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Month: February 2016

Healer Aims to survive walk!

Healer Aims to survive walk!

Healer aims to survive walk! lol, bloody hell. The Chad really know to make an article ‘stand out’ Healer aims to survive walk.. What does that mean. To be honest, up until reading this, I didn’t see this walk as much of a challenge, even though I probaly should be… I’ll be kicking myself when I start , and after the first 20 miles I’m saying my feet are hurting, my back hurts and I want to go home. Either way not a bad write, short and brief outlining the key points and in the first 10 pages of the local paper.

The Chad

Walks and Talks with a friend

Walks and Talks with a friend

Last Monday, I decided to go out and test what gear I had accumulated for my 650 mile hike. It was an interesting 2 days indeed. I met up with an old friend from London. James his name is, and i soon remembered one of James traits was that he can’t keep his mouth shut for more than a few seconds….

The plan was, to head into the peak district. Ashbourne to be precise, walk up the Tissington Trail up to Parsley Hay, camp up in a nearby woodland than walk back down the High Peak Trail and end in Cromford the following day. Strangely enough we stuck to the plan, it was a pleasent 2 days with the sun out, but still a wintery chill lurking. Nearly perfect walking weather.

James made his way to me from scouser land (Liverpool) and on route picked me up a Thermarest neoair xlite sleeping mat from Go Outdoors. £85 for a sleeping mat. I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than a 5er on a mat in the past. I’ll talk more about the mat later, as it was definitely a life saver. James arrived, we drove into Ashbourne, stopped at a cafe, got some scram, bought some gloves, than heading to the start of the trail. We didn’t actually get walking until about 3:30pm.

James equipped with his bloody energy drinking gloop, and me with a large bar of chocolate, we made pace. It’d been a while, so we caught up with the usual crap, ‘oh whats so and so upto these days?’ , ‘Is so & so still  graffing trains’ . Primarily, in the past we spent most of our time together, getting up to no good. However, its funny how things progress & how conversations change into deeper, more meaningful topics. Walking in nature, or walking in general is wonderful. As the sun sets, the trail is silent, and we discuss life, ecology, matters of both spirit & science. Constructive conversation.

12 miles later we reach our camping spot. The night is clear and it is cold. We manage to set up the new Alpkit Jaran 2 tent quite easily. Great tent, we are both impressed by its weight, its design & functionality. Snug for 2 compared to what I’m used to, but I suppose that only helps on this cold night. And no, before your mind wonders, it wasn’t that cold..

We cooked up a Thai Red Lamb Curry. A well needed meal after a days walking. Oh, I forgot to mention, I’ve been walking the 12 miles in brand new boots straight out the box. Scarpa Ranger GTX 2 & my feet aren’t in great shape & blistered. When they advertise a boot with ‘out of box’ comfort, I take that literally. The amount of times I turned to James and said , Do you think they’re broken in yet? Anyway, we chowed down, accompanied by a bottle of red. Then we soon went to sleep. My sleep was okay. My sleeping set up could have been alot better. The mat was good, but too narrow. However, kept me warm from underneath. The bag was a Rab Neutrino 200. Way to thin to stay comfortably warm. I ended up sticking my head underneath and trapping me. I think Jame’s followed the same suite. We woke with frost on the ground, so it must have been freezing. A couple degree’s below I reckon, especially out in the open peaks where we were.  All in all, our sleep was okay, and i spilled my porridge all over the forest bed , so no breakfast for us the following morning…

But who needs breakfast when you wake up to this…

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This is exactly why I walk & camp. Nature is still & natural order is so obviously at work. The presence of grace is felt ever so more when you take yourself away from distraction for a few moments. Great lesson’s are be learnt from nature, whatever you believe & whoever you are. Opinions differ amongst us, 1 thing which runs true for us all is this world we share.

This Tissington trail really is special. We continue to walk, James continuing to gobble down his Isotonic gloop. And I happen to have a jar of honey which keeps me going. We walk back down the High Peak trail, which in my opinion is even more spectacular..

I normally walk in silence, on my own. But walking & talking at the same time is actually quite fun. I try to explain to James, the principles of Chi energy, and an energy that exists beyond the physical. I suppose you can call it Light or Grace. The energy which fills you with joy & ecstasy. When this energy is revealed, the need for food is lessened. I can see Jame’s brain ticking, thinking, what the hell is he on about… I knew he was a bit nuts, but you know…really?? Anyhow, we continue to walk, towards Middleton, where we reminisce a bit..

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So at this point of the walk, the complains are getting more & more, our feet are absolutely battered. If I can recall the feeling, it was like my feet were actually on fire walking the last few miles from Middleton to Cromford. When at Cromford, we stumbled in a pub which was full, and all the other local pubs had finished for lunch. So we found some posh styled cafe/coffee shop kind of place. We sat, not wanting to move due to the pain. I walked to the front to be welcomed by a lady. I ordered Scrambled eggs with salmon. The lady went on to ask me, what would you like to drink and I as I had a bottle of water in on the table from my walk I replied, I have some water already, is that okay? The response I received was shocking. “Would I walk into a restaurant and bring my own drink” . I really didn’t know how to react…..so I said ok, than I’ll have a bottle of water, and she responded, no its okay, don’t worry. Wow, I’ve worked alot in customer service, she could do with some lessons. If I wasn’t tired and blistered from the walk, I may have enlightened her a little on the topics off ‘think before you speak’ , ‘be nice’ & ‘how to run a successful business’. I think the establishment we entered was a bit to high & mighty for us. Us common London folk, sticking out like saw thumbs in this quaint Derbyshire village…

Oh well, we eat and be gone & venture home. An interesting couple days. Bottom line, walking & talking is great. Try it sometime on a lovely trail as we did 🙂

Rab Neutrino 200 sleeping bag

Rab Neutrino 200 sleeping bag

I have received this sleeping bag in the post today. I pretty much got an amazing deal. This bag retails for about £200, I got it for £130 through a friend of a friend who works in the industry. I’m extremely grateful for ‘the link’.I currently own a Rab Genesis 2, which I’m more than happy with, but its too heavy, big & perhaps a little to warm for the time of year i’ll be using it. I’m told, the Rab Neutrino 200 bag is the bollox. This bright orange bag isn’t subtle to say the least, but its bloody comfortable say’s Merlin. If it’s good enough for the wizard its good enough for me. I will be testing it as with all my other kit next week. It is the first down sleeping bag I have owned. Down is re nound for being super comfy but at the same time absolutely useless if it gets wet. The beauty of this bag for me is that it weights 610 grams. So, ultra lightweight.

 

All in all, I’m very happy that the financial damage so far is only £432.67 on kit. And the only other major item I really need to get is a decent backpack.

Preperation is key

Preperation is key

‘Preparation is key’

 

Good input = good output, simple input = simple output. We humans do over complicate things. To put it simply, things needn’t be complicated. However, that doesn’t mean walking butt naked 650 miles with nothing but an umbrella over my head. As I put together a kit list, research various sleeping bags, tents, backpacks and ‘the rest of it’ I can see the overhead costs are slowly adding up. I knew this wasn’t going to be cheap, however there are some aspects of my kit where I am willing to put quality at the forefront of my mind. As I will carrying all my kit with me, I have to consider, my feet need to comfortable when I walk, my back needs to be comfortable with all the weight. My tent, which will be my home needs to be waterproof, windproof & relaxing after a days walking. All my gear must be as lightweight as can be.

Today I went to the Alpkit warehouse, where I met a gentlemen called Ben who kindly showed me the in’s and out’s of the Jaran 2 tent. He set it up for me in store where I could view it, I was impressed, so I bought it (as seen in picture). A tent with 2 doors on either side? what the hell, I’m totally bought by the idea. It was the last one and I got it for £120, which is £20 less than the retail price just because it was taken out the bag before! The weight is good also at only 1.9kg. I’m going to be testing it out in the coming weeks. It’s pretty windy & rainy at the moment, so a great opportunity.

A couple weeks back I purchased a pair of boots. £150 for a pair of boots. I remember in my younger days splurging 90 odd quid on a pair of Airmax 90’s, for fashions. So I suppose, £150 for a pair of quality boots that will last 650+ miles is reasonable. Especially when thoughts of taking my boots off after a week and throwing them into a river because they are crap and walking the rest barefoot are not foreign to me at this stage. Anyway the boot is a leather goretex boots by Scarpa. The Scarpa ranger GTX. I’ve tried them on, but not had a chance to sample them or wear them in yet. Watch this space for how I’m getting on with them. All that’s left to get in the ‘priority’ department is the sleeping bag (which is on its way as we speak) and a decent backpack. Than it’s just little bits and bobs.

 

Alpkit