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]

Thursday 4 September 2008

Random Thoughts

Waterproof Overtrousers:
Found them! That’s a relief. I don’t like losing stuff, even temporarily; and particularly expensive stuff.

Extraordinary Kindness:

I received a big parcel this week. Huge in fact. Perhaps the biggest parcel that I’ve ever received. And, parcels are always exciting, even if you’re expecting them and know what’s in them.

I thought that I knew the contents of this one; Dawn (who goes on extraordinary backpacking trips, often in Scotland – her blog is certainly worth a read) was clearing out some kit and was giving away a dehydrator. I bit her hand off.

Even though I already have a dehydrator, I often seem to find myself up against the stops, trying to cook and dehydrate a lot of food in a small space of time (take our upcoming C2C trip; cooking and drying finally started this week). A second machine was not going to go amiss.

Not only did Dawn send me the expected dehydrator, but also a good armful of other stuff. I was mightily pleased.

The dehydrator was almost immediately put into use. Two nights ago we had on the go (in two separate dehydrators): four Beef Chilli, two Shepherds, a punnet of plums and a few bananas. Last night it was the turn of Lentil Stew and pears (separately; I’m not that experimental with flavours).

The added bonus of a couple of dehydrating books have also been read. I have grand plans for some more interesting lunch substances as a result. Must try some jerky too.


The new dehydrator is on the go again. It has a big advantage over my existing one: five trays. It will whizz away tonight full of Chickpea Stewy Things and maybe some more bananas.

I’ve not yet put together a spreadsheet of what we’ve dried towards our next two trips (I’ve also not labelled and dated bags yet, so it could be a bit of guess work!), but I think that we’re making good inroads into our food requirements.

Water Filter:

In the same trip to the Sorting Office to pick up the parcel from Dawn, I also picked up my parcel from Backpackinglight, containing the Aquagear Waterfilter.

One of the first things I did was weigh it. Then I removed the unnecessary sleeve and weighed it again. Without sleeve it came in at just over 130g according the scales available to me (which I’ve not checked for accuracy yet; but they told me that my Terra Pants were much heavier than advertised and surely they're not inaccurate in both directions?). Just 30g heavier than the defunct-exceedingly-bad-value-and-wholly-unreliable Steripen is acceptable, even if it does involve a tiny bit more effort.

We then tried it with tap water in the sink, for the first three wash-throughs (we were actually filtering filtered water; bet that was clean by the time we were done).

Not sure when it’s going to be used in anger for the first time, but I’ll report back when we do use it. I don’t imagine that I’ll have anything to add to the praise that’s been heaped on it by other outdoor bloggers though.

Canal Walking:

I must blog next week about my friends Vic & Juan.

In August 2007 I blogged about a slightly-drunken show-and-tell to which we subjected them, about our backpacking gear. A few days later Vic sent me an email asking me what kit she would need for a walking holiday and since then they have indeed been on a couple of walking holidays.

As I type they're walking from their home in London to Vic’s brother’s place in Birmingham.

Here's just one snippet about their experience to date:


Vic walks a lot (neither she nor Juan drive, which tends to lead to more walking than your average person). She also runs. She’s been building up to this London to Birmingham trip, and we just wouldn’t have expected her to be plagued by blisters.

Alas, they struck on day 1. On day 2 she said that she no longer had feet, just blisters and Compeed. I hope she was exaggerating slightly.

Anyway, she sent me an intriguing text the other day saying that the thread trick worked a treat. I shall quiz her over it when we go and meet up with them this weekend, but it looks like I may have to eat my words about antiquated worsted-based remedies!

1 comment:

  1. I DID wonder, you know - it does make sense - I think if one was to use a sterile wicking thread I can't see why it shouldn't work - the wick would drain the fluid, thus releasing the pressure...

    Any Doctors in the house?