I've picked up some new bits of kit after my last overnight trip a few weeks ago so have been itching to get out and give them a good test. One of them, the Thermarest Treo Chair I have reviewed here, http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...o-Chair-review

Some would say I was just using the excuse of testing gear to justify a canoe trip with Sam and a night under the stars. How cynical can you get SMwhistle And so it was that Saturday afternoon saw me and Sam at the bonny banks of Loch Lomond, loaded up and ready to go.

It was immediately obvious that the loch was very high. At least a foot higher than when Russ and I had been out. Otherwise the weather was good with light winds and no rain forecast. Between the islands the water was dead calm.

Approaching my planned camp spot I could see that my first choice of spot was under water.

The large rock in the middle of the picture below was below the end of Russ's hammock last time. The water was some 5-10 meters to the left of its current position.

I had a look around and spotted one potential spot. I had wanted a beach spot to test the swag / bedroll but it was not critical. It was strange not having to look for trees that could support a hammock and equally strange having to look for a flatish piece of ground to lie on. I decided to paddle over to Torrinch. I know that the spot I had thought of originally on this island would be under water but that the point might be suitable. So back in the canoe.

As it turned out the bit at the end of Torrinch was no better than the first island so I returned to my original choice. As I only had an hour before dark I quickly got camp set up and went about cutting wood etc. As the light started to fade the fire was lit and dinner was on.

Once again I had brought Sam's tent. I have changed the foam matt in it for a solid foam one that doubles as a kneeling mat in the canoe. it also gives her a better grip in the canoe and stops her sliding about.

As comfortable as the tent is for her she still kept going to the edge of the beach to stare out over the loch and the fading light on the horizon. After I took the photo below I joined her. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday night than looking over a still loch at a starry sky while listening to geese and ducks in the distance. Another lesson we can learn from our dogs. Sometimes sitting and watching can be as good as the running and playing.

It was a crisp night but no rain. I got up early and stripped the tarp down as well as Sam's tent, then lit the fire again before going back for a little more sleep, while the fire got going properly.

Soon it was too light for dozing and the fire was established enough for me to have my morning coffee.

Sam is wondering when her breakfast will be ready too.

I don't know what it was but something caught Sam's attention. She was staring at it intently for ages. She was completely unfazed as I crawled over and took a picture, with flash, right in her face.

Meanwhile I had packed up and returned the camp spot to the condition I found it. Maybe a little cleaner as I found some rubbish that I packed out.

Canoe loaded, we got our PFDs on.

Again between the islands and certainly near the shore the water was very calm.

The sun even came out for us.

At the bottom of Inchcailloch you could see the snow covered top of Ben lomond. The waves were a bit bigger here but noting to worry about.

At this point I was settled into my paddling and could have happily paddled all day, unfortunately, I was due back home so had to point the canoe to Balmaha and paddle on.

As always even such a short trip seems longer than it was. Of course it just makes me keener to get out again. Now that I think about it I do need more time in the swag to do a proper review