Tuesday, 23 December 2008


The LEJOG route planning is coming on well. From Land's End to Hebden Bridge is now plotted on the map - probably about a third of the way. On the map, I've just joined the Pennine Way. This now has to be broken down into days after identifying likely stops at the end of each day. Using the Anquet mapping is fun and by using it more and more, I'm getting the hang of its various features.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


I'm now route planning in earnest. So as not to monopolise the main PC in the house, I've resurrected a laptop I've had for some years and not used much. It needed a new power cable and this has now arrived by post after the first one I ordered had to be returned as it wasn't compatible - my fault; I never realised there were so many different types. My laptop is quite obsolete and the firm that sold it to me, Evesham Technology, is no longer trading, I found. Anyway, full marks to http://clonesuk.com/

I've just about got to grips with the Anquet mapping software and I'm really enjoying plotting the route. I've got as far as Taunton but there will be lots of tweaks to make in order to take in campsites, village shops/post offices and payphones (for uploading to this blog).

Monday, 8 December 2008

Backpackers Club Christmas weekend

Each year, this is held at Biggin, several miles north of Ashbourne in the Peak District. Members camp at a farm site some 200 yards up the road from the village hall where we get together on and off during the day and for the Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Numbers attending were down this year compared to 2007 for some reason.

A little snow had already fallen and it was quite cold. I brought my tent this time, a Wild Country Sololite, after the bad time I had last year with my tarp (see http://litehikersblog.blogspot.com/2007/12/backpackers-club-christmas-weekend.html It took only a few minutes to put up.

On Saturday, a few of us took a walk down Biggin Dale, up Wolfcote Dale and then across some fields. over to Hartington.

We had a pint and lunch at the Devonshire Arms next to a fire. It was a wrench to leave for the walk back. The weather was clear, crisp and cold - a perfect day but it was going to be cold on Saturday night.

During the past week, I'd been thinking that wearing longjohns during the cold nights camping mightn't be a bad thing. I'd never worn them before and looked in my local Co-op. They had them but not in my size at £14.99 (for two pairs). M&S have them so I stopped off in Stratford-upon-Avon on the way up to the Peak District. I never got to M&S, however. Stratford market had them at £3.00, a very tasteful dark grey. Sorted. I put them on on Friday night and they stayed on all weekend. The pack recommended that they be washed before wearing which obviously was not feasible. However, this would have made sense as my legs were a grubby looking grey when I got home. I'm now a definite convert to longjohns but no photos available.

The temperature on Saturday night dipped to minus 3°C and I kept very warm but the tent looked like this when I emerged in the morning.

It was good to meet up with others, some of whom we hadn't seen since the last pre-Christmas do.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


Serious route planning is now underway. I've recently taken delivery of an Anquet DVD covering the whole of Great Britain, having got a really good deal on it through the Backpackers Club. It was a toss up between Anquet and Memory Map and price was the deciding factor.

Frankly, the help files with Anquet are not that brilliant. It would have been nice to have had a few straightforward worked examples but, with some telephone and email help from a friend, Gayle, and lots of trial and error (including losing a few hours work of positioning locations of camp sites), I think I'm making progress.

I've plotted on the map my first three days walking, covering 5-7 April 2009 from Lands End to Point, near Devoran, south of Truro. I've got alternative first day routes as I've not decided yet whether to head for Penzance or keep north of Penzance as I'd like to visit Chysauster, an ancient Iron Age village. There's no real reason why I need make a decision about this until I start the walk as I'll aim to camp wherever I happen to be at the end of each day.