TGO Challenge

The TGO Challenge is a unique, annual, self-supported walk in the Highlands of Scotland, starting on the west coast between Ardrishaig and Torridon and finishing on the east coast between Arbroath and Fraserburgh. The route undertaken is planned and carried out entirely by the participants and the accommodation varies from tents and bothys to Youth Hostels or even B&Bs. Some challengers will select low-level routes and may not encounter snow, while others cross Munros and Corbetts and may experience the remnants of full winter Scottish mountain conditions.

Down Sleeping Bag selection

If you plan to camp or use mountain bothys as part of your TGO crossing, the two PHD sleeping bags most suited are the Minim 400 K and the Hispar 400 K. The Minim 400 K excels at saving weight and bulk in your pack, while the Hispar 400 K ensures extra warmth if the temperature dips.

The basic figures for the standard models:

°C  °F gm oz 
Minim 400 K -5 23 585 21 28 x 17
Hispar 400 K -9 16 655 23 34 x 20


Additional points:

  1. TEMPERATURE RATING: Put simply, these are the temperatures at which you should be able to get a night's sleep in normal circumstances. For fuller details about the TOT rating see this Technical Briefing.
  2. LINERS: As always it is a trade-off between the extra weight and bulk and the warmth you gain (maybe 2°C). Silk liners at 140gm probably give the best value. Another option is one of our Filler bags, which will boost insulation by 10°C and is suitable for use with a light-weight summer bag such as the Minimus K.
  3. ZIPS: The Hispar 400 K has a short entry zip, necessary to be able to get in the mummy hood design. Zips on the Minim 400 K are an option, but most competitors don't ask for one. A short zip with draft tube adds about 50gm (2oz); a full zip and tube adds about 110gm (4oz). Zips also add to the packed size.
  4. PACKED SIZE: PHD stuff sacs tend to be on the loose side. All these bags can be compressed further in your sac.

Down Clothing selection

The use of down clothing as a layering system while in your sleeping bag and for wearing around camp is a good option for ultimate weight saving and provision of warmth. The ultra range of clothing was designed specifically with this need in mind. The Ultra Vest K weighs only 150gm, lighter than most T-shirts, yet it will give real warmth up to approximately -5C. The Ultra Pullover K is, for the same reasons, another good option. At 225gm it's about half the weight and bulk of a conventional fleece jacket and 100% windproof as well.

The Wafer Jacket and Vest are some of the lightest possible down tops, worth considering when it's a little warmer. Down socks can really help you get a good night's sleep. Minimus socks or the lighter Wafer socks increase warmth and weigh virtually nothing. And finally, for around camp (and for sleeping in) our Minimus trousers, or the lighter Wafer trousers, will significantly improve the performance of your sleeping bag.

The date of the 2023 TGO Challenge begins on 8th May 2025.

Photo: keepwaddling1