Tag Archives: planning

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

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

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

Training for Kilimanjaro (in London)

Kilimanjaro is about five and half months away.

Possibly the hardest hillwalking route you can do in London for Kilimanjaro training
Possibly the hardest hillwalking route you can do in London for Kilimanjaro training

There are about 20 of us signed up for the trip, many of whom don’t look like they’ve walked more than a mile in the last ten years.

And quite a few of them have brand new boots and clothing which is going to be a little sore on the first use.

The summer has been lovely so far, so we decided to go for an evening walk to wear in the boots and ‘practice walking’. It’s all a bit bizarre, so I decided to invite everyone to Highgate – probably London’s hilliest area. I cycle through Highgate every day, so I know the tough hills (although I’ve never walked up them) and some good routes. Continue reading Training for Kilimanjaro (in London)

How we pack our kit – budget vs ultra lightweight?

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

There are two schools of thought with overnight hiking – whether your kit can be fabricated on a shoe string budget, or weighing and then losing every last milligram of kit.

As a keen cyclist I know the cycling world is besotted with equipment weight loss. Manufacturers are always promoting their carbon frames and super light components. But the cheapest way of losing weight when it comes to hiking or cycling is off the walker/ cyclist. Losing a few kilos from the person will always provide the best weight saving. We won’t cover those here though.

When Ishai and I have gone hiking, we try to balance weight and budget. Continue reading How we pack our kit – budget vs ultra lightweight?