a combination of trail running, tramping and camping.
I’ve never been a fan of camping – I just don’t get why people would lug what these days are basically huge nylon houses (complete with bedrooms) to a field for a “holiday”. James on the other hand hates tramping, so much so, that he has repeatedly told me that he would rather die than go tramping (he doesn’t understand why trampers don’t just run and get it over with – although in fairness I often wonder the same thing).
So, I guess we wouldn’t immediately spring to mind if you wanted some company on your next fastpacking adventure. Truth be told even James was a tad bemused when I enthused over all the adventures we could go on if we took up fastpacking, but like any good husband when he saw how serious I was (no one watches an entire day’s worth of you tube videos on tent reviews for fun) he resigned himself to the fact that we were going adventuring whether he liked it or not – all he said was “If I have to run all day, I want to be comfortable at night” – which is why I didn’t begrudge him dropping a large chunk of change on what I call his “grand dad bed”. 😉
At this point he will want it known that I also caved and bought a similar (but much cheaper) nanna bed after being convinced of it’s insulating properties – after all, it’s a safety thing …
Before heading out into the wilderness for the first time we decided it would be a good idea to do a trial run, loading up our packs with everything that we envisaged we would carry on an overnight expedition so we could see how it felt to run with a fully laden pack.
Afterwards we could re-examine if we could add more weight (probably a cider or two), redistribute the weight (eg give James some of my shit) or if my pack horse partner in crime struggled we’d then have to decide how we could drop some of the weight.
While we were out we even stopped enroute to run through setting up our camp. The idea was that we’d pretend that is was raining and see how fast we could erect the tent. Considering this was the first time we’ve set this particular tent up I didn’t think our time of 7 minutes 34 was too bad and by going over this process in the field we’ve already come up with ways to get things done quicker in the future.
On a side note, if it’s not actually raining (or we are not pretending it is) putting the tent up would be much quicker as you could erect it in the correct order. However, when it’s raining in order to keep the tent dry, it’s possible to put up the ground sheet and rain cover first then go underneath to put up the section you sleep in – obviously this way is a little more convoluted but at least your bedroom stays dry.
All in all I’m glad we had a trial run before heading out into the “real world” as by doing so I came up with the following conclusions;
- When downhill running it’s VERY hard to stop because of the additional weight – keep your weight over your feet and lean slightly forward.
- Plan plan plan – in other words DO NOT put a 2km long big arse hill right at the end of your journey.
- When your husband offers to take your pack (up the last big arse hill), let him, you’ll both get to your destination quicker when you work as a team.
- If your partner gets hangry, gather the wild blackberries surrounding you and feed them – stat! (Learned by watching another couple out on the trail).
- Be appreciative – of both the beauty in your surroundings and the person in your life who will follow you into the wilderness to make sure you don’t kill yourself.
Till next time