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jamiehamy

The best bothie ever?

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Hi all, 

 

Just back from a week visiting the Small Isles off the west coast of Scotland. We visited Canna, Rum and Eigg - Muck we had to cancel due to risk of not being able to get back due to incoming weather. 

 

During the trip I was minded of some of our regulars very often - that'll be you guys @Crofterand @Tennentslager. The Isle of Eigg, which was bought by the community just over 20 years ago, is a hotbed of environmentally friendly building practices and designs. From 90% of the islands electrical needs from renewable sourses to the build methods of all new dwellings, it really was inspiring. We stayed in what is probably one of the most luxurious bothies available right now - until @Crofter is finished maybe?! 

 

Sweeney's Bothy was simply out of this world - timber double glazed windows, fully insulated, photo voltaic panels and solar water heating, composting toilet, outdoor shower with warm water from solar and wood burning stove - it's probably as self sufficient as you can get. The interior was beautifully kitted out and inside there is a small library - 'The Walking Library' with books gifted from likeminded hutters at - Carbeth (near Glasgow), of @Tennentslagerfame! 

 

Anyway, it has had quite an impact on Craig and I - small can be beautiful and absolutely modern. I think until we stayed their, the idea of a bothie or hut was never really on our radar, despite being aware of what others on here are doing and have achieved, but it is now. I think longer term, we'd both like our own wee weekend hut/bothie somewhere within an hours or so drive from Dunoon - and along the lines of Sweeney's bothie. The idea of a compost toilet is less unappealing than it was before - it really was pretty civil! I now need to dig into the archives and find out more about how we can avoid building control, build methods and if we can prefabricate and take it out on a truck (in the spirit of being movable!). Even assuming we can find land, get permission, afford it etc etc but the longer in the planning....!

 

Anyway, just sharing because I thought so many times of people on here and often said to Craig 'So-and-so on the forum is doing that' or 'That's just like so-and so's project'. The Island of Eigg is at the cutting edge of things which has been known for a while but a visit really brought that into focus but this forum is also there too. Well done everyone! I've attached some pics of the bothie to show what they have done . They speak for themselves I think!

 

 

 

 

4201.JPG

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Outdoor shower at the back - the water was only at around 35degrees but it was plenty warm (outside was around freezing the following day)

4203.JPG

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Bed upstairs - the warmest place! Snug was great for reading and contained The Walking Library

4206.JPG

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Great write up, spent years living in bothies when i was in my 20s as i worked all over Scotland rebuilding mountain tracks, they were a lot less luxurious though ! Yes small is very appealing especially for short stays, i ŵould also like to build something like this in a few years time.  

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Nice post @jamiehamy

Living in the hut isn't unlike how our parents lived in the Glasgow of the 1950's...

It can be very comfortable and feels better as you are aware you have made it all happen, teaching kids to set a fire is a good thing😀 

Also, nowadays with Bluetooth speakers and Tesco selling ice for a quid a bag, luxury parties are easy to host in the hut😉😉😉

 

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8 hours ago, jamiehamy said:

Outdoor shower at the back - the water was only at around 35degrees but it was plenty warm (outside was around freezing the following day)

4203.JPG

 

What will the neighbours say ?!? :D

 

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13 minutes ago, Nickfromwales said:

 

What will the neighbours say ?!? :D

 

They were not a-moo-sed... 

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Just now, jamiehamy said:

They were not a-moo-sed... 

I'll get your coat 😁

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I know I could Google it but what traditionally is a bothie? Portable?  On wheels? A Scots thing only?

 

How far from the next one? I could really take to somewhere like that!

Edited by Onoff

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A Bothie in what I believe to be it's true sense is a mountain hut or shelter, free for anyone to use and usually in remote places https://www.mountainbothies.org.uk/

 

I have visited many, though never stayed overnight in one.

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Stayed in loads overnight - when doing the Munros.  All great tbh.  Scotland has the lot for a climber / walker.  If I wasnt Welsh then I'd happily be a Scot.

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Never heard of the term. Reminds me of the stone shelters out in NZ.  The workers built them as they carved out the Taieri Gorge Railway and they're still there today.

Edited by Onoff

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Same thing in many ways

Out exposed, in the cold of the winter, they save your life.

In the summer, you and your community build/maintain/improve them for when you might need them.

Free, open and honest

What's not to like

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Will try to reply properly when I have more time, but yes basically a bothy is a small, simple house located somewhere remote. Could also be a shieling, nowadays gently used by walkers and climbers. You wouldn't traditionally expect plumbing, lighting, etc- a super posh one might have a woodburner, more likely an open fire. Toilet facilities would consist of a shovel and, if you're really lucky, half a roll of toilet paper!

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Oh and you can sing, drink, cook and sleep too but not always in that order.

Makes me wonder if we could have bothies in cities...free and basic.

Suppose the problem is security and harmony, harder to achieve in the urban jungle than in the hills, just a thought about homelessness and this cold snowy winter...

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I suppose the terrain up there must breed a communal respect. Down here the things would be shat in, torched or squatted in. :)

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1 hour ago, Onoff said:

I suppose the terrain up there must breed a communal respect. Down here the things would be shat in, torched or squatted in. :)

Likewise. :/

Nice to see those and how they're supported and maintained. 

Do you just turn up @jamiehamy or did you 'book' that 5 star one ?

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I showed that to SWMBO.

 

Explained there's most likely no phone signal there so she won't be able to talk to me about "her day" for a while...

 

:ph34r:

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There's also honour among hill walkers. You can drop your overnight gear in the bothy on the way up the hill and just take your day pack to the top, in the near certainty all your gear will still be there when you get back.

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1 hour ago, Nickfromwales said:

Likewise. :/

Nice to see those and how they're supported and maintained. 

Do you just turn up @jamiehamy or did you 'book' that 5 star one ?

So that one is booking only. One half of me says it's not a bothy in the traditional sense but actually, apart from the plumbing and small kitchen, it's just a basic but well built wee hoose - a modern bothy as it should be. Sitting on stilts, timber framed, ply interior, one single room, warm and cosy. There is a key in the door but that's only used to stop it rattling in the wind - we never locked it and no need to. The islands are such a great place to visit for so many reasons. They have community the way it probably used to be when my parents grew up in Glasgow. Crime pretty much non existent. Everyone helps out. If you need a lift, just flag down the next passing from vehicle . but I digress slightly! 

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