This week I have been Battling 'man cold' This has meant lots of being generally miserable and doing little. I was, sadly still well enough to go to work. So I just turned up, hid in a corner and made liberal use of Project Gutenburg This is a great site if you enjoy reading. You can get the classics on which copyright has expired (Dickens, Verne, Conan-Doyle Etc) and you can read them online or download a copy to your PC or e-book reader for free...
Journey to the centre of the earth and lucosade had made this week bearable. Without them I would have been lost.
I Have just bought a new Waterproof jacket. It is a Sprayway Gore-tex one and looks great (as yet untested). The price was just £74.99, which I think is reasonable and i got a 250 gas can for my stove as it was the size i was missing, and well, you never know when size might be important... hehe..
Due to my malaise, It has lead to general feelings of the impossibility of the task ahead. It's just sooo far.. Just to make things worse for myself, I went online to see if i could do some kind of planning, What kit I might need, comments on how to plan it, where to stay, etc. All I found was that No-one who is fit, healthy and my age appears to do the Pennine Way. It seems there is some qualifier that states you need to be 13, or have a leg missing or just generally old enough to have a bus pass. Normally this would make me happier, I mean - if they can do it, it must be easier for me.. Surely.??
On this occasion All i could do was think how much more determined and organised these people seem to be. I wonder if they tried to organise this themselves? I noticed long ago that you can to the 'way' having a Baggage service that ferry's your bags an others that plan the whole thing for you (for an exorbitant fee of course) and so eliminating the need to carry your gear from place to place.
People also seem to use B&B's. This seems a bit like cheating to me though. I did manage to find a list of all the places to stay along the way (a lot!) but was by then, in no mood to wade through lists of places I knew nothing about.
Looking toward the kit aspect of things, I see some people take virtually nothing, using a small lightweight pack, and others take huge behemoths of a pack, taking every eventuality. I suppose I'll fall somewhere in the middle and by going out as often as possible I will teach myself to gauge just what I'm happy leaving at home. I like the idea of lightweight, or Ultra-lightweight, but like my luxury's too much. As one site talking about sleeping mats said, If you have to carry a little extra weight to get a good nights sleep, It's worth it.. This make sense to me. If you start each day tired, it's gonna be a slog. I suppose walking is just so individual that you can't ask someone else what they take as their list is gonna be completely different to your own.
I also note that when you buy kit there is a tremendously steep price curve. You can get very cheap kit that is good enough for walking the dog, But then it jumps up massive amounts, with very little kit choice inbetween. Everyone seems to own really expensive stuff and not even be slightly bothered.. Take the tents for instance, I like the sound of one by decathlon. It's light and should be more than fit for purpose, but everyone seems to own a "laser comp". The size difference? Not much. The weight is less, at around 2/3 the weight, But it is more than twice the price. How can I justify this? This seems to extend across all kit and worse, The jacket i just bought was £150.00 in 2004 when launched. It also seems that not only should I have expensive kit, but also that I'm expected to re-purchase because the fashion has changed? or a new type of plastic has come out that makes the zip quieter (Editing note, not the jacket.. this is from another piece of kit, It just stuck in my mind because of the riddiculessness of it). The zip quieter?!! What? I'm gonna be in the middle of nowhere and some company expects me to pay to reduce the decibels my zip makes? This is crazy...
I'm finished venting, so I'm off to make some dinner. Maybe I'll be back on later to let you know why a quiet zip is so important ;)
Ta-ra for now, T.