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Do any of you enjoy backpacking/long distance footpaths?

(37 Posts)
Yurtgirl Fri 10-Aug-07 22:49:40

Ok so I know it sounds mad but Im seriously thinking about walking long distance footpaths and backpacking all our stuff iyswim - in the UK

My lo's are no way near old enough now but am just wondering whether any MN were into this

expatinscotland Fri 10-Aug-07 22:50:08

I do.

But NOT with kids!

littlelapin Fri 10-Aug-07 22:51:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moondog Fri 10-Aug-07 22:53:06

I fancy this.
Santiaga da Compostella or Pembrokeshire coastal path or summat.Kids a bit small at mo.
I'd like a company to take the bags and drop them off.Actually I am taking a break alone in October and have been sort of thinking along these lines.Walk all day,great food and wine of an evening,good night's sleep.

expatinscotland Fri 10-Aug-07 22:53:32

You have to be very organised because if you don't balance the weight in your rucksack, it can do some serious damage to your joints and feet and throw off your centre of gravity.

Buy a good bathroom scale before embarking on any trip like that, and pay close attention to elevation gain.

moondog Fri 10-Aug-07 22:54:54

'elevation gain' Get her!

expatinscotland Fri 10-Aug-07 22:57:38

Also, you will lose weight on such an excusion. Not just because of the activity but also because you will live off rice, couscous and pasta mixed with some form of protein - beans, tuna or tofu being the chief ones, gorp, and peanut butter.

After a while, however, we purchased a food dehydrator and made some quality victuals, which makes setting up camp of any evening much more of a pleasure.

Must haves (in case of stormbound tent): a deck of cards, pencil and small pad of paper, dice and a flask of whisky (makes a stormbound tent seem almost homey).

expatinscotland Fri 10-Aug-07 22:58:01

Or, and a Crazy Creek chair or something to rest your back against.

Yurtgirl Fri 10-Aug-07 22:58:06

I was thinking pembrokeshire coastal path too - I could get there form here easily with no car. It would suit us perfectly

I think the whole thing takes two weeks tho which is obviously too far for a first outing

Clary Fri 10-Aug-07 22:59:33

pembs coastal path is lovely we walked some of it on recent holiday.

Not carrying a tent tho!!!

It's about 180 miles IIRC if that's any help.

expatinscotland Fri 10-Aug-07 23:01:04

Start with some weekenders - Sat. night camp thingies.

Then move on to 3 dayers. Once you're at that, just as easy to go for a week.

Water purifier a must. Those tablets are wretched and I still got fucking giardia.

brandnewhelsy Fri 10-Aug-07 23:01:17

Love walking footpaths but haven't done it since having children - did some of the Ridgeway and have walked various stretches of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and a bit of the West Highland Way. Can't imagine walking any distance with young children, though - considering how mine WHINGE when we have to walk around town and not go in a toy shop
I want to walk Offa's Dyke and/or Wat's Dyke because they are near where I grew up - would probably wait until dds are teenagers though, then I'd be in my mid-50s!

Flibbertyjibbet Fri 10-Aug-07 23:02:25

We did the full snail thing - walking with everything on our backs, for several holidays - before kids. And now I have got out of the habit, just waiting till dp wants to take the boys backpackign in a few years while I remain at home in comfort.
Moondog, my sis cycled the santiago de wotsit and it was fabulous, I am sure you can do organised trips on it to have your stuff dropped off each night whether walking or cycling. Shall I enquire?

expatinscotland Fri 10-Aug-07 23:03:04

Make him carry the tent .

moondog Fri 10-Aug-07 23:04:04

If you have a spare minute and remmember,would be very kind Flibberty thanks.
Tim Moore (ace travel writer) did a very funny book a year or so ago about doing it with a donkey.
I don't fancy going up stairs of cathedral on knees however..

phatcat Fri 10-Aug-07 23:06:11

ooh I really fancy this when my 2 ds are old enough - check out 'Scraping Heaven' by Cindy Ross, an account of walking the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico with her dh and 2 kids - hardcore! I've also read another couple of hers - Journey on the Crest and Hikers Companion. Definitely worth a read if you're serious about doing this kind of thing - really inspirational and lots of tips. Expat - I've been thinking about getting a dehydrator for doing camping food - which would you recommend and how much?

Yurtgirl Fri 10-Aug-07 23:06:44

I am reading a book about it atm which has inspired me - hence this thread

The books author took her brood backpacking when the youngest was 7 and they continued to do so several times a year at least for the next 10 I think.
As parents they made sure they were all proficient campers and could walk 12 miles a day

Clearly my two have some way to go!!

expatinscotland Fri 10-Aug-07 23:10:55

Phat, I had one in the US, so I think they'd be totally different here. We paid about $80 for it and it was well worth it because my ex is a serious rock and ice climber who enjoyed high altitude mountaineering. That requires a lot of training - we lived in Denver - so either one or both of us would backpack nearly every weekend.

You could plan some lovely meals and make jerkey in the dehydrator and as you know those meals in a pouch aren't cheap.

So if you're doing it a lot it's worth the investment.

Flibbertyjibbet Fri 10-Aug-07 23:20:52

Moondog - My sis lives in spain and her bf is from the area of that trail, she's on about doing it again...
Will email her tomorrow or Mon and ask for details, tourist info etc. There are little specially built hostels all along it so I don't think you need to walk toooooo far each day.

MrsMarvel Fri 10-Aug-07 23:23:42

I was recently thinking about joining some kind of walking group. At the mo I drag the family up to the peak district for a few days and get a quick hike while they are in town shopping. I'm getting very frustrated.

I'm not ambitious enough to do long distance and have let go of hope of rest of family joining in, so if anyone has any ideas...

moondog Fri 10-Aug-07 23:24:15

Thank you (what a great place to live)

brandnewhelsy Fri 10-Aug-07 23:29:40

MrsMarvel - would this be of interest?

brandnewhelsy Fri 10-Aug-07 23:31:28

these too, but that would depend on whether you were interested in their politics.

Skribble Sat 11-Aug-07 00:04:16

Sherpa vans, trail planners and accomodation.

Why not try and plan a route where you stay at B&B's each night, so less kit to carry, shower and a pint .

Skribble Sat 11-Aug-07 00:07:06

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

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