A weekend off!

No walking for me this weekend as I headed of to the Download Festival, Donington Park to experience the joys of music festival camping in the British summertime!  Surely not at all relevant to a blog about hiking I hear you ask.  Well, let me extract relevance to the topic as if I have studied the wrong subject for the wrong exam and see how we go!

In actual fact, I did use a number of bits of equipment that I will be taking along with me on the Coast to Coast walk I’ll be doing in August (which, obviously is very exciting):

  • Berghaus Ridgeway 65+10 litre
  • Vango Planet 100 2 season sleeping bag
  • Eurohike Stour tent (3 birth)
  • Highlander Camper Airmat
  • Merrell Moab GTX Walking Shoes
  • Mountain Life water resistant hoody
  • Craghoppers Solardry hiking trousers
  • Mountain Warehouse Headtorch
  • Mountain Warehouse Microfibre Travel Towel
  • 4 assorted Beyond the Beaten Track Ready Meals

I was undecided about the tent as to whether I would want to go with: palatial luxury or bijou sublimity with the 1 birth Berghaus Peak 3.1.  The convenience of going by car meant I could take both, but ultimately settled on the bigger of the two.  At 5kg, this is a very heavy tent and this in one hand along with a 5 litre bottle of water in the other, and the backpack full of sleeping mats and bags; food, gas cookers and cookware; towels and clothes and other ‘stuff’ made for a worryingly uncomfortable experience.  However, my clothes were generally ‘normal civvies’ rather than lightweight technical wicking walking stuff (except the trousers), and I won’t be carrying that much water or indeed a tent in my hands!  So I should be okay.

I did discover that my water proof hoody isn’t really that waterproof, so I’ll have to invest in some waterproofing agent.  My Merrells on the other hand are pretty amazing.  Although my feet got soaked because the rain came down so hard it was like showering fully clothed allowing water to pour in through the top, as they slowly dried out on the inside throughout the weekend, none quagmire subsequently got through (I was careful to ensure it didn’t step in any really deep patches)!

The food was excellent.  Unfortunately the management didn’t allow me to take my gas into the campsite as it is dangerous – apparently the mini, open flame barbeque packs in foil bases aren’t at all dangerous near nylon tents!  This meant I couldn’t cook any of the food, but as it said on the pack, they are delicious hot or cold – although after a day out in the soaking wet I would have preferred hot!  Hey ho, you live and learn!

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