Sunday, 27 May 2007

Not prevaricating

I recall that my pack on the Pennine Way must have weighed at least 30lb and I'm only 5' 6" or so and weigh 10 stone. It wasn't comfortable either but I had no idea then about going light. There was a young lad we met who was carrying what must have been the original rucksack. It was canvas with a wooden frame and must have been excruciatingly heavy, particularly when wet. He said he was trying to get hiking out of his system and I wonder if he ever did.
After I finished the Pennine Way in 1977, I didn't do much more apart from day walks until 1990 as other things intervened (as they do). In 1990, I took myself off to the Lake District for a week at Keswick Youth Hostel and did day walks from there. I bought the first ever issue of Trail Walker (as it was then called) in Keswick and I've had every issue since, although I think I won't renew after the present year's sub expires. It's not what it was and TGO has more appeal now. But what to do with innumerable Trails? What I'm doing as a long term project with a view to future downsizing house-wise is scanning what I want from the mags with a view to disposal of them. I've already scanned a quantity of The Great Outdoors (as TGO was originally called) as there's some good stuff in them and it seems a shame just to send them for recycling but you can't keep them for ever.
After Keswick, there were similar trips to the Peak District and elsewhere but no multi-day hiking that I recall now.
Some years ago, I bought a Khyam Epic one-man tent which was great and it went up in seconds but probably best for car-camping. I still have it and it's very serviceable but when, a few years ago, I got to thinking about backpacking and cycle camping for a few days I came to realise that it wasn't right - too heavy and the wrong shape and size when packed to carry easily.
I then heard about Ray Jardine and bought his Beyond Backpacking which really opened my eyes to what could be done in the way of lightening up. I don't agree with all of his philosophising and in future entries I go into more detail about base weight and individual items of kit. So, over and out for the moment.

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