Putting a spring in your step #1

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!

Scarpa boot - leather & goretex

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

cleaning my leather boot

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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!

Waterproofing leather boot

And then after a good buff, I’m all set for whatever adventures Spring holds!

L

PS – tell us about your favourite pair of boots and any associated stories – use the ‘contact us’ form.

For swampy adventures

This post might be a disappointment…. I googled for ‘gater’ images and this was the top result:
this gater needs gaiters
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!
L

It’s only polite to bring a gift…

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:

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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!!

L

What does 2019 hold?

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

goat by kevin

Washing up system #2

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!)

Happy washing!

R&L

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.

Washing up system

Everything works better on a campsite if you have a system.  We have a system for washing up which we think you will like:

  1. Dirties – put all your dirty washing up in a big ikea bag.  Everything will fit as it’s huge; you can pop it over your shoulder if you need to walk to a washing up station; when you get home, it’s easy to wipe clean; and it folds up nicely to pack away.
  2. Washing up bowl – we love our pop up one.  It can be packed away neatly without taking up too much space.
  3. Clean dishes  bag – you don’t want to carry the clean washing up back to your tent in the yucky dirty washing up bag.  Instead we have one of those heavy duty bags for life to put the clean things in.  If you assign a bag to the job and keep it with your washing up stuff, it will always be there when you need it!

The three bag system is definitely the way forward!

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Embrace your inner goat!!

Breakfast without the gas stove

Thought you might like this picture of how we cooked our bacon and mushrooms on the fire when we were one gas hob down (see the previous post about why that was!!).

Good huh?!  We took a Billy Goat with us this time and put him in charge of this.  I think he’s allowed to come again!

Must say a big thank you to Fox’s Bench Ironwork for sending us a replacement hook for our tripod.  We love our tripod very much, but we lost one or the hooks at the end of last summer.  The nice people there sent us a replacement for free.  Thanks guys!

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R&L

Some types of fire are better than others!!!

Campfires are great… campsite fires on the other hand are definitely not.

We were giving our Summit portable gas stove one last chance to prove itself.  The ignition spark wasn’t working – it’s not unusual that the ignition switches on stoves are temperamental, so we lit it with a match… and voom flames everywhere!!

Fortunately we had a fire blanket in the car and were able to use it to smother the flames.  Without this, the fire would have kept growing as there was plenty of gas in the canister.  Indeed once the flames were out, the gas kept hissing for a while, so we just left the fire blanket over it and moved it away from our pitch.

Clearly the stove was ruined (but that’s no loss, it wasn’t very good anyway – click here to see a review!), but amazingly the little coffee table it was on cleaned up just fine, and most importantly all the goats were unscathed!

Before your go on your next camping trip PURCHASE A FIRE BLANKET!!

Embrace your inner goat!