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 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

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

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

My 2015 wild camps

 

In all I managed a respectable 31 nights out wild camping in 2015, in a mix of sublime and atrocious  weather, at locations from high mountain vistas to a sand dune bivvy.  Most of these were spent in a trusty favourite, my Tarptent Notch. But I also managed to squeeze in the odd night in my old Hilleberg Akto, a MLD Cuben Duomid, Trekkertent Stealth and a tarp. Here’s a montage of some of last years wild camps. Continue reading

Weekend stroll along the Northumberland Coast Path

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Last weekend I spent a couple of days backpacking the Northumberland Coast Path, and it was such a delightful and peaceful walk that I’m simply going to let the photos sum it up. I highly recommend this as a gentle few days coastal walking, spending the nights sleeping under the stars to the rhythmic sound of the tide. Continue reading

TGO Challenge 2015 : Gear – used & bruised

Taking a break on Carn Mairg

Taking a break on Carn Mairg

Overall I think I pretty much got my kit right for this yeas TGO Challenge. Most things worked pretty well, not many went unused, and I can’t think of anything I forgot.

Anyway here’s a quick summary of how I got on with some of the gear I took. I’m only going to comment on items I’ve started using this year, or one’s which excelled or expired. Continue reading