By the time of writing this post, I had expected I would be coming to the end of my fourth day backpacking along The Ridgeway National Trail…
I set off on Saturday morning. Slightly later than intended but I was on to the trail soon enough. Within the first three miles, I noticed a pain down the outside of my left leg and, even with stretching, it remained with me for the whole twenty-five miles of day one. I made it to the camp site that evening but was safely and generously ‘extracted’ on Sunday morning.
At 18kg (according to my possibly-unreliable luggage scales), my rucksack was far too heavy and it made little sense for me to press on through the pain. I’ve spent this afternoon weighing everything and taking notes, all of which I’ll share below.
I’m officially going to be walking (backpacking) The Ridgeway National Trail from Saturday the 9th of June and for at least five days. My accommodation for four nights has or is being booked.
This will be my first ever experience of backpacking and multi-day hiking; carrying everything I’ll depend upon (food, shelter, guidance) on my own two shoulders.
With all of that in mind, I’ve decided to try and raise a small amount of money for charity and invite you to visit my JustGiving page [link below], where I’ve selected a local charity (BRACES) in Bristol to support, who offer scientific research in to Alzheimer’s and dementia (something that I have experienced within my own family).
Although I said this a year ago and nothing is official at the time of writing, I’m aiming to walk The Ridgeway National Trail this year, with a preference for the end of May.
A year ago, I wrote a short series of posts on my plans and intentions for backpacking the long-distance trail (you’ll find links to those posts further down). Now, I’m looking ahead to this challenge for 2018, with perhaps the only outstanding issues to consider.
With a view towards walking The Ridgeway in May [yes, I’m actually going to do it, this year], I recently started looking back over the kit I intend to carry with me. Much of which was purchased between 2016 and 2017.
I’d like to share some thoughts on the self-inflating sleeping mat I currently own, before I speculate upon potential weight and space-saving improvements. Continue reading →