This week has largely been preparation for the next three, in which I will walk Hadrian’s Wall with Aaron, recover while doing some DIY and looking after the kids, and then travel with Team Belshaw on holiday to Croatia. Work-wise, I have endeavoured not to start anything new this week.
Instead, I’ve been thinking, planning, and shopping in an attempt to make sure that what seemed from a way off like a harmless jaunt across country doesn’t turn into a world of pain. I’m particularly concerned about:
- My feet — while 1-2 day hikes are easy, I’ve never done a 5-6 day hike before
- My back — I should be OK with carrying around 13kg in my 75-litre rucksack, but ¯\_ (ツ)_/¯
- The cold — it’s forecast to get down to -3°C some nights, will I be warm enough?
As a result, I’ve bought new walking socks to ensure my feet are looked after and I have done my best to prevent blisters. I’m packing as light as I possibly can to help my back, while still ensuring I’ve got the essentials. Although there’s plenty of civilisation at either end of the journey, there’s not so much in the middle! And to prevent getting too cold, I’m taking the very warm sleeping bag I bought last year inside which I’ll place a new Klymit Inertia X Frame sleeping pad. This is in addition to my Thermarest Z-Lite foldable closed-cell foam pad.
There’s lots of advice to be found about walking Hadrian’s Wall, but I’ve found this post to be most useful — including the top tip to walk it from west to east so that we’re walking with the prevailing wind. It also means that I’ll only be around 15 miles away from home! Our planned route is below, but it’s subject to change. The white dots are where we’re planning to stay over for the night, which involves a mixture of pods, youth hostels, and camping.
On the work front, I’ve been helping think through structures for the Greenpeace project that cannot be named, recording the first episode of Season 4 of The Tao of WAO podcast (which will feature Kayleigh Walsh from Outlandish), sorting out invoices, running a community call for the Keep Badges Weird community, and doing other internal stuff.
It’s a busy weekend with both kids involved in multiple sports matches, Hannah doing a practice walk of her own in preparation for the Mighty Hike in July, and me doing last minute
faffing preparations. I’m sure a decade ago I would have been giving constant updates on next week’s trip, but instead I’ll just enjoy it. That might involve putting some photos on my Mastodon account, or even a blog post or two. But I’m not going to stress about it!