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#60063 - 28/02/11 08:50 PM Newbie 12+ day journey
Evil Budgie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 23/02/11
Posts: 25
Loc: Billingham, Teesside, UK
Quick intro first, I'm Craig, 29yo from north-east England. I do a bit of photography and web design. I'm an international Scrabble player although I've been a bit useless lately. I was national Scrabble champion in 2009 and won Countdown in 2007.

I'm intending to do a Coast to Coast walk (camping) in early May. I'd quite like to have it so I had a short final leg on May 14th (when I turn 30). I'm going to try and raise awareness for Asperger's Syndrome whilst I'm at it (and the prejudiced way it is reported). Plus take loads of photos (I'm thinking of getting a Canon 7D to go with my 40D and carry them attached to 400mm and 17-55mm lenses respectively so I can take shots quickly as I'm going along). The slight issue with May 14th is the May bank holiday. At present I'm thinking of copying the 12 day schedule in the 'MAY 2011 CAMPING ON THE COAST TO COAST' thread and hope camping in St Bees (or nearby) will be possible and not bankrupt me on Monday May 2nd.

Fitness-wise I don't think it'll be too much of a problem. I'm reasonably fit, I will do plenty of practice walks. Have already done a few shorter 8 mile walks with some camera equipment (maybe 4kg worth) and not felt any ill effects.

So it's basically more about the logistics really. Making sure I don't get lost, organising things (I leave everything to the last minute). I at present have virtually none of the requisite equipment bar a 65l bag and a coat. I've read quite a lot of stuff on the forum already about Compeed for blisters, getting boots 1-2 sizes extra and breaking them in etc.

I'm thinking I'll need:

(65l bag & coat)
Maps/guidebooks with compass
Chocolate bars
Water (bottles) - I drink 2-3 litres daily as it is
Bread and butter knife
I have a crappy Garmin satnav - it contains no terrain detail though, may be okay as a back-up
Wide-brimmed hat & sunglasses
Spare t-shirt(s)/underwear/socks depending on space
First aid kit I guess

I'm a little bit wary of the food/drink situation. I'm an extremely fussy eater. I exist generally on good bread made into ham or corned beef sarnies, also like pork pies, sausage rolls, bacon, mushrooms, crisps, chocolate and sweets. That's about it really. So I'm wondering about places where I can get such things (I don't use butter/margarine for ham sarnies - I lived on ham croissants and pork pies in my 5 days in Bowness). Typical meals and plasticky sliced bread I don't like.

Wondered if there's any good places to go for boots/tents in the north-east (I'm near Middlesbrough). We have a big Go Outdoors place but that always seemed super expensive to me.

Also with regards to guidebooks and maps, which ones to look at or get.

Other general advice would be good too.

#60064 - 28/02/11 09:20 PM Re: Newbie 12+ day journey [Re: Evil Budgie]
lightweightmick Online   confused
Full Member

Registered: 18/11/04
Posts: 1695
Loc: North Derbyshire UK
Originally Posted By: Evil Budgie
I exist generally on good bread made into ham or corned beef sarnies, also like pork pies, sausage rolls, bacon, mushrooms, crisps, chocolate and sweets.

well you got me drooling there as I'm on a diet for my next attempt...
welcome btw, I'm sure you'll gleen all you need to know from the wise old birds here,
I've heard that Inov8 have regular end-of-the-month sales up your way...
I like the look of your priorities btw - chocolate third on list - sweet!
St Bees or Bust!
A Walk in the Park...s

#60065 - 28/02/11 11:51 PM Re: Newbie 12+ day journey [Re: lightweightmick]
Evil Budgie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 23/02/11
Posts: 25
Loc: Billingham, Teesside, UK
Yea I'm on a diet of sorts myself, I have sarnies mostly (I enjoy them though, bread's good around here). With a box of 4 croissants twice a week as a treat. I'm too picky to have much variety when I'm eating 'healthily' (ham sarnies with no butter/marg is as healthy as I get). This all goes out of the window for holidays or when travelling though. In and around Lake Windermere in January I stuffed myself full of pork pies, croissants and allowed myself plenty of chocolate. Was all rather nice really. I do take a chocolate bar with me if I have a long walk, like 8 miles.

#60067 - 01/03/11 08:52 AM Re: Newbie 12+ day journey [Re: Evil Budgie]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
Well Craig, welcome to the forum.
You will get plenty of ideas on here, but be prepared for differences of opinions as gear choice is very much about personal preference.
I would just say for now, to purchase as lightweight gear as you can. The problem is, really good lightweight gear is not the cheapest, but don't be tempted too much by low prices. Whilst you can obtain the odd bargain, take advice from leading retailers like 'Cotswold'. Ive always found prices in 'Go Outdoors' to be good. Good boots are going to be around 80 - 100 or more, and part fabric with a Goretex lining break in far quicker than most leather, however leather boots do last longer.
All for now.

#60069 - 01/03/11 10:11 AM Re: Newbie 12+ day journey [Re: Slogger]
HackPacker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 26/06/09
Posts: 134
Speaking from my own experience camping...

You'll have no problems physically, I'm sure. I'm just about to turn 40 and it seems to me that while many things ebb away with age, stamina grows - and that's what is needed more than strength. Mentally, you'll also need to be tough to do it alone. It doesn't sound that difficult, but if there are times when you've not eaten what you should it can do funny things to your brain which, conflated with the inevitable physical pains and the stress of walking, say, in a fog with 5m visibility without seeing anyone or anything for a few hours can eat away at your mood. I'm not sure how much the mental dexterity needed to win word competitions helps. Maybe it does! But I'm sure you'll look back on it with pride once you've completed it.

In terms of kit...Slogger is right - concentrate on lightweight. It might also seem nice to take luxuries, but when your kit bag is being weighed down with incessant rain it can seem exactly that - a luxury. The old advice of laying out everything you plan to take, then throwing half of it away, is sound. You'll be amazed how little you can survive on.

I found my Hilleberg Akto tent an absolute godsend. I picked it up second-hand on eBay. I also took a four-season sleeping bag, which was far too big and heavy, and would recommend a smaller one.

One other tip is ot make sure at all costs that everything stays dry. Nothing saps your determination like climbing into a wet sleeping bag or wet clothes after a long, hard day. I made that mistake on my failed attempt, resulting in trenchfoot which needed medical treatment, and a thoroughly miserable time for the last few days of the section of the walk I actually managed. There's no excuse for it when, for a few quid, you can pick up lightweight dry bags to put your kit into.

Other than that, I have only one thing left to say. I'm confident that once you have done the C2C, there will be no need for floccinaucinihilipilification.

#60070 - 01/03/11 12:14 PM Re: Newbie 12+ day journey [Re: HackPacker]
MarkDay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 27/01/11
Posts: 26
Loc: Essex

Camping at St bees B&B next to the station. You can camp in the garden, give them a call very accomodating.

A good cheap tent that I used last time and will use again this year is the T2 Ultralight Pro from Decathlon just under 2kg, so a tiny bit heavy but roomy and stood up to all weathers. Got mine new for about 70, not sure what the're costing at the moment.

I love the Trailblazer Stedman guide (I believe a new edition has recently been released) all I really used last time.

#60073 - 01/03/11 02:54 PM Re: Newbie 12+ day journey [Re: MarkDay]
flatlands Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 496
I like your wildlife photos. I have a tent you maybe interested in, a Wild Country Solace. I'm it selling for 30, like new, just pm me if interested. See this link for info.

#60075 - 01/03/11 05:40 PM Re: Newbie 12+ day journey [Re: flatlands]
Philly Offline
Full Member

Registered: 22/10/05
Posts: 70
Loc: United Kingdom
My advice is don't bring your scrabble board as it will just add excess weight to your pack, plus you will be finding letters in all your clothing and sleeping bag for months after your walk. Hope this helps.

#60076 - 01/03/11 05:50 PM Re: Newbie 12+ day journey [Re: Philly]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
When youve got all your gear together, try it out even if only going on a day walk. Include some hills and make it at least your planned average daily mileage.
That will soon tell if you are near right or far wrong.

#60080 - 01/03/11 07:27 PM Re: Newbie 12+ day journey [Re: Slogger]
Memphian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 17/10/09
Posts: 159
Loc: Memphis, Tennessee, USA
I'll second the recommendatin for the Stedman guide. The maps are very detailed and you can download GPS waypoints. Most of the time you won't need the waypoints, but sometimes it's nice to know you're headed the right direction and how far it is to the next one. Also, fiddling with your GPS will give you something to keep you occupied since you'll be alone.

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