|A TGO challenger camping somewhere at the top of Glen Tilt
|On a long walk in Weardale
So, as I usually do, I'm doing my own thing anyway.
So, one of the things that needs to be done is to get the psychology right. Several things need to be practised and one of the most important of these, in my 'umble, is to relax. There's no point in worrying about how far there is to go and that everybody else seems to know what they're doing and am I getting left behind, and where are my teabags (I once lost these for three days before they turned up)
|February Camping near Arkengarthdale
|Ringo distributing bits of a chewstick and dog spit on my sleeping bag
A short backpacking trip each month with each one getting a bit longer in distance and the number of nights. This produces all sorts of advantages such as not bothering getting up when it's snowing heavily against the tent door, resisting the 3:00 a.m. attentions of Mr Bladder, never passing a tea-room, cafe or pub and trying to get radio reception in English that doesn't fade in and out all the time. You also learn what is nice to eat and what isn't and the most efficient way to make porridge AND whether or not the tent holds up in a strong wind and if it leaks anywhere.
ALSO (There's more) - Once a month, with pals, I'm doing a long walk - 20 miles or more, although not much more.
The only difference is that I am accompanied by Ringo the dog, who has settled in to the rhythm of very long winter nights in his woofbag see link below) He doesn't snore and he doesn't move and he carries his own food, and the rubbish that camping produces. He's not allowed on the Challenge and will be spending Challenge time on holiday in Derbyshire with his pal Merlin (my son's dog)
I've done all of this in previous years
|My feet in the North Sea TGO 2023
|December camp oooop Weardale
I know that some people like to weigh everything, down to the last gramme, evangelise about their particular choice of equipment to the extent that they may suggest that if you don't have the same, you're clearly an idiot and they report walking 20+ miles a day for several days and finishing well before everybody else. They produce gear lists with weights and bristle with electronics.
|Dawn on a ling walk by the Tees (this is a flood, not the River Tees)
I'm not sure I should have written this by the way. Usually, if I write stuff like this, everything goes badly wrong. It's a temptation to failure. If I get to Arbroath in 2024, I will have completed my 19th TGO challenge. I have a 5 day section in the middle of the Challenge with no shops ner nowt, so it's not going to be a pushover. If you comment expressing confidence that I will succeed, you'll only be making it worse
|Dog snoozing in the sun Sleightholme Moor