The Vault Regulars

Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's all in the preparation, so i'm told.

 It was kind of Mike Knipe to invite me on his TGO challenge training walk this year. And now it's not far off at all.
 I'm not doing the chally myself but the others doing the walk are. They are all bloggers and so I will let them write their own thoughts.
 Our training walk is from Lauder to Dunbar in Scotland's border country. Not an area i have walked in before so i am looking forward to it immensely. Just a shame that Sheila has to work, again.

 With less than a week to go, I have been trying to find all my bits and bobs that have basically been redundant and scattered around in different places over the last few months. Then deciding what to take,  considering the incredible weather we have had recently i need to pack for very cold and very wet.

 Then deciding what I need to buy. You would think that after all these years I would have it all off pat. But no, the memory plays tricks. Now where is that list.

 Should I take gas or meths or both. Choices, choices. Which stove? Which sleeping bag, which mat? You know what it’s like.

 So today I packed, emptied, changed a few things and repacked. Seems really heavy I thought and I still need to put some food in. Geej.

 I better do a training, training walk and see if my back, knees, ankles, hips etc can still carry it.

 I set off.  Luckily we live where there are plenty of up's and so I didn't need to travel anywhere to find out what I already knew. It's hard work this “up" business with a 90% full pack.

  Our walk in Scotland includes one day of 28km. Oh joy. I hope it’s sunny.
Today I did about 13km. So to do double that amount is going to be tough considering the lack of backpacking fitness.

 But that is what the training walk is all about. Making sure the muscles get used to the weight, the mileage can be done, the gear choices are correct and it all works well.
 I’m sure the others will be thinking similar to me.
 But bring it on, I'm really looking forward to my first nights of the year under the stars. It will feel as though spring has arrived, even though it’s now summer. There is still plenty of snow around and forecast. The temperatures forecast for the weekend and beyond are not encouraging with -11C wind chill on one of the nights.

 According to my New Years resolutions we should have had 3 weekend backpacks done by now.
But at least this, hopefully is now the start proper, of a good years walking.


Oldmortality said...

Hope the weather improves for you, Alan. Depending on which of the (several) Herring Roads your trusty native guide has selected, you should be on paths/tracks for most of the way, but there is no easy "bail-out by public transport" route once you are up there.
How much do I wish I was coming with you ? Guess!!

AlanR said...

Thanks.We hope so too.
Not sure of the route, apart from the names of the probable overnight points.
Never been part of the parachute regiment so bailing out would have to be a last ditch effort.
I bet you would.

-maria- said...

Well planned is half done - does this mean you have already covered 14 kms of that 28 km-day?
It will be interesting to hear which stove(s), sleeping bag, shelter etc. will make it into to backpack!
I think I need to start planning my first overnighter of the year. The night temps have been around -5 C lately, so my 3-season sleeping bag should do (well at least on paper => if I beef it up with some warm clothing).
Too bad Sheila can't join you. Hmm... at least one of you two is then warm and dry!

AlanR said...

Hi Maria,
I wish it did.
I will do a gear post after the walk.
Tent wise, it’s an easy decision. I only have one 1 man tent. The Tarptent Moment.
I don’t like beefing sleeping bags up i like them to be able to cope with the conditions expected.
But i must be a bit of a softy. Others find beefing gear up works fine for them.

-maria- said...

Actually, I don't like beefing sleeping bags up, either. It's just that I don't own a proper winter sleeping bag. It's on the shopping list, though. It means a 6 month break in backpacking each year if you don't have a winter sleeping bag in this country...

afootinthehills said...

Sounds like a good trip Alan, but a shame Sheila can't share in the fun this time round. Will you be posting en route?

AlanR said...

I see a searching internet session pending.

AlanR said...

Hi Gibson.
Yes it's a shame Sheila can't get the time off, it would have been good for her.
I'm not posting on route as I have just got a nexus 7 and want to play around with it before I take it on a backpacking trip. Next time maybe.

Dawn said...

Unfortunately I am missing this one Alan. It was a trip I was looking forward to. However, I am heading west to see what I am actually capable of. To save weight it will be my three season sleeping bag and a down vest. Enjoy the wee daunder.

AlanR said...

Oh no!
Any more drop out and we will have to press gang a few Lauder locals.
That's a shame, I was looking forward to a catch up.
Next time eh.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan. I've packed - apart from the pile of things I forgot about or don't know where to put in my new rucksack. I shall have a mad repacking session on Thursday night.
Ideally I would like to use my actual TGO Challenge gear rather than taking anything extra or my cold-weather alternatives. Maybe I'll bring my Rab down socks as an extra luxury as I really don't fancy being cold in my bag at night. See you soon.

AlanR said...

Hi Judith, It makes sense to take the gear you are going to use and assess the merits. The thing is that it can be just as cold at night in the highlands in May as it will be this weekend in the borders.
I am not leaving my down jacket behind that’s a cert. My bag should/will cope with the temperature, so i will be leaving the down socks at home.
It’s the time of year for new gear isn’t it.

Alan Sloman said...

I don't know how I missed this post, but by now you should be well on your way.
Good luck!
It sounds like a great adventure.

AlanR said...

Hi Alan,
Yes it was an adventure, well that’s one word for it.
Just back. My toes have not thawed out yet.
More to come of course.

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