Tag Archives: walking

Our route along the South Downs Way

Comedy photo of reading a map next to a signpost
Comedy photo of reading a map next to a signpost

Some people have contacted me to ask for our precise route along the South Downs Way, including walks to and from train stations.

We covered the South Downs Way (from Winchester to Eastbourne) over four weekends, carrying our own tents, food and stoves. This meant we could only walk up 15 miles per day comfortably, stretching to 20 miles only if necessary Continue reading Our route along the South Downs Way

Walking the South Downs Way: Weekend #4

Arriving at Falmer station
Arriving at Falmer station

This was our fourth and final weekend walking the South Downs, totally self-sufficient carrying tents, food and cooking equipment.

This weekend started in Falmer, next to the Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club stadium and opposite Brighton University, and finishing in Eastbourne. We agreed with the rest of the family to meet us half way through the second day (Sunday) for lunch and join us for the walk into Eastbourne.

We were aware that during the winter period we’d have lost our training advantage of the previous three weekends – our bags felt heavier and the hills felt steeper and longer. Continue reading Walking the South Downs Way: Weekend #4

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

Berghaus Men’s RG1 Shell Jacket long term review

Snowdon in the Snow
Snowdon in the Snow

Both my wife and I have used the Berghaus RG1 Shell Jacket for a couple of years now, and they are the best everyday waterproofs we’ve owned.

This is a waterproof top layer – there is no insulation, simply a fabric mesh inside. I prefer this – it means you can wear it for protection against a summer shower without overheating, and wear a fleece underneath during the winter. Continue reading Berghaus Men’s RG1 Shell Jacket long term review

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

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)