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Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Planning a long walk Part Deux



Some may remember that a few days ago, I mentioned that I intended to walk from Millom to the Solway and I thought it might be useful or even interesting if I confided about the planning of the walk with readers.

I have the route (more or less) - which is along the tops as far as is possible - its kindof detailed in previous posts
And I know how to get to the start - by train, and I've bought the tickets. I'll worry about getting home from wherever I end up. Its not a problem that can't easily be solved by chucking a small amount of cash and time at.
Shelter will be provided by my Hilleberg Akto which will be pitched wherever I want to put it. I'm not going to plan each night's camping spot,except to say that I ought to be moving around twelve mile each day, as an average. I'll be opportunistic about camping spots.
And so, we come to food. I like to do a food plan. This doesnt say exactly what I might take for scoffies, but it does say how many meals I might carry and where I might buy even more food. Doing a food plan depends on having already designed the route, of course.
The first idea was to carry all the food that I'd need as far as Threlkeld and then stock up again.
There's a pub at Caldbeck, so that evening should be sorted..... And then Martin Banfield suggested that I would have to carry a lot of food which would be very heavy and why didn't I visit a bit of "civilisation" so that I could eat something substantial and drink beer and stuff. And carry a bit less.... Hmmmm... yes...., course, I knew that, innit... so I've altered the route ever-so-slightly to include a visit to the fleshpots of Grasmere.
The rest of the food, I'll get from http://www.outdoorsgrub.co.uk/ who "do" backpacking scran. There's three or four different companies in their catalogue and it might be interesting to get at least one product from each and make some kind of unscientific comparisons, and report back on the blog.
I'm planning another walk across Dartmoor in September, so if I buy extra stuff now, I can do a bit more camparitating.. er.. comparonoring... anyway, I can see what a lot of backpacking meals are like...
I'll be selecting a range of breakfasts and dinners later today.
In the meantime, I'm off to Durham for a jolly - do a bit of light shopping, buy fish, visit Big G in His House on the Hill... that kind of thing....
Incidentally, the Dartmoor thing is another item thats been on various "lists of things to do" for years and years and years....
Its time to do this kind of stuff now. Anybody who's read any of the Howgills diary stuff on Doodlecat may well appreciate my reasons for saying that if a body has a hankering to wander over Dartmoor dressed as Chairman Mao, or bag 100 Munros, or climb a tree or whatever it is, then just get on and do it. Otherwise, the opportunities to fulfil your ambitions may well just float away from your grasp, either quietly and unnoticed, or suddenly and catastrophically. I thought this had happened to me a couple of years ago, and the prospect of a life on a sofa instead of having me hair ruffled up a hill every now and then was absolutely devastating. As it happened, the local NHS did a fab job in quick time and I struggled back (I still struggle at times) This is important. Happiness has little to do with pleasure. Make the plans and tell your friends.
Phew.
Let's just gloss over my repeated failure to do the Ledge route on Eel Crag for the past 35 years, though..... (its on the list....!)

5 comments:

Phil said...

Nosh reviews. That's exactly what we want!

The people who make packaged trail food generally produce a pretty sorry selection. An Egon Ronay type of figure is needed to name & shame to raise standards for the backpacker.

Who better than the Pieman?

Martin Rye said...

Dartmoor as well this year. I am impressed. Grasmere is a good stopover point. Good bar in the hotel (not that I would go there)and the cafe nearby does a nice bacon sandwich. The perfect pit stop Mike. Look out you don't get mixed up in the ginger bread sellers dispute :)

mike knipe said...

More like Rpnay Macdonay , Phil . I'll do me best. Stand by for a list of my initial purchases.....

Ginger Bread Sellers dispute Martin? Mind, they can get a bit feisty, these redheads....
Bar, hotel, bacon sandwhich. Poetry... sheer poetry....

Phreerunner said...

Sounds good, Mike - but won't a visit to Grasmere detract from your 'wilderness experience'? And beware, a visit from Notchy and the Mad Bionic Murderer Man might completely wreck it!

mike knipe said...

I'll shut me eyes Martin. But you're right, it will be a detraction from the purity of the route. The problem is, a route can get too bloody pure. I'm for the chipshop and the Grasmere Boozerama. I won't be staying there, though.
You and Notchy are quite welcome to visit , of course. I'll be the one with all the flies....