It’s the peak season for wildlife in the Scottish islands and we are walking the newly opened Hebridean Way- 180 miles from Vatersay to the Butt of Lewis. In this post I talk about the appeal of this new route, trail logistics and some minor gear updates.
It has not been a year of hikes on big trails, but in the background, I have been covering the miles on days out walking on the South Downs. The Downs have grown on me slowly, but as a I look back on 9 months of walking there, I realise that they have become an important place of escape and an unexpected adventure.
With train tickets booked we are only a few weeks away from starting the GR5. In this post I talk about our preparations for the trail, the options available and my thoughts on section-hiking the trail (as opposed to thru-hiking).
In a few weeks times I’ll be embarking on a solo hike of the South Downs Way. For the first time I’ll be using a tarp for camping and this post describes my solo gear set-up and shows my first attempts at a series of tarp pitches.
Blessed with two glorious spring days, I set out with a trusty Jack Russell to walk the 39 mile New Lipchis Way from north to south through West Sussex. It was a stunning and diverse journey that took us deep into ancient rural landscapes and through the heart of the South Downs National Park, before descending to the Cathedral city of Chichester and finally the sea at East Head.
It’s been 2 years since we started hiking seriously and our base-weight has dropped from 14kg (!) to 7kg. As we look to make more weight savings to achieve an ultralight set-up, we look at the learning curve we have been on that has helped us to be lighter hikers.
With a new area to explore and spring nearly here we have been keen to get out an start training for our 2017 hiking season. A injury sustained to my IT band while running however is forcing me to diversify how I train for hiking and develop better overall strength and stability. It is frustrating in the short term but the long term benefits will hopefully pay off in developing better hiking form and endurance.