Trail Shoes & UK Bog – A cautionary tale

After retiring from the Cambrian Way last week with foot problems, it may be useful just to mention what the problem was.

I’ve always been rather hesitant to use Trail Shoes for anything but typical summer conditions or trips of a couple of nights at most, in fact this was the first time I’ve used them for a longer backpacking trip.

My 11 days and 237 miles through the Welsh hills in almost incessantly wet weather and boggy ground conditions have convinced me more than ever that Trail Shoes are just not suited to prolonged treks where the ground could be consistently wet and boggy for days on end. At least not for me. Continue reading

Cambrian Way overview route

Cambrian Way revisited

The Cambrian Way is in some ways a nemesis for me, being the only backpack I’ve started but didn’t complete. Back in the summer of 2009 I got only as far as Crickhowell before having to beat a retreat home with badly injured feet. On that occasion my downfall was a typical greyhound start. Wales has a way of unpicking such cocky enthusiasm.

Starting this weekend I’m going to have another crack at it, and this time bravado will be left squarely at home with the cats. Continue reading

The day's weather is  changeable, with wind whipping up at Jenny Brown's Point

Arnside & Silverdale : 2 Day Trek

If you’ve read one of my recent posts you’ll know that I’ve decided to try and explore some of the areas of the UK I’ve not yet visited, especially the numerous Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB’s).

So starting off with one that needed no planning (and got no planning), my first overnight trek of the year took me to Arnside & Silverdale for a gentle 35km of sea and woodland. Continue reading


‘Y’ Pegs for Softies


MSR Groundhogs, or any decent alloy ‘Y’ peg for that matter, are my peg of choice for most situations. But unless you’ve developed calluses like old boot leather on the palms of your hands, they’re also about the most painful to tease into hard ground if a sizeable rock’s not at hand. Continue reading

So much left to explore

On a wet winters morning when repeating a local hill walk for the umpteenth time simply doesn’t fill you with enthusiasm, it’s easy to wonder whether after all these years, you’re beginning to exhaust the possibilities. But look a little closer at this small Island we live on and you realise you’ve only really begun to scratch the surface. Continue reading