The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

More Random Thoughts

As well as separating out the food into resupply parcels, we’ve been doing the same exercise with the maps. It caused a fraught half an hour. I was busy checking as best I could via the interweb that all of the campsites I’ve planned to use still exist and so asked Husband to sort through the maps.

I am intimately familiar with our route. Husband is not. That led to lots of questioning of my methods and theories.

He didn’t quite concur with my ‘it’s in my head’ methods. He also didn’t quite concur with my apparently random map numbering technique (which involved me numbering only a very few of the maps, with the numbers tying up with the days on the itinerary, rather than numbering them sequentially).

The maps are now numbered sequentially. They are split into four separate piles. The last set of maps (which we pick up in Hebden Bridge) is quite hefty so we may decide to split that batch into two – the only concern being entrusting maps into the hands of Royal Mail. We really can’t be doing with maps going astray.

Sore Shoulder
It’s like ‘last half mile syndrome’ (the syndrome where you don’t hurt at all until you realise that you’re only half a mile from your destination, then you relax and that last half mile becomes painful and/or difficult; the length of the walk has little bearing on this syndrome, it’s entirely related to the closeness of the finish) – yesterday I got a bit of a sore knot in my left trapezoid muscle.

Ordinarily it’s not something that I would bat and eyelid at. I would think ‘that’s a bit sore’ then move on. I’m sure that it will be fine in a day or two.

The proximity of our walk makes such little trifles seem much bigger. I’m not at the point of obsessing about it yet, but I am questioning whether it could be the new pack that has caused it.

Simple Little Things That Are Just Genius
Admittedly it has been said that I have the ability to get very enthusiastic about the simplest and most ordinary of things. The object of this burst of enthusiasm is incredibly simple and apparently mundane, but is so exactly what I needed that I think that it’s justified that I’m rather pleased with it (or maybe it just shows how sad I am?).

Whilst visiting Backpackinglight last week, in the process of taking all of my kit out of one backpack and putting it in the next, Bob noticed that I was juggling with the kitchen kit. The problem I have is that the Bushbuddy doesn’t quite fit inside of the MSR Kettley Thing, so the lid ends up balancing on the top. The lid then falls off each time I take it out of/put it into the sack. I then try to balance the gas canister on top of that.

“Hang on a moment” said Bob and disappeared. He came back with a stuff-sack – but not just any stuff-sack. This is a stuff-sack that Bob has commissioned to be the exact right size to hold an MSR Kettley Thing encased in a pot cosy, containing a Bushbuddy and with a gas canister balanced on top. The circumference is exactly what it should be, so there’s no potential for the items to slop around inside.

I don’t believe that he’s selling these yet, but if you use a MSR Kettley Thing based cooking system, then I recommend them once he does start stocking them.

Talking of Stuff Sacks
A knock on the door, a parcel is handed over, more last minute bits of kit are received.

I’ve never been a multiple stuff-sacks sort of a person – I’m far more disorganised in my packing technique (or maybe I just don’t usually carry lots of little things?). I even raised an eyebrow when I saw Peewiglet’s pack contents for her C2C trip last year as she is right at the opposite end of the spectrum, keeping everything very organised in separate bags.

I have finally seen the light. I’m suddenly likely organisation very much indeed – even at the cost of a few extra grammes. This morning’s parcel included lightweight stuff sacks.

It also included another batch of socks to bring my sock stores up to an acceptable level.


  1. Gayle,
    so how many stoves are you taking on the LEJOG?
    A gas one, bushbuddy, and the triad?

    Have I missed anything?

    It sounds like you are getting a little stove fetish going ^__^

  2. My plan is that we only take 2 stoves on LEJOG - the Bushbuddy and the Coleman F1 Lite gas stove.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Mick slips the Triad into his pack but personally I don't think that it's the right choice for this trip.

    It will however get used on our next planned trip in September...

    As for a stove fetish - we've only got a piffling four stoves so I can't compete on your level :-)