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]

Friday, 29 August 2008

The Dry Legs Problem

When we finally returned home some weeks after the end of our LEJOG expedition, we needed to clean and tidy the house in a bit of a hurry, in anticipation of a visitor the following day. That involved us throwing all of our kit into the Kit Cupboard.

That was fine, provided that the Kit Cupboard doors remained closed. If a door was opened almost the entire contents tumbled out.

It was time to have a clear out.

Deciding to part with four synthetic sleeping bags (which have found new homes and so haven’t gone to waste) cleared out more than enough space, and other old worn out items got put in the ‘to bin’ pile.

That’s all background and not directly related to the problem that I found on Wednesday night.

Lots of things were going on on Wednesday night: Mick was cooking a chilli to dehydrate (two weeks until our C2C adventure and we’d not started preparing food yet), I was sorting out kit to pack for our couple of days away, and associated with the latter task I finally got around to the long overdue task of washing and proofing all of our wind and waterproofs that we used on LEJOG.

The first batch went in the machine and were duly washed, proofed and hung out to dry. Then I went in search of the next batch and realised that my waterproof trousers were missing.

The house was searched and I’ve still not found them (fingers crossed that they’re in Wolverhampton, which is where we were after I used them last, on Dartmoor in July) and that left me with a bit of a predicament for an overnight trip with a forecast of drizzliness and no suitable garment to protect my lower legs.

I do have others. There are my Paramo Cascadas, but the weather is too warm for those. I’ve also got an old pair of Wynnster ones, but again I would only wear them in cold weather. Then there was the pair that I’d put in the ‘to be binned’ pile during the kit cupboard clear out.

The availability of other options (as unsatisfactory as they were) did not solve my annoyance of having lost something that I needed.

It may be considered fortunate that I’d not quite got around to carrying the ‘to be binned’ pile out to the dustbin, but that would be overly generous towards the pair of waterproofs that lay in that pile. They are severely delaminated and hold very few waterproof qualities.

In desperation I retrieved them from their imminent end, and threw them into my backpack, hoping the whole time that my new Montane Terra Pants would fend off the level of rain that was likely to fall.

I knew when I threw them in that I was carrying weight for no good reason. They weren't going to keep me dry, but somehow I felt better for having something that at least tried to claim the description: 'waterproof'.

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