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Friday, June 23, 2006

Tips for the Trip

Dos:
  • split the long 20 mile days into shorter days. The walks are tougher than you think, not because of the elevation gain or even the steepness, but because the trails have been deliberately strewn with rocks and stones to prevent trail erosion, which throws off your balance and makes you footsore.
  • Take rest days, especially if you’re planning any of the high options. We wouldn’t have been as willing to do the high options if we hadn’t had rest days scheduled after them. Richmond has enough to do that an additional rest day there would be welcome, but be aware: Richmond has no laundry facilities! In particular, if this is your first long distance walk, schedule a rest day early in Grasmere or Kirby Stephen so you have the chance to buy additional equipment should you need it!
  • Bring GPS, compass, and a trail map (and know how to use them --- it does take special effort to input waypoints for the GPS if you’re going to use it to navigate, so leave plenty of time before the trip to do this). The Ordance Survey #33 + #34s are supposed to be the best, but are now out of print, so an internet search might be necessary.
  • Bring gaiters in case it gets muddy.
  • Raingear is a must. Umbrellas are particularly useful since if you encounter a spell of hot weather (like we did), they serve as sunshade, and you’ll be the envy of other walkers.
  • Train for the trip.
  • Have an extra pair of socks in your backpack.
  • Have a cell phone handy. (Note that Keld actually has a payphone and cell phones don’t work there, so you’re probably likely to want to have some pocket change as well)
Don’ts:
  • do the entire trip in one go by the book unless you’ve got experience with other long distance walks and are confident that it’s what you want to do. We met others who wished they’d scheduled rest days, or extra days in particularly interesting areas.
  • Buy bag lunches. We tried them, and it’s way too much food. One bag lunch for two people would be sufficient. You definitely don’t get as hungry or as desirous of food hiking as you do cycling.
  • Expect signposts and mile markers. Especially in the National Parks, as they don’t exist.
  • Schedule B&Bs off the trail unless you’ve got a very good reason for them.

2 comments:

Manoj Sugathan said...

How I wish I had read you blog before my C2C walk, especially the advice of spilling the 20 mile walks each day. I learned the hard way 20 miles with steep climbs (more than that, steep descents) is 10 times as tough as 20 miles on level ground. I would also definitely recommend a pair of walking sticks (or hiking poles).

But I have to say that I really enjoyed the walk!!

Manoj
http://masug.blogspot.com

Amy said...

The food thing must vary between people. I get quite hungry hiking. On our Scotland trek, doing 13mi most days without a huge amount of climbing, I got a bagged lunch and additional food and ate it all. I also had a full Scottish breakfast with porridge every morning and a full pub dinner most evenings. (I'm the same weight coming back as before I left, maybe a tad lighter.) Cycling is the only exercise I know of that actually reduces my appetite (if I eat on a bike, it's for energy, not because I'm hungry).