A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

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Cyclepeasant
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Cyclepeasant » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:07 pm

LOL!!
I can see it now...
Skin so soft...
Comes with free plastic midge scraper!! :lol:
Insanity over vanity

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ScotRoutes
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:12 pm

The other downside of SSS is just the smell/perfume. You'd get me and my mates, coming off the hill after a hard day bagging three Munros and then heading to a cafe/pub feeling all righteous and manly with tales of derring do ... but we were preceded by the waft of stale SAGA tour bus.

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ootini
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ootini » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:14 pm

Stu, I've been in the area around that time. Strangely in Mull I didn't see a single one, in Skye there were clouds of the little feckers. Useful eh?

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Cyclepeasant » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:14 pm

Saga .... :lol: 😂
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composite
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by composite » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:25 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:03 pm
There's been a lot of chat about Vitamin B helping as a repellent. I think it was maybe started by the makers of Marmite.
Covering yourself in a veneer of Marmite should lead to 50% fewer bites right?

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Cyclepeasant » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:36 pm

composite wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:25 pm
ScotRoutes wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:03 pm
There's been a lot of chat about Vitamin B helping as a repellent. I think it was maybe started by the makers of Marmite.
Covering yourself in a veneer of Marmite should lead to 50% fewer bites right?
Except .....your in trouble if your mates starting fancying a slice of toast!!
Insanity over vanity

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ScotRoutes
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:49 pm

redefined_cycles wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:31 pm
Is this scenario and precautuon specific to the west coast and being off road... Me and Composite will be riding to East side (Lejog arriving at JoG at last days of June I think).
Oh - what route and itinerary?

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by redefined_cycles » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:01 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:49 pm
redefined_cycles wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:31 pm
Is this scenario and precautuon specific to the west coast and being off road... Me and Composite will be riding to East side (Lejog arriving at JoG at last days of June I think).
Oh - what route and itinerary?
That 1400km Lejog audax Colin... looks like it'll be via inverness and staright to JOG with 200km riding on that day. Peobably the A9

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ScotRoutes
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:04 pm

Ah- route not published yet. Just wondered if you'd be passing the 'hood and if you wanted route advice but seems you're lumbered with whatever they come up with :grin:

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BigdummySteve
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by BigdummySteve » Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:29 pm

Midges, I have fond memories of laughing at the cloud of midges gathering around my tent on Dunnet head, only to realise that my smidge was in the frame bag on the Bigdummy, cue running in a big circle, grabbing it on the way past and giving them the finger :lol:

Definitely time to take a tent though Stu, unless you can get dressed while running :-bd
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Shewie » Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:15 am

There’s quite an interesting book out there on midges, I lent it out on the forum some years ago and never got it back. Talks about all the different species of midge, which ones are the most ferocious, feeding patterns etc.
It also talks in great length about science, research and the lengths we have gone to to try and get rid of them.

I think in the end they were basically saying nothing had ever worked, some things would work in some areas but useless in others. Worth a read sometime if you hike, bike or paddle in Scotland much, “The Midges of Scotland” was the title I think.

I’ve found SSS can work on the west coast, as does Wilmas, but then it would be useless in the ‘Gorms next trip. Wilmas is made for black flies and mozzies but does work on some
midges. The Highland species of midge is the worst of the biters and needs a physical barrier like a headnet. The Beaton jacket works well for this, around 80g for a size large and packs to the size of an apple, paired with some thin liner gloves it makes for a midge tolerable experience.
Last edited by Shewie on Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by redefined_cycles » Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:34 am

The Highland species of midge is the worst of the biters and needs a physical barrier like a headset.
:o might explain why I've never been as afraid of em as other folk... I don't think I've ever been to the HLs :smile:

Will keep that jacket advice to hand... Do we need a headnet as well as the jacket and gloves :???:

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Shewie » Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:47 am

redefined_cycles wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 10:34 am
The Highland species of midge is the worst of the biters and needs a physical barrier like a headset.
:o might explain why I've never been as afraid of em as other folk... I don't think I've ever been to the HLs :smile:

Will keep that jacket advice to hand... Do we need a headnet as well as the jacket and gloves :???:
The jacket has a big hood which zips around the front of the face, handy for shoving food in your mouth and zipping up again sharpish. Gloves are a good addition as it’s usually the only exposed skin and will soon be covered if they can’t reach your face.

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ScotRoutes
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:07 pm

I'll just say that I've made it through 61 summers in Scotland with neither a midge-jacket nor midge-gloves... 😊

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by redefined_cycles » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:38 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:07 pm
I'll just say that I've made it through 61 summers in Scotland with neither a midge-jacket nor midge-gloves... 😊
Midge repellant spray and a hood??

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ScotRoutes
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:46 pm

redefined_cycles wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:38 pm
ScotRoutes wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:07 pm
I'll just say that I've made it through 61 summers in Scotland with neither a midge-jacket nor midge-gloves... 😊
Midge repellant spray and a hood??
Yep. Obviously, wearing long sleeved/legged garments as appropriate. As I've already suggested, ticks are more worrying due to the potential consequences of a bite. Less of a worry if you aren't straying off-road though.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Shewie » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:11 pm

ScotRoutes wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:07 pm
I'll just say that I've made it through 61 summers in Scotland with neither a midge-jacket nor midge-gloves... 😊
You’re a braver man than I, or you must taste bad :grin: I don’t actually get bitten that much or the bites don’t seems to affect me much, it’s the sheer density of them that can make a camp miserable sometimes.

I’ve had some memorable camps when they’ve been relentless, mostly west coast canoe/kayak trips. Argyle and up to Loch Sheil and the Knoydart area was always rife with them, and ticks. Worst midging ever for me was probably Glen Trool or maybe up at Ullapool as a youth, although last September at Glen Einich was a rough one too, never seen so many dead midges caught between a hammock and underquilt, we thought it was spilt coffee grinds at first.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:32 pm

The worst I've had them recently was in Glen Affric

Image00002 by Colin Cadden, on Flickr

(click for full effect)... https://youtu.be/zvi1ZGTMRqY

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Dyffers » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:37 pm

whitestone wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:21 pm
Generally they don't like wind, heavy rain or bright light. Apparently the summer of 2018 was so hot that they were trapped several metres above the ground due to the thermals!
Regularly work on the west coast of Scotland...both Argyll and Skye areas. My experience of summer 2018 was consistent late 20s degs C, zero midges but a bumper year for cleggs/horseflies instead, which could draw blood even biting through track mitts and cycle jerseys :-bd

Taking the picture below on the Bealach Na Ba involved a cyclocross dismount, jumping about waving arms, standing still for 2 seconds to take the pic then back to flailing about to try and keep the cleggs from landing.
Bealach Gryphon June 2018.jpg
Bealach Gryphon June 2018.jpg (94.57 KiB) Viewed 562 times

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:43 pm

Cleggs!

I once had to abandon a 3 day hike at Rannoch Station as I'd been bitten three times round an ankle and they had swollen up so bad I couldn't get my boot on.


(Do you think we're putting them off yet?)

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by metalheart » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:03 am

I remember that day in Glen Affric crawled in the tent for respite and never left it. The only pitch I didn’t document photographically for some unknown reason... :lol:

My worst experience was out Torridon way on a climbing trip. Camping in trees wasn’t the smartest idea I’ve ever had...

2018 was a bastard year for cleggs. I’d not really come across them before but they started early (when I was cutting the grass at home). I remember getting to the top of the road to the isles with both of my legs streaming blood from bites (aye they can bite through cycling tops as I also found that trip).

That’s the problem with Scotland, it can totally glorious or miserable as sin, you never know which and sometimes it’s both.
Give the dirt a little room.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Shewie » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:18 am

I seem to have got off lightly with clegs in this country but know others who suffer, my mate down Peterborough way complains about them every summer.
The only time I’ve experienced bad clegs was in Austria, walking through a wooded area next to a river when the wife let out a yelp, they were biting her through her running tights, she refused to go any further so we had to change plans that day.
When I walked the CWT there were a few around Kinlochhourn but I was wearing baggy clothing so they weren’t really landing and biting.

Considering midges and clegs are about the most annoying critters we have on this island we don’t do to bad really.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Sun Mar 01, 2020 10:57 am

I don't know if it's the same everywhere but if we get a bad midge year we don't get many Horse flies and vice versa. Thankfully, I'm too thick skinned for anything to have much effect but Dee ended up in hospital after a savage Horse fly attack last year.
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ScotRoutes
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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:31 am

IME we get cleggs on sunny days, when the midge are in hiding. Seems to be worse in thundery weather too. Long dry spells seem to increase their numbers, exactly what the midge don't like. They also seem to have some hotspots - that bit between Dalwhinnie and Fort William seems to be the worst I've come across. They must survive off deer. Annoyingly the cleggs are silent in flight so there is often little warning of their approach.

Still, of the three terrors - midge, clegg, tick - the latter is by far the most dangerous. I normally get caught out without repellent once early in the year and after that I try to remember to apply it regularly, even if it's only to my legs. Bivvying offers a fresh, new hell. I picked 24 ticks off me after a 3-day trip with MH last year.

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Re: A question that might be hard to answer - Scotland

Post by composite » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:48 am

I had never even heard of cleggs before. I'm wondering now if I have mistaken the cleg fly for a horse fly in the past.

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