tent in Scottish landscape
Just me and my husband with a tent and kayaks.

No, I’m not a 4G junkie. When I’m in Scotland I don’t even switch on the internet on my phone. I want to be away from everyone who is trying to reach me and I don’t want to talk to anyone. I just want to be a-social on my Scottish island for 5 weeks totally disconnected from everything. Let’s say, disconnect in order to get truly connected with myself, my hubby, and my surroundings.

But….To have principals is important. But do I want to die over it? 

Huh, no!

Listening to the forecast on VHF only gives you the weather for the coming 2 days. The radio forecast at 19.00 hours, the Outdoor Activities Forecast, gives the weather forecast on a very broad scale, like the entire country. 

But what we occasionally really need is a good weather forecast for a week. Knowing full well that this is almost impossible in Scotland. OK, an indication at least or perhaps a trend would be nice. I don’t mind being stuck on an island but I like to have enough food while being stuck. Bad weather and big waves are only fun afterwards and sometimes racing to a bothy to sit out a storm is the best way to go.

Internet, you can’t live with it but you can’t live without it. Sometimes you just need it to be safe and sensible. 

But…..for that….You need a decent 4G network connection!!!!

It is quite a trick to find 4G in the rural area of the Scottish coastlines. And when I need a weather forecast I can get obsessive.

Standing on top of a hill does not guarantee any 4G reception. You might get G or N but no 4G. On the island of Scarp on the Outer Hebrides, this is a well-known problem. There is this one stone, known as telephone rock, on the island. You need to stand on that particular rock to get any reception with your mobile and download some information from the internet. But, the weather condition must be in your favor.

Even driving from one village to next by car doesn’t give a 4G network. I see a lot of antenna on top of the hills but which one is a telephone antenna? Nor standing outside of a busy hotel and restaurant. I mean, what do people do with their time if not going on the internet?

And sometimes, in the most unexpected places, you get that perfect 4G moment.

Loch Maree
Camping on a small island on beautiful Loch Maree

Like in the middle of Loch Maree on an abandoned island while being in my sleeping bag in early morning.

Tend, shed and rams, perfect mix for 4G reception.

Or laying in my sleeping bag in a tent in a soggy field in the with 4 ram sheep and corrugated iron shed in the rain.

Perhaps the sleeping bag has something to do with it….

It must be the sleeping bag

Charlotte Gannet

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