Tuesday, June 19

Dear Diary: Wash-Up

Lessons learnt, Tips & Tricks:

1. Harvey BMC map passed the all tests - water (and sweat) proof. Easily folded any which way I felt. Still looks like new and no print rubbing despite heavy rain.

2. The Akto has an inner pocket, down by where the zips meet. No idea why I've never spotted this despite hunting for it in the past (thanks Duncan for point it out. Doh!)

3. The Akto double zip at the top of the flysheet can be unzipped from the top downwards during rain allowing a decent view whilst still staying dry. It means less risk when cooking in the porch in foul weather as well and gives great ventilation.

6. Beware when zipping the flysheet down from the top. It has a tendancy to catch on the raincover and can jam in the worse case. It will loosen off but at one point I thought I'd unlaced the zip after an over enthusiastic closure

7. Medical kit has now been supplemented with tick removal tool (never a requirement before) & a small tube of antiseptic cream (midge bites/sunburn relief)

1. There are still bumblebees at 1,500 ft

2. Midges have been a real problem this trip on all 4 tarn wildcamps, whatever the weather

1. Using a small plastic tub meant the cookpot could be kept clean of food debris during cooking, and used for a hot drink at the same time. The tub was also easier to get into to ensure cleanliness

2. Mashed potato replaced noodles on this trip and was a huge improvement. Look out for the Tesco flavoured mash, which can be bagged up or just mix Smash and dehydrated mixes (onions/herbs) or mix in some cheese.

3. Ryvita took up too much volume, compared to smaller water biscuits used on an earlier trip, but they were slightly more robust

4. Sweeteners rather than sugar. I can't get rid of my sweet tooth (yet) but a very small ziplock bag of Sweetex (smaller and lighter than Candereland around 1-2 grammes) worked wonders. Don't bother with the dispenser - they clog at the vaguest whiff of any condensation

5. Best meal of the trip - Mash, (tin of) sardines, Babybel cheeses (wax wrapped) Ryvita & 1/2 a pack of custard creams as pudding. Lots of different flavours and a good mix of nutrients and carbs.

6. Don't put roll-ups behind your ear when sweating profusely. They won't light at the next rest stop!

1. The different approach used on this trip (up and back to camp spot, rather than camping along linear routes) felt like much more of a break.

2. Enjoy the journey, not the distance.


1. Good camp spots south of Walna Scar Road/Goats Water junction, with a strong water source. Plenty of places to hide away without intruding on others.

The Stats:
Day 1: Grasmere - Alcock Tarn Distance - 1.9 mile; Ascent - 372 m

Day 2: Alcock Tarn - Grasmere - Codale Tarn - Easedale Tarn Distance - 6 mile; Ascent - 550 m

Day 3:

1. Easedale Tarn - Grasmere Distance - 2 mile; Height - n/a

2. Coniston - Blind Tarn Distance - 4 mile; Ascent - 552 m

Day 4: Blind Tarn - Coniston Distance - 4 mile; Height - n/a

Day 5: Rossthwaite - Castle Crag - 1.9 mile; Height 298m

Day 6: Castle Crag - Grange - 1.5 mile; Height - n/a

Summing Up:
Not huge distances walked, but a big variety in locations and camps. The more exploratory approach worked amazingly well.

The aim - to meet fellow UKOBs & get my hill fitness together for 2007 worked great with a loaded pack walk every day of the trip. The real benefit was in getting my mind better focused & remembering (once more) the importance of willpower when slogging up those hills.

Re-reading my post from Friday, it seemed like the outcome of the trip was that I'd refound a whole new mentality. Personally far more focused and positive.

Even smiling. Shucks.

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