Pennine Way planning

My thoughts are turning to my (completed in July 2013) Pennine Way walk for Crisis UK. Behind the scenes, I have been preparing for this walk. This has included assembling a kit which will hopefully meet the needs of the walk.

The main aim of my kit is to ensure that I can reach my destination in comfort. I have learned to focus on comfort and weight as the key factors for success on my walks so far. Some companies have been generous enough to offer discounts on some of the items I needed most. In particular Gossamer Gear in the U.S. offered me a discount on their 65L Mariposa rucksack which is one of the few of that size weighing in at less than 1kg. This is less than half the weight of my previous rucksack.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa rucksack
Gossamer Gear Mariposa rucksack

I have also been finalising my walking schedule in order to be able to book my accommodation for the journey. I am hoping to do about 18 days walking plus 2/3 rest days spread out along the way. As usual the accommodation has ended up being a mixture of hostels, bunkhouses, B&Bs and campsites. As I am not yet up to speed as a wild camper I have opted for campsites which give me the option of support, provisions, basic facilities & being a bit more sociable if I have the energy!

My training for the walk is going to plan. I have a range of warm up exercises to do which hopefully will keep me injury free. I also did 5 days of walking in north Northumberland in March 2013, the 70 mile St Cuthbert’s Way  walk in April 2013, and I am planning the Cumbria Way for May 2013.

One highlight of the St. Cuthbert’s Way was stopping for the night in Kirk Yetholm which is the official northern end of the Pennine Way. This boot garden was a sobering reminder of all the previous people to have attempted the walk and of how tough the walk will be. I hope that I make it back here in a better state than some of these boots.

Boot Garden
Boot garden at Kirk Yetholm

If any of you can afford to donate to CrisisUK to speed me on my way I would be very grateful. This is the link to my Just Giving page

Kirk Yetholm
Kirk Yetholm

Happy New Year 2013

2012 has been a great year for my walking. In June I completed Hadrian’s wall from Wallsend to Bowness on Solway for the MS Society and in August I did the Dales Way from Ilkley to Bowness on Windermere for the British Lung Foundation. I also had walking weekends throughout the year in Rothbury, Craster, Bamburgh and Wooler in Northumberland, Berwick on Tweed in the borders, and Coniston in Cumbria. As well as completing my first distance trails, I also completed my first three Wainwrights and bought my first tent which will change the way I approach walking.

In 2013 I am planning to walk the Pennine Way for Crisis UK which I am really looking forward to. Realising that I can combine my favourite activity with fundraising is a win win combination. Apart from the Pennine Way, my wishlist for 2013 includes the Cumbria Way, the St. Cuthberts Way, the St. Oswalds Way and a trail in Scotland, if resources allow.

There are so many walks I would like to do and the list seems to grow rather than diminish as I hear other people’s suggestions and read blogs of their distance walks. I would like to thank everyone, especially on Twitter, for reading and for all the suggestions and conversations during the last year. I wish you a very happy new year and hope that 2013 will see you fulfil some of your dreams too.

Birdoswald
Wall at Birdoswald
The Strid
The Strid, Wharfedale