Yes the title says it all, part of the planing process for such a long walk involves packing, now empty your mind of a normal holiday style packing. No towels, wash bag, nice shorts and shirts. no swim gear or makeup, nor any magazines for the quite days by the pool.
No this is ‘man’ packing, packing for the bare essentials and then packing less, so where do you start?
A bag simple (or so you would think)? there is a myriad of bags out there, walk into any good outdoor shop and your met with a cornucopia of color and size, ones for different back lengths and names like F-light and Tempest, sound cool don’t they, take a deep breath and if you manage to decipher all the technical wizardry of N6.6 Mini rip nylon, Axiom 5 back system and Strong daisy chain lash points, you still have the price tag to deal with and the less said about that the better.
Then when you come to pack everyone has the right idea, the only way, how to pack and what to pack.
Me i chose a nice cheap one, around 60 litre capacity, nothing fancy in the standard army green. Well that was easy i hear you say, umm at this point yes i agree it was. Now as I have said before this is not like packing for a holiday abroad, you need to pack for every eventuality and then some.
My current weight holds around 13kg comprising the following
- Vango Banshee 200 tent
- spare trousers, spare undies, 3 pairs of socks and one T-shirt.
- snack bag
- main meals bag
- sleeping bag
- sleeping mat
- batteries and charging wires
- Jetboil stove plus spare gas can
- first aid kit
- small economical washing kit
- wet wipes
- trowel (yes its for digging a hole to poo in lets be adult about this)
- solar charging device and two power banks
- walking pole
- Garmin GPS device
- maps and more maps.
So when your asked do you need that, then the answer is yes and no, oh i forgot rain gear this is the UK after all. Now you mite be thinking I’m a little light on hygiene stuff, yes i have no toilet roll, yes there is no deodorant and yes my toilet consist of a nice luminous orange trowel, but who do i have to impress, I’m alone in the hills for 11 days and likely I wont be with anyone long enough to make them feel sick.
Packing is not the hard part, it’s the food, food becomes an all encompassing thing when on any length of trip. Although there will be villages along the way I’m not planning on stopping in too many as i wish to save time and miles, plus having grown up in the lakes the thought of spending any time in these places in the middle of summer fills me with dread, the throngs of tourist blocking pavements and filling their faces at the many eateries is not one i wish to experiences again. As you may be able to tell I’m not that patient and even less when it comes to some of these tourist.
It’s an interesting exercise in minimalist living and your able to examine exactly what one needs to really live on your own. Stripping back the niceties of modern life to the bare minimum, it’s refreshing and at the same time freeing, I’ll barely have any signal most of time and so no facebook, TV, radio.