I’ll be heading north about 6am tomorrow morning, so just enough time to write a very short post about plans and stuff.

My pack is bulging with 5 day’s food and all the other gear I’ll be humping across half of the North West Highlands for eight days. The final figures are in and the base weight is 10.13 Kg and a pack weight of 14.09 Kg (without water). You can see the full breakdown in the image below. I won’t bore you with the detail, there’s nothing exciting in there!

The base weight is pretty good for me; I’m not what you’d call an Ultralite advocate, I carry too much weight on my body without worrying about cutting the handle off my toothbrush. The Consumables includes a full gas canister and all my food for the first five days, although I expect to only need four days rations before I resupply. I’ll be dropping a food cache, on my way up, around Shiel Bridge which will hold the final three day’s food. I’ve not decided where to stash it yet, but I’m sure I’ll find somewhere close to the path

I’ve done a couple of test packs on my gear and finally decided on a “tall and thin” pack rather than a “short and fat”, this will hopefully spread the weight along my spine a bit more evenly, but at least I know it all goes in!

Chris and I have rented a SPOT 3 Satellite Messenger from www.mountainsafety.co.uk and this will help us keep in touch with our partners and other interested parties even when we don’t have a mobile signal in the wilds. We are able to send two SMS messages per day using one of the dedicated SPOT buttons and as many emails as we like using another button.

Chris will also be using the tracking feature to upload our position to his Social Hiking page. This updates every few minutes and should allow anyone who cares to see where we are. You can find his page here: www.shareyouradventure.com

That’s it, I’m off…

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3 thoughts on “Heading North”

  1. How have you packed your cache? I’ve been leaving cache’s for several tears now for various treks, and I learnt the hard way that animals can get into anything bar a metal tin or substantial plastic box. I’ve left a cache for the TGO in 2017, buried under a good deal of hefty rocks, only to arrive and find it trashed..everything edible had gone. Probably something as big as a badger managed to shift the rocks.

    1. John, interesting to hear your experiences – I was concerned about the exact same thing. However, I didn’t want to source a metal container and then have to carry it onwards, so I went for multiple layers. Each day’s food was in a thick ziplock bag and all those were in a much bigger ziplock. That went into a thick carrier bag along with anything that wasn’t food and that was wrapped into a thick plastic rubble sack. I hoped that multiple plastic bags would mask the smell of the contents. All wrapped in duct tape and labelled with an appeal to leave in place if found. It was only in-situ for 4 days, but was not molested.

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