Wednesday 6th April 2016
Well here we are relaxing with our friends.
As a change from our usual ramblings we thought that for the next few days we would do something different.
One thing that we’ve been asked is about the items that we wear and/or carry in our rucksacks. How we keep our phones going and what do we eat etc.
Whatever you take in your rucksack we both recommend that you get plenty of training – walk at least 10 to 15 miles with the full load several times before you start your JOGLE or LEJOG.
Apart from the usual socks, change of underwear, extra layers etc there are a couple of extra things we have found useful.
All clothing is packed in resealable plastic bags.
A micro towel.
Small bag for meds, plasters, nail clippers.
Re-usable emergency bivvy bag.
Needle and thread
Dubbin for our boots
Mosquito head net
I also carry a small Roberts radio and headphones too.
Dave carries the tent and cooking equipment and I carry the food normally. The cooking stove is a lightweight titanium one and we have bought an extra adapter for different gas bottles.
We have one pot that Dave cooks everything in and also a small non-stick frying pan and plastic spatula. The small kettle will boil enough water to fill two mugs. We manage with a set of titanium lightweight cutlery each, a teaspoon, one small plate between us, 2 bowls and 2 mugs.
I have several plastic containers which hold a selection of instant dried pasta meals and noodles etc, tea bags, coffee, oxo cubes, plus some extras to ring the changes – curry powder, ras el hanout powder, chilli etc.
OK so I also have a small bottle of ketchup! (my choice to carry it)
To be honest, it’s all down to personal choice as to what you put in your rucksack. We do a fair bit of wild camping with usually no shops around so we carry dried foods. Water is easy to come by – either knock on a door and ask or quite often we would ask for water when we find somewhere for a cuppa. We also have water treatment tablets if we get water from a stream. Try not to carry more than you need for the day – a litre bottle of water will be another kilo to add to the weight of your pack. We buy mushrooms and garlic which are not too heavy to add to the dried foods and sometimes an onion. Eggs are versatile if you don’t have to carry them far. Fresh fruit is important too. It is heavy though so we usually try to eat it as soon as we buy it.
We can both recommend walking poles. They really help on the uphill slogs and on slippery uneven surfaces. Walking along lanes and roads means that we need to be visible especially in bad weather so we wear hi viz jackets and have attached lights and reflective strips to the poles.
Don’t try to economise on the lights – our cheap ones didn’t last long. We bought some rechargeable lights from a cycle shop which have proved to be excellent.
Charging phones and keeping a blog.
We usually try to find a pub or hotel around twoish and have a cuppa or three, being careful to find a seat near a plug socket. We ask for, and have never been refused, the use of said socket to charge our phones. Dave has two spare batteries, as well as the one in his phone, which he always keeps charged up. I bought a larger capacity battery for my phone and have the original one charged up as well. Quite often I will have written our blog in the notepad app on my phone. I upload the blog and photos whenever possible using the free Wifi available in most pubs and hotels. Up until now we have often had 4G plus a good signal for phoning family and friends etc. Not sure how well we’ll get on as we go further north – watch this space! Dave has also got a two pin travel adapter which plugs into a shaver socket that he has used to charge up.
Now to the nitty gritty – if you do a lot of wild camping there will come the time when you will need to dig a hole for toilet purposes. You will need a knife to turf the grass and then dig out the required amount – I’ll leave the rest to your imagination!
To those that are walking on their own, we take our hats off to you. We have supported each other throughout the walk and always try to keep a sense of humour. I would imagine that, as well as a phone to keep in touch with family and friends, a radio or MP3 player would be a good thing to have.
One last thing to remember is that you leave your comfy centrally heated home with everything in your rucksack ultra dry. After a few days of rain your tent will be wet and much heavier: clothing will become damp no matter how careful you are with those plastic bags and those “waterproof” covers that come with your rucksack are useless. We are using extra large strong black bin bags cut to fit over the rucksack then the cover is put over to keep it in place. As you know 1 litre of water weighs 1kg so make an allowance for this when packing.
Well folks, that’s it for today. We plan to continue on with our walk on Saturday all being well. Plan to blog again tomorrow though so keep with us.