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 1 February 2008

LEJOG - Clothing and Gear

Two days ago Mr. Sloman kindly pointed out that it is only 76 days until Husband and I set off on our LEJOG adventure. That’s a calculation that I’d been avoiding for fear of sending myself into blind panic.

Whilst I had been avoiding the precise calculation, Alan’s countdown did come the day after I had started compiling a ‘to do’ list of all the things that need to be completed before we go. To start with it all looked achievable; since then I’ve added to it quite comprehensively.

One area where you may think that I would be quite prepared would be in clothing and equipment – after all, walking and backpacking are things that we do on a reasonably regular basis and theoretically we won’t need anything special for LEJOG that we don’t use on our normal sorts of trips.

That’s all well in theory, but the reality is that I’m horribly ill-prepared.

Tonight I did a quick mental run through of what I need to sort out clothing-wise and shocked myself with the result. Starting with my feet and working up, this is how it looks:

- Footwear: I have both boots and fell-runners that I’m happy to wear for short trips, but nothing yet that I’m overly happy with for a longer venture. It’s a subject about which I will blog separately, but boots are definitely top priority to sort out.

- Socks: I’ve plenty of socks and plenty of those are perfectly comfortable – but they’re all getting rather old so multiple new pairs will be required.

- Trousers: I have two pairs of summer trousers, but the fly zip has failed on one of those causing a bit too much ventilation not to mention a touch of indecency. I’m still umming and arring about what trouser strategy to go with.

- Waterproof overtrousers: my previous pair died in December and still need to be replaced.

- Underwear: I could venture into ‘too much information’ territory here and make myself blush, being the shy little being that I am!

- Sun hat: I need one that will protect my neck as well as my face (just on the off chance that we get some sun at some point).

Or to put that another way, except for shoes, socks, trousers, overtrousers, bra and hat I’m all set in the clothing department…

I feel another ‘eeek’ moment coming on.

At least the equipment department is looking better, where the only item that I can think that I need (well, except for a mobile blogging device, but I’m working on that) is a head-torch to replace the one that I carelessly lost back in December.


  1. Socks

    I love them. The fatter, the fluffier, the better. I used a pair of liners and an expensive pair of thick fluffy Merino wool socks that I had found to be the perfect combination for me over the years. Interestingly, (well, I think so anyway!) I now know how long socks last for me.

    Before my walk I used to buy them when they looked a bit skanky or thin (or worse, had holes in them) but during the walk I discovered exactly how many miles each pair of outer socks had lasted.

    Obviously this will vary for each person, depending on walking style, fit of boot, terrain and type of sock.

    Mine last 215 miles per pair. At about £17 per pair, thats a surprising 8 pence per mile! You know you wanted to know that!

  2. I think perhaps Mr S has very abrasive feet! My socks seem to last for ever. I use Bridgedales, as a rule.

  3. Ah Geoff, you might think they last forever - I did too - but in fact you might be wearing lots of different pairs over a long period of time with only average mileage.

    When you do your Lejog (next year?) you too will be able to monitor the real life expectancy of your socks!

    But there again, you probably have a life and so wouldn't bother with such nonsense!

  4. I hope that I get more miles-per-sock than you Alan. It wasn't that long ago that I could run my car for not a lot more than 8p/mile - I expect socks to be an awful lot cheaper!

    In Judith Armstrong's excellent gear review on her Alpine Challenge she says that her first pair of socks lasted her 2300 miles, with another pair still going after 1300 miles! Whilst I don't expect to get that many miles out of a pair of Bridgedales, I'd like to clock up a few hundred miles before they get 'retired'.

    I'll have to report back on the subject in July, won't I?

  5. Hmm; Smartwool socks lasted about 1,000 miles a pair on my big walk. Mind you, I didn't keep wearing them when they were getting thin, best to start with a new fluffy pair again - don't want to ruin all that planning now, do you!