Tuesday, July 01, 2008

What I Carry.

To night I'm going to show you what I will have to carry with me when I go for my walk next week. I've numbered each item to make them easy to identify, you may need to click the picture and enlarge it to see the numbers more clearly though.

1 Rucksack

2 Sleeping bag - this is my down filled bag, I have a fleece one which is a bit lighter and would probably be good enough for this time of year but last week we had some quite cool nights so I thought I wouldn't risk it as there is nothing worse than lying awake because you're cold.

3 This is my sleeping mat, again it is the heavier of the two that I have but by far the more comfortable so I will suffer the extra weight.

4 Is my home made Yew walking pole. I do have a proper alloy walking pole but don't find it as nice to work with.

5 Is my tent.

6 Are the tent poles in their bag and wrapped in some plastic. I have this plastic sheet to put under the ground sheet of the tent just as a precaution really as the ground sheet on light weight tents aren't very thick.

7 Is just a little pouch with headache pills and bandaids and things that I might need but usually don't - as long as I take the pouch.

8 Three spare gas canisters for the stove.

9 Are my waterproofs, coat, trousers, gaiters, and gore-tex inner boots which I shouldn't need if my new boots do what it says on the tin. I'm not taking a chance on that though as wet feet are very bad and wet socks even worse when you have no way of drying them. With this set up I've crossed rivers that have been knee deep and still kept everything dry so I know it works.10 Is enough food for the week, that includes the green pouch below the packets with the number

10 on it.

11 Maps and guide books.

12 Cooker and its carrying bag. I just use a basic camping Gaz cooker. There are probably better these days but it still works and has not let me down or anything in all the years I've had it plus I still have four new gas canisters so why swap it yet.

13 Is the pan for boiling water, thats the only cooking I will do, a blue plastic mug, a plastic bottle with powered tea or chocolate, not decided which yet. I don't carry milk so whatever I take will have to be ready to go by just adding water. There is also a yellow plastic bowl in the picture but I don't think I need that as you can eat the food straight from the pouch.

14 Water carriers, a plastic water bottle which I will carry full during the day to drink from and a water bag that will only be used in camp unless the weather is hot and I need to carry more water during the day in which case I will put a drop in the bag, you have to be careful how you pack it though as it could easily puncture.

The only other things that I will carry that aren't in the picture is a wallet with some beer money, my new satnav, camera and mobile phone. At that the pack weighs in at 40 pounds, I know the army carries more but I'm not on a route march so I don't want to go any higher than that if I can help it. With the lighter mat and sleeping bag I could probably have kept it down to around 36 pounds. My new boots are over a pound lighter than my old ones and its said that a pound on the foot is equal to on the back so I reckon at that rate I will be jogging the Pennine Way.


Blogger Russell said...

Hi Bob. Good luck on your PW trip. I completed the PW last September (north to south) with my brother. Like yourself, we are both children of the 50s!

A few thoughts from our time on what has to be said, is a fantastic walk.

We'd hiked on and off for 3 or 4 years prior to going for the big one and we consistently learned to get rid of unnecessary gear and weight. We mainly camped and got our packs down to 15-16kg. We each carried a lightweight tent and made do with one change of clothes, one pair of boots and lightweight sandals. Didn’t bother with over-trousers as the weather forecasts were generally good. Had a lightweight fleece, Gore-Tex Pac Lite and, on the coldest days wore two layers beneath them. Used gloves and beanie on three days. Got a suntan in the first week. Attacked by midges in Byrness.

As I said, we were very lucky with the weather and only got wet on Cam fell, south of Stoodley Pike and got completely soaked and blown around on Bleaklow and Kinder but, as it was the last day, it didn’t matter.

We camped as often as we could and our itinerary was as follows:

KY to Clennell Street (wild camp, excellent location)
Clennell Street to Bellingham (camp site, very good and great café at the filling station on the main road)
Bellingham to Once Brewed YH
Once Brewed YH to Alston YH (took the Tyne Valley Way out of Haltwhistle. Alston has a Co-Op and lots of pubs)
Alston YH to Dufton YH (best on the PW, good pub opposite the YH)
Rest day at Dufton
Dufton to Middleton-in-Teesdale (long, long leg and baking hot at the end, camped in Middleton, good pubs and a Co-Op)
Middleton-in-Teesdale to Tan Hill Inn
Tan Hill Inn to Hawes YH (curry house in town if that tickles your fancy, shops, pubs etc)
Hawes YH to Fountains Fell (wild camp, poor location which we chose too hurriedly as it the weather was turning ugly after a long day)
Fountains Fell to Gargrave (good campsite and another curry house, pubs, Co-Op)
Gargrave to Upper Heights campsite, Ponden (not sure if this place is still open to campers, new owners were nice people, facilities good and views great over the reservoir)
Upper Heights to White House (had planned to camp wild in a disused quarry just south of the main road but we were completely soaked and knackered so took a cab into Littleborough and found a B&B and a Chinese meal) (Don’t forget to visit the shop at Colden, Aladdin’s Cave, a cracking place with everything you could wish for).
White House to Crowden campsite (the two-burger-van day, joy. The one south of the M62 is there every weekday whereas the one north of Black Hill on the A635 serves from 7.00 to 3.00, Weds to Sun).
Crowden to Edale and the train back to Cheshire.

Never found ourselves short of water despite the heat. We each had a platypus plus a spre 1-litre bottle. My brother topped up our water reserves once from a spring near the refuge hut south of Lamb Hill on The Cheviot traverse. We’d wild camped the night before so we were slightly low. The exact location of the water is posted on the wall in the hut.

Good luck, Russell

4:21 PM  
Blogger UKBob said...

Thanks for the info Russel, its nice to hear from other people who are doing the walk or have done it. From what I read I think you did longer than legs than I plan to do. Because I come from Derbyshire I often walk the first part of the Pennine way on a weekend so I thought I'd miss the first couple of stages and start at the burger van near the M62 and means I can do the walk in shoter stages although from past experience I find that once in to the walk its not too hard to walk 20 miles in the day. Anyway I will keep you posted through these pages. Bob.

6:04 PM  

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