My first wild camping trip has been postponed 😦 .
MrP had been looking forward to a good laugh at my expense and will no doubt be sobbing in his tea, him now being forced to watch Casualty on Saturday night for similar, crisis based, entertainment. The prospect of pitching up at 600m with showers and a north-westerly gusting to 55mph was considered inappropriate for a first-timer and so the fateful day has been put back for a month. A couple of major events in the area had also conspired to make my trip with MrP as awkward as possible. The 2 day Blair Atholl Horse Trials would have impacted on access to Bridge of Tilt but “Thunder in the Glens” near Aviemore was likely to have had greater consequences.
Apparently “Thunder in the Glens” did not refer to the possible gastric consequences of MrP’s proposed dinner menu for Saturday night of Pasta, Beans and Bacon – but the arrival in the area of thousands of hairy-arsed bikers leading to road closures and general mayhem in the Aviemore area. All things considered a postponement seemed the best option…and, with a bit of luck, by the time our diaries once more coincide the midges should be nearing their annual extinction.
As part of my preparations for the trip I tested my lower back’s reaction to a bigger pack weight by loading my old Berghaus Freeflow III 25 + 5 litre backpack with 10kg of books. I slung it onto my shoulders and awaited the inevitable progressive collapse of my spinal column. Surprisingly it felt ok…and in a strange, oddly familiar, way. Very roughly I counted the kilos…from when I started walking 4 years ago.
2kg for my cameras
1kg with by bag of bits and pieces (torch, first aid kit, spare x, y and z)
2kg between filled flask and water
2kg of waterproofs and jackets (depending on weather)
1kg heavy retractable dog lead
1.0kg of food, snacks, sweets, dog nibbles.
0.5kg Cicerone guide book
…and that was without trying too hard. Looks like I was carrying the same weight on a day trip in those days!
I’m not sure what my current day pack must weigh – but it must be at least half of that!
However what this little exercise did highlight was the fact that my current 22 litre Lowe Alpine pack does not transfer any weight to my hips but puts it all down my spine whereas my old Berghaus pack, with its broad padded waistband, will transfer part of the load past the crux that is my lower back. Maybe I’ve been creating an added problem for myself the past couple of years!
Offhand I couldn’t think of a reason why I would need to drag 10kg of hardback fiction up a mountain so I hauled the books out of the Berghaus pack and put in the current pack load. The Fatdog and I stuck our heads into the pack’s remaining cavernous space, our breath echoing off the sides. I stared at the big void…then at FD…then back again. As the possibility of the Aonach Eagach Ridge flitted through my mind The Fatdog, tail down, s-l-o-w-l-y backed away.
I’m in two minds, well in fact a number of minds, about what we should tackle tomorrow. With the strong winds scheduled to die down in the second part of the day FD and I should manage a wee hill somewhere. The Fatdog has had a slightly dodgy left shoulder this week but it appears to improve with exercise. With a big walk scheduled for Tuesday with Cap’n Jack – courtesy of a fair chunk of high pressure moving in from the Atlantic, I need to test out her resilience to a decent hill walk without overstretching her. A somewhat delicate balance is required.
Somewhere between Tyndrum and Glen Lyon is looking a distinct possibility; somewhere only just over an hour from home…and of insignificant difficulty.
I’m off to look at some maps…