We’re all familiar with back-packing, but suitcase camping – that was a new one for me!
Turns out that by the time you’ve packed your tent shell, your tent inner, your tent pole, your sleeping bag, your sleeping bag liner, your sleeping mat and your mosquito net, your suitcase is pretty much full!! Fortunately my kit is fairly lightweight for backpacking, so I was able to stay within our 20kg weight limit and still squeeze in some clothes!
The trick was in careful packing…including squeezing all the air out of the compression sacks. Most of our compression sacks are waterproof ones for backpacking. For this trip I left the tops open as there was no danger of them getting wet and that way as I pulled the compression straps the air was able to escape easily and I could squash them smaller. Then everything was carefully organised to make use of all the funny little corners of my suitcase.
For a bit of ‘luxury’ we bought a cheap pair of folding chairs when we landed and then donated them to the campsite staff when we left.
More about my adventures will follow!
I know I previously told you how much I love my scarpa leather boots, but there are occasions when you don’t want to wear something so bulky and you don’t need ankle support… yet you do want something waterproof and with decent grips. I didn’t have anything that fitted that description so I recently took myself shopping.
I did try on the things in the sale, but of course the ones that gave me that ‘ahhh’ feeling weren’t in the reduced section! Typical!! Anyway they weren’t too expensive – ‘Belfour women’s walking shoe’ from Mountain Warehouse.
I’ve never had any Mountain Warehouse own brand shoes, so I’ll keep you posted how I get on!
This weekend saw the start of our camping season… shame we didn’t realise there was a yellow weather warning for wind today in Sussex!! Both goats survived the experience ok, but sadly our gazebo less so!
However, before that rather over exciting end to our trip this morning, we had a very pleasant evening cooking on our campfire. Neither of us had any pancakes on Shrove Tuesday last week, so we made up for it by trying out fire pancakes – very tasty!
L & R
Cooking drop-scone pancakes on the fire!
I have spent many hours thinking about shoe options!!
Depending on your activity, I think sometimes lightweight is more important than sturdiness. In fact there are two schools of thought about sturdy walking boots – some people think they give your foot and ankle more protection, others that the muscles don’t work as hard when they encased, so they don’t strengthen and remain vulnerable to injury.
And then there is waterproof vs breathability. Personally I prefer shoes that let my feet breath and I’m willing to get damp feet in the knowledge that if the shoes are breathable my toes will soon dry out again.
The other thing that I think is important is letting your toes spread out, it’s not good for your feet to be squashed, especially if you’re expecting them to carry you a long way!
And then you need to consider what terrain you’ll be covering ….and what sort of gaiters you want to put with the shoes….
… all in all I’ve tried out many shoes – none of which I wouldn’t recommend!!
The brand that is currently my favourite is ‘altra’ because it is zero drop – which means there is no incline between foot and heel which is better for my neuroma and because their shoes have a wide toe box, as don’t like squished tootsies .
I did the Pembrokeshire coastal path in Altra ‘lone peak’ shoes – and unlike the other goat, I didn’t get any blisters!! Sadly those shoes now have holes in the mesh, the mesh wears out fairly quickly where your toes rub against it. That said they did walk many miles!! I’ve now replaced them with the new model of the Altra lone peak – which is pink & pretty!! Will have to see how I get on with them now that the good walking weather is here!
Postscript: In response to ‘follow your inner goat”s comment below, here is a picture of the pink shoes… complete with feet in them!
The sun has been shining, the daffodils are out, so it’s time to dig out your walking boots and put a spring in your step!
I love my walking boots! They are scarpas. I don’t like wet feet, so after some bad experiences I decided to get boots which are both leather and goretex to make doubly sure!
They have been comfortable since the day I got them. I generally think you should think ‘ahhh’ when you try shoes on, and if those ones cost a little bit more, it is money well spent! I always wear them with an extra pair of socks to improve the fit and avoid blisters… although I confess I did get a little blister by the end of walking the Pembrokeshire coastal path, but that’s a long way!
So, now Spring is here, I decided it was time to give my boots a bit of TLC.
First I cleaned them with Nikwax cleaning gel and a toothbrush
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Then I rinsed them off and applied this waterproofing wax for leather. It feels completely wrong to put it on when the boot is wet, but it seems to work!
And then after a good buff, I’m all set for whatever adventures Spring holds!
PS – tell us about your favourite pair of boots and any associated stories – use the ‘contact us’ form.
This post might be a disappointment…. I googled for ‘gater’ images and this was the top result:
Sadly, this post is not about that sort of gater… more the sort that keeps your foot dry and your trousers clean when you’re walking! And I now realise…spelt slightly differerntly!! More useful, but more boring! (Curiously the aligater picture is from a website selling those things that stop your children from shutting their fingers in the door – also more useful and also more boring).
This post is dedicated to our newest follower. She and her handsome dog Skye were walking with me at the weekend and we encountered a lot of mud. Equipped with my gaiters, I could enjoy that childish pleasure of squelching through it… and we’ve decided she needs some too! (Skye the dog on the other hand could not see what the fuss was all about!)
Gaters don’t need to be expensive. Key features to look out for are:
– you must get ones that open all the way down. (Trying to pull the on over your muddy boot is never going to work!)
– front fastening, ideally a zip
– velcro factsning over the zip to keep the wet out. (Velcro is much better than press fasteners – the studs get mud in them & stop working and can go rusty.)
– a clip at the front to latch onto your bottom lace (to prevent the laces getting caked in mud and the water getting in the top of your boots)
– a stirrup that goes under your foot and keeps the gater in place
I have ‘trekmate’ gaters and I’m pleased them. They weren’t expensive and they are easy to put on – L
I have lightweight ones… I didn’t fully appreciate that one of the ways they are ‘lighter weight’ is because they aren’t full length! They are fine, but another time I’d get ones that go further up my legs – R
Hope those tips are sufficient to get you kitted out for any swampy adventures …. see you later aligater!
It’s only polite to bring a gift… and only someone who knows me well would bring me this as a gift when they come to stay:
What is it?! (not the apples, although they were also given to me!) Newspaper logs made with a special newspaper-log-making gadget!!
We tried it out and they are easy to light and burn for about an hour and a half. They didn’t have great flames, but were definitely a good way to bulk out the wood logs… and they have the advantage of being free whereas we need to buy the real ones.
Now who would know me well enough to give me such a thoughtful gift?!!… my Dad of course!!
Happy new year! Apologies it’s been so long since we last blogged.
What does 2019 hold? God only knows – listening to the news this morning, every aspect of life feels a bit uncertain at the moment!! However, the goats are hopeful of plenty of camping opportunities in the year ahead. We’ve already started making plans for camping with friends later in the year… and one particular goat is very excited about her first camping trip abroad! Kruger national park in South Africa no less!
And hopefully 2019 will also mean a return to more regular blogging, so keep your eyes peeled for more post!
L & R
Need some holiday reading for your camping trip? How about this?! It made me laugh out loud!
This book about camping holidays made me laugh out loud!
Now what about rinsing?
If you’re washing up at a sink that’s easier, but if you’re just in a field and you’ve had to walk to fetch water to wash up with, you need to think it through. By the end of the washing up load, the sudsy water will probably be a bit gross – and even if not, it’s not that nice to eat washing up liquid!
If there’s space and the weather’s nice, we just lay the clean crockery out on the grass in the sun, pour some clean water over and leave them to dry.
An alternative is to use bag 3 as a rinse bag – take it to the tap and put clean water straight in . (See earlier post for the 3 bag washing system!)
PS Being as you’re likely to be tipping your dirty washing up water into the hedge, we recommend swapping to an eco-washing up liquid.