How to pack clothes in a rucksack

This is how we have been taught to pack clothes in a rucksack when we go camping at Scouts.

It works for a single night (in fact, it works even better for a single night), or a 9 day summer camp. It is just as applicable for lightweight camping such as a microadventure, or a family camp.

An extra tip is to put 3 or 4 days of clothes wrapped in this way, into a large Ziploc bag to keep them waterproof. Continue reading How to pack clothes in a rucksack

Book review: Bear Grylls Two All-Action Adventures (Everest and the Atlantic)

Two Bear Grylls stories in one book. Advice: start reading this on the way home from school/work on a Friday, and clear your weekend
Two Bear Grylls stories in one book. Advice: start reading this on the way home from school/work on a Friday, and clear your weekend

We’re both big fans of Bear Grylls, and this book looked interesting. Plus, both Ishai and I have read Mud Sweat & Tears by Bear and liked that.

This book is incredible addictive. There are two stories – the first is about how Bear climbed Everest and the second is his North Atlantic crossing.

We’re more into walking and climbing than sailing, so the first story appealed the most.

Both the stories are action packed, and touch upon some of the detail of his expeditions, so you get a good picture in your mind of what the environments and conditions are like for both the adventures.

There are several page of photos in the book as well, which help put faces to the names of the people in the stories.

This is an inspiring book for children and adults, easily readable and thoroughly recommended. We struggled to put the book down.

The ideal packing list for climbing Snowdon

A backpack always seems to feel heavier with each day of hiking
A backpack always seems to feel heavier with each day of hiking

When we go to Snowdon this is the equipment list that I send to everyone.

The list changes a little depending on whether we’re camping or sleeping indoors, and the time of the year.

A good tip is to pack the rucksack you’ll be walking with while you’re still at home. And then leave it alone when you arrive.

When walking with children, it’s important to take more spare clothes so that they stay dry and not become miserable when damp.

Carrier bags are great for keeping kit dry (Ziplocks are even better, but more expensive), for litter, for storing the dirty clothes, and for covering muddy boots back in the car.

Black bags are great for keeping everything dry, and can turn into a 100% waterproof overcoat if the rain becomes torrential. I always carry a few spare of both. Continue reading The ideal packing list for climbing Snowdon

Our first microadventure

On Tuesday night my Dad asked my sisters and I who wanted to go on a microadventure. We didn’t know what that meant, so only Shelley and I said yes. It sounded interesting.

We looked at different bivvy bags and bought three for me, my sister Shelley and Dad.

On Saturday night we packed our stuff together. All we took was the clothing which we were wearing, a fireproof cup each, a sleeping bag and some matches to get our fire going.

Microadventures use bivvy bags not tents

So last night we slept in a divvy bag without a tent.

We rode our bikes 5 miles from our house to a local camp site. When we arrived at the field we were sleeping in, a scout group was there. They only took up about an eighth of the field, so we had plenty of remaining space.

We picked the place we were sleeping at, then laid out our bedroll, then made a fire. There was a really good wood pile that at the camp site, and we started the fire with just one match.

While our fire was scorching hot we made hot chocolate and ate marshmallows on sticks.

We ended up getting to sleep by 10:15pm and we slept in our full clothing.

Eventually when my Dad woke me up at a cruel 7:30 we didn’t have breakfast, but we rode our bikes back home and straight away had breakfast and a very warm shower.

I didn’t think I was that tired, but ended up falling asleep for three hours this afternoon.

I enjoyed the microadventure because it was a different experience sleeping outside of a tent. I’ve camped in a tent for over 60 nights in total, but sleeping in a bivvy bag was warmer (although my face felt colder), had less space yet was more fun than a tent.

Now I’m looking forward to the next microadventure. Definitely.

Our first microadventure

The plan for this weekend’s #Microadventures

Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys - I can't wait to put this book into action
Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys – I can’t wait to put this book into action

Presumably, if you’re reading this blog, you like outdoor adventure. If you haven’t read Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys, go to the library or just order it from Amazon now.

Microadventures consist of a most-simple overnight stay in a field somewhere. No need for a tent – use a bivvy bag instead. No need for food – get dinner from a pub nearby and breakfast from a café nearby. With no food, it means no camping stove. Microadventures should be basic.

At this point people I’ve spoken to have a Marmite moment. You’re either wondering “COOL!” or “That sounds like a tramp – why would you do this?“. If you fall into the latter group, read another article on this site. I won’t be offended. Continue reading The plan for this weekend’s #Microadventures

The best campsite in the UK – it’s in Snowdon

Tent with a view
A great view to open your tent to in the morning

A few years ago we decided to camp in Snowdon. Up until then we’d always found a B&B nearby.

After a little hunting around, we booked the Snowdon Base Camp, also referred to as the Snowdon Inn or the Cwellyn Arms because the camp site owner also owns the pub of that name (as well as a few properties in the tiny village of Rhyd-Ddu).

It is a magical camp site. Continue reading The best campsite in the UK – it’s in Snowdon

13 Top Tips for Camping in the Rain

One surprise outing during our wettest summer camp was to the local laundrette
One surprise outing during our wettest summer camp was to the local laundrette

This year we had our wettest-ever Scout summer camp. It’s not one of those awards which one looks back on with any smiles or pride, other than the thought that “we made it” through the camp.

Although rain isn’t welcome during any type of camping, it’s inevitable here in the UK. Some of the prettiest places in the UK are in the top 10 wettest places.

So it’s worth being prepared. Here are some top tips about camping in the rain. I’ve split the tips into two sections – kit related, and at-camp related. Continue reading 13 Top Tips for Camping in the Rain