Category Archives: Expeditions

Kilimanjaro Diary: A day of two temperatures

The mess tent before dinner
The mess tent before dinner

It was cold last night. I went to sleep at 9 and woke up at 6 am. Other people didn’t have such a good night’s sleep and found today tough. I only had one sub-freezing loo break in the night and that was enough.

Aron packed his stuff away first, so I had the whole tent to put my stuff away. The outside of my sleeping bag was very cold – the inside was lovely and cosy. The tent was covered in frost. Continue reading Kilimanjaro Diary: A day of two temperatures

Kilimanjaro Diary: Frozen Chopped Liver

Ready for take off to Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Ready for take off to Tanzania

We almost missed the plane. That is a slight exaggeration – but we were the last boarding, at the back of the queue. We had a couple of beers in the airport bar and received a WhatsApp notification from one of the team taking a selfie in a business class seat. We checked the time and realised we were late. Continue reading Kilimanjaro Diary: Frozen Chopped Liver

Staying hydrated on hikes

Once this water has been treated it will be good enough for humans
Once this water has been treated it will be good enough for humans

When you’re re drinking two litres of water a day in Europe on long hikes, or 4-5 litres a day on Kilimanjaro it’s easy to get sick of the taste of water.

I use SiS hydration tablets for long hikes. They don’t offer any energy (i.e. they are calorie-free), but they taste nice (which encourages you to drink more) and replenish good thingies in your system. During the summer I was getting some cramps on cycling commute and after using these (one every other day) I stopped getting cramps.

As with all these things, try them before you go hiking. Continue reading Staying hydrated on hikes

Walking the South Downs Way: Weekend #3

Autumn... a season of a thousand reds and oranges, and my favourite season
Autumn… a season of a thousand reds and oranges, and my favourite season. And a great time to walk along the South Downs Way (if you’re young or fit)

This was our third of four weekends (read the first and second weekends) walking along the South Downs. The plan was to walk 16 miles – from Amberley to Small Dole on the Saturday and then 17 miles on to Farley on the Sunday.

Like most hiking plans, a month before we set foot, in the warm and dry of home, looking at the Ordnance Survey map it looked easily achievable.

I was in the US travelling with my work during the week before this hike. I’d carefully been looking at the weather forecast for Brighton, which improved steadily from constant rain to dry and low wind. Excellent. We were good to go so I booked the two camp sites for the rapidly approaching weekend. Continue reading Walking the South Downs Way: Weekend #3

Film review: Everest

Everest the movie - will it inspire or scare you?
Everest the movie – will it inspire or scare you?

My Dad, Uncle, two sisters, cousin and I all went to the cinema to see the newly released film, Everest at Vue in Swiss cottage. Everyone was so excited and we didn’t know what to expect.

At the beginning of the film I thought that the story line made it very obvious that somebody was going to die by the way the climbers said goodbye to their families, I had a couple of ideas who it was going to be.

It was interesting seeing what type of equipment they brought and how they had planned the climb. It was very sad seeing how many people had died before they climbed Everest and actually realising how dangerous it is. Continue reading Film review: Everest

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

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