Saturday, 10 February 2018

A night out

I'm putting on my first ever Backpackers Club weekend later this month. On the Saturday, I have a full day's walk in mind to take us from the Friday night's pitch to somewhere else on Saturday night. I haven't walked the whole route for several years so I decided to do it now to refresh my memory and to make sure there are no problems, obstacles, etc. The weather was clear but with rain forecast at night. There were patches of really bad gloopy mud and trekking poles really came in useful. I'd planned to wild camp in a wood I know. It was OK but sloping slightly which meant that I slipped from time to time during the night. There was rain and much wind but I was well protected from these. In the evening there were some rowdy pheasants and some time in the night I was woken by a very loud muntjac barking close by.

SilTarp 1
I'd been practising knot tying during the week (I tend to forget them easily) so I took a small tarp with separate guylines. The tarp is an Integral Designs SilTarp 1 (now marketed by Rab under their name). It is definitely a solo tarp and, whilst it was OK for my one night out, using a bivy bag as well (an Alpkit Hunka), I wouldn't have liked it in a less sheltered spot and I prefer more coverage for general use. If I'd been out in the open with wind and rain, I'd have wanted to pitch it close to the ground and it would have been a very tight squeeze. So, for the Great English Walk coming up next month, this will not be my choice of shelter. Instead, I shall take my Golite Cave 1, larger and giving greater coverage and weather protection and a bivy bag won't be necessary. There is, in fact, a net weight saving. The Golite Cave weighs 454g whereas the SilTarp and bivy bag together weigh 700g.


  1. Really good to see you are taking on this walk. I hope it goes well, not least because I'm looking forward to updates.

    I love my Cave. The poles out design means a small structure offers plenty of room but, oh my, it's such a faff to pitch. You'll be an expert by the time you've got to Hathersage.

    Best wishes.

  2. Best wishes from a fellow LEJOGER (2008) see my blog: cconradwalks.blogspot,com

    That was before I was blogging. I have done other long distance backpacks of my own devising , but currently recovering after knee replacement number 2 but have plans to complete my latest: Berwick to Castle Carey whenever the knee is sufficiently recovered. I like your idea of 10 mile markers on the map. I use all digital with Memory Map on an iPhone and iPad Mini.

    Blogonym, Sir Hugh refers to my middle name coinciding with Sir Hugh Munro, and so used because I have completed all the Munros.
    Conrad Robinson

  3. By the way I see you follow Mick and Gayle. They are good friends of mine - met them when we were both doing the LEJOG and have been friends ever-since.