening we popped over to Go Kayaking, strapped a couple of Canadian canoes onto the roof-racks and headed for Ballinluig just south of Pitlochry. We’d been in Perth getting a sneak preview of next year’s Haglöfs products but had all agreed it was important that afterwards we would hit the river for a paddle out to Beaver Island and camp for the night. The next morning we would take on the 15km or so descent to Dunkeld. Another microadventure hopefully completed.


Gearpest Gus sporting the super techy Proteus Jacket, new for 2017 (very nice indeed) and Haglöfs Gus doing some heavy lifting.

The nature of microadventures means there might be a bit of fillng in this blog post. Fortunately that’s why camping on Beaver Island (twinned with Skull Island of Kong fame) was such a great idea, as it gives me the chance to talk about the 150 or so renegade beavers that appeared on the Tay and Earn a few years back.

No-one knows how they got there. Escaped convicts or released accidentally on purpose are the 2 options I guess and we may never know which is true. Loved by re-wilding enthusiasts, less loved by some landowners they’ve been the talk of the river and the jury is still out on whether they get to stay for keeps. Personally I’d let them stay as I’ve always had a thing for big hairy rodents.

Big hairy rodent.

The island has lost a star or two as a campsite due to the flood damage of recent winters. Large deposits of shingle from up river now cover the island, forcing a choice between a stoney bed or one low lying swampy area popular with midges. Worse neighbours than those to be found at T in Park, but a 40 minute drive away at Strathallen, 2 days hence we understand.

Bivvy skills

On the plus side, many trees had been smashed and piled high by the floods providing ample supply of dry dead wood for a great fire. Many limbs showed showed tell tale signs of gnawing. Cheers beavers :-)


A couple of beers and a natter, bed, then back on the water past Dunkeld Cathedral, construction began nearly 800 years ago and it doesn't appear to be finished yet. We hauled out just to the south relieved we’d remembered to take the keys for the second car.

Good effort both Gus’s. A school night microadventure can’t be beat.


Gearpest Andy