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Midges mid June Scotland this year

Midges mid June Scotland this year


Postby Left-Moment » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:26 am

Hello

I know this has been done to death but I have been led to believe that the Midge issue is different every year and so wanted to see if you knowledgeable folk had any advice?

We'd like to come to Scotland for walking from mid June this year and will be staying in a mixture of tent and building. We had thought the Cairngorms were better for lack of midges so were thinking about that but having been there before we'd really like to go to the West firstly to Trossachs and then to the area between Fort William and Torridon area (yes large area I know!). We are a couple of Southern softies from Devon and so are a bit afraid that our time will be taken up just running from midges especially when camping! Should we avoid Scotland altogether or just certain parts?

I know this is an often mentioned topic and depends on people's individual acceptance of the little critters but can anyone say if it really will be bad in the second half of June and whether we'd be better off on the East or just not going at all (Cornwall is always a much closer option for us but we'd MUCH prefer Scotland!).

Thanks in advance to everyone who can provide a little insight.
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby Fairweather Softie » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:46 am

Some of the area your looking at over last 4 days.

Friday 04th June - Glen Affric: Minimal at car park, none on hills
Saturday 05th June – Loch Mullardoch Munros : None in car park or hills
Sunday 06th June – Strathfarrar Munros : None in car park or hills
Monday 07th June- North side of Loch Cluanie [car park for the 3 before Cluanie inn] horrible first thing in the morning at car [ I do mean horrible, brushing them off myself for 5 mins going up stalkers path], none when we got a bit of height, got back to the car and the sun must have worked its magic, midge free!

Of course, all this could be hugely different today. And I feel like the luckiest person ever to get 4 days in June like that. :D
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby WeeHills » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:51 am

There's no straight forward answer to this. It depends on the weather and where you locate yourself.

Midges like dawn/dusk, stillness, warmth, water.

Dislike wind, bright direct sunshine, cold.

Keep an eye on the smidge forecast, it isn't an exact science but gives some insight into how bad any given area is likely to be.

A head net helps, as does bathing in repellent, some swear by smidge, others skin-so-soft. Or you could take up chain smoking,..........

Or maybe you'll be one of those lucky folk they don't like.

Mostly though I'd say pick your camp site wisely and if you encounter a swarm do not stop moving for anything
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby kmai1961 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:54 am

We got midged good and proper (first time for me this year) in the Beinn Alligin car park last Sunday morning. Honestly, it was like someone flipped the switch overnight.

As others have said, if you keep moving, that often solves the issue, as does a good breeze. In fact, it's a good idea, if you're being plagued, to take advantage when there's a breeze, and stop then for a break, water, food, etc.

Personally, I've not really found a repellent that works for me, although I do go through AfterBite by the litre (except it doesn't come that way) in the aftermath; if you can see and daub the red spots before they start itching, that seems to work the best.

Although they often make for misery at the beginning and ending of walks, they've seldom if ever, actually spoiled an entire outing for me.

Oh, and do remember, when returning to your car in a midge-full place, to open and close the doors as quickly as possible.
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:10 am

They're already quite active, its all dependent on the weather. Find somewhere with a breeze, close to the coast etc, and they're fine. However they were very grim on Thursday near Poolewe (north of Torridon), in a sheltered spot, full headnet and hide-in-tent-killing-500-midges-that-came-in-with-me bad. They were tolerable at Sands campsite at Gairloch on Fri and Sat, but arrived in reasonable numbers every time the wind died. Being on the coast, most of the time you could find a breeze.

When the wind was present, they were absolutely fine.

Don't know about the east this year.
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby Coop » Tue Jun 08, 2021 12:16 pm

They're here and waiting- cover up or run for it :D
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby Left-Moment » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:36 pm

Fairweather Softie wrote:Some of the area your looking at over last 4 days.

Friday 04th June - Glen Affric: Minimal at car park, none on hills
Saturday 05th June – Loch Mullardoch Munros : None in car park or hills
Sunday 06th June – Strathfarrar Munros : None in car park or hills
Monday 07th June- North side of Loch Cluanie [car park for the 3 before Cluanie inn] horrible first thing in the morning at car [ I do mean horrible, brushing them off myself for 5 mins going up stalkers path], none when we got a bit of height, got back to the car and the sun must have worked its magic, midge free!

Of course, all this could be hugely different today. And I feel like the luckiest person ever to get 4 days in June like that. :D


Thanks for this, makes me think. It seems it is somewhat of a lottery with some strategies making it easier to avoid them but ultimately never a sure thing. Thanks for the run down, very useful to have that perspective.
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby Left-Moment » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:37 pm

WeeHills wrote:There's no straight forward answer to this. It depends on the weather and where you locate yourself.

Midges like dawn/dusk, stillness, warmth, water.

Dislike wind, bright direct sunshine, cold.

Keep an eye on the smidge forecast, it isn't an exact science but gives some insight into how bad any given area is likely to be.

A head net helps, as does bathing in repellent, some swear by smidge, others skin-so-soft. Or you could take up chain smoking,..........

Or maybe you'll be one of those lucky folk they don't like.

Mostly though I'd say pick your camp site wisely and if you encounter a swarm do not stop moving for anything


Appreciate this and all your tips, all good advice. I guess we need to plan to stop in places that have all of the things mentioned above. I am pretty worried though!
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby Left-Moment » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:49 pm

kmai1961 wrote:We got midged good and proper (first time for me this year) in the Beinn Alligin car park last Sunday morning. Honestly, it was like someone flipped the switch overnight.

As others have said, if you keep moving, that often solves the issue, as does a good breeze. In fact, it's a good idea, if you're being plagued, to take advantage when there's a breeze, and stop then for a break, water, food, etc.

Personally, I've not really found a repellent that works for me, although I do go through AfterBite by the litre (except it doesn't come that way) in the aftermath; if you can see and daub the red spots before they start itching, that seems to work the best.

Although they often make for misery at the beginning and ending of walks, they've seldom if ever, actually spoiled an entire outing for me.

Oh, and do remember, when returning to your car in a midge-full place, to open and close the doors as quickly as possible.


Great tips and I particularly like the sentiment that it has never ruined a whole day just the beginning and end, I will bear that in mind when faced with the blighters!
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby Left-Moment » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:50 pm

Mal Grey wrote:They're already quite active, its all dependent on the weather. Find somewhere with a breeze, close to the coast etc, and they're fine. However they were very grim on Thursday near Poolewe (north of Torridon), in a sheltered spot, full headnet and hide-in-tent-killing-500-midges-that-came-in-with-me bad. They were tolerable at Sands campsite at Gairloch on Fri and Sat, but arrived in reasonable numbers every time the wind died. Being on the coast, most of the time you could find a breeze.

When the wind was present, they were absolutely fine.

Don't know about the east this year.


Thanks, that is what I feared. I appreciate all the advice about staying high, in windy areas and away from fresh water but sometimes it just seems quite hard to make those conditions and I guess this is where the anxiety and avoidance comes from. I will have to have a look at planning around this but it sounds like certain places i.e. the Trossachs should be avoided.
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby Left-Moment » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:50 pm

Coop wrote:They're here and waiting- cover up or run for it :D


Haha well at least you're honest about these things!
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby Mal Grey » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:40 pm

Left-Moment wrote:
Thanks, that is what I feared. I appreciate all the advice about staying high, in windy areas and away from fresh water but sometimes it just seems quite hard to make those conditions and I guess this is where the anxiety and avoidance comes from. I will have to have a look at planning around this but it sounds like certain places i.e. the Trossachs should be avoided.


You could do worse than include places like Sands Campsite at Gairloch in your plans. Even if the midges get you on the camp, they're rarely going to be on the beach itself, and its a wondrous spot for a barbecue.
Some of the Arisaig area campsites would be similar, though the area is busier now.

Unfortunately, its a rare week not to get any midges at this time of year, but last week we had 5 nights sitting around with almost none (all on various loch shores inland of Gairloch/Poolewe), then 1 night horrendous (wild camp location left little choice of pitch except sheltered near woods!) and 2 nights OK but needed Smidge (Sands campsite).
Enjoy the trip, don't let the midges put you off completely. But take Smidge or other repellent, and midge nets. We reckoned straws would have helped drink wine through whilst wearing nets!
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby Marty_JG » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:43 pm

Smidge repellent stops you getting bitten (as much).

Head mesh & long clothing & gloves.

I found clouds of incense (the proper Indian stuff) kept them away when I was making dinner. Plus it smells great.
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby BlackPanther » Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:25 pm

Last Sunday in the woods around Kinlochleven they were pretty vicious, but once out on the hillside - not a single midge. It was a bit too windy for them in the open perhaps.

The worst place for them is supposedly Rannoch Mor, but I had bad close encounters with the wee beasts in many places: Glen Feshie, Strathcarron, Kinlochewe, the summit of Bynack More... :roll: It's hit and miss, depending on weather really. It looks like the midge season is now well under way so just come prepared for the fight with the black army :D
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Re: Midges mid June Scotland this year

Postby kaiserstein » Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:04 pm

Anyone have any idea what temperature makes them disappear. A couple of years ago had a horrendous evening on a beach so we ended up retreating to the car. Later on noticed a couple of Germans standing outside drinking beer looking completely unharrassed so got out to discover they'd disappeared. No wind, it was just much cooler as sun had gone down.
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