Tuesday, August 22

Walkabout the Web - Free ideas

I'm getting more into wind-down mode before my trip northwards in a few days, and doesn't the Lake District weather look grim for the Bank Holiday weekend.

I've just rechecked my first couple of days to see if the route can be varied or even slightly delayed, but it looks the ridge walk over Catbell southwards may be done mostly in the rain clouds. A pity since the the reason I'm starting there was for the backview over Derwent Water, and then north as the high fells open up before me.

I suppose it was too much to hope for a repeat of the heatwave last July. It seems so far away now (sob).

Meanwhile here's a couple of links that might be useful.

At first glance Make a Survival Kit out of an Altoids Tin (and Two More Life-Saving DIY Projects) leans heavily towards the USA outdoors survival approach. But there's some good ideas in it.

I used to carry my 1st Aid kit, and associated oh-my-god-kit in a small tupperware box. This includes such items as mini disposal lighter, mini tin opener (now when did I last take a tin with me?), duct tape, needle & thread, safety pins, para cord etc etc. It's my emergency kit that usually travels with me wherever I go, whether camping or just travelling away from home.

Returning from my last trip I got into full-on weigh everything mode. I realised that the weight of the container couldn't be justified, even though it was bombproof & 100% watertight.

I initially tried my usual fallback as a container - Tesco resealable plastic bags - but it felt too liable to be punctured, so I firstly wrapped the contents in bubble wrap to stop sharp edges puncturing the bag.

I wasn't happy with the overall size, although it was half the volume of the box approach.

Then the packaging left over from a recent clothes purchase provided two small thick plastic wallets with press stud closure. A couple of minutes with a pair of scissors, and a piece of duct tape and I've now got a strong transparent pouch that is both puncture & water proof, and more importantly is a third of the original volume with minimal weight for the container.

A result at nil cost especially as the packaging usually ends up in the bin. Lateral thinking - I love the benefits this approach brings.

Bear it in mind if you check out the Altoids article. The contents can be changed, but it's amazing just what can be made to fit in with a little thought.

The second link is one I found some time ago and is my start point when trying to quickly assess ridge routes in the Lake District.

The site Lake District Desktops is worth a visit in itself, but you'll also find 7 PDF downloads covering Wainwright's 214 fells, and connecting ridge routes. I'll let the website author explain them himself, after all he did all the hard work:

"In his best-selling pictorial guides to the Lakes, Alfred Wainwright described 214 individual fells and, ever since the guides were published, many people have made climbing them all a goal. When I first started work on my attempt at this feat, I plotted each of his summits on a map before drawing in the ridges. The result was an invaluable tool for planning an assault on the Wainwrights. I have now made all seven maps available for other people to use"

An outstanding piece of Lakeland fell reference IMHO.

I've seen a similar approach in a couple of books, and there's always the Wainwright maps themselves but on this site the maps are small, wonderfully free of clutter. And free.

That's two freebies for you this evening. Bargain!

The wainwrights ridge maps look really useful, a good find.

I have something similar for the Altoids tin but use a small tupperware pot, the size is about 5 1/2 x 4 x 1 1/2 and takes the majority of my 1st aid kit and is waterproof and fits in the mesh pocket of my pack for easy access.
G - Much the same approach I had, until I looked at the volume of the box. It was that more that,than the weight, that made my change. A roll is easier to slide in those pack corners
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