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hi, i am totally new to bushcraft and apologies to anyone offended by my 'double entendre' title.
i am a left leg above knee amputee and want to walk from st.jean pied-de-port in france to santiago di compostella in spain, about 500 miles. i need to have a travois made so that i can be self sufficient on the walk and i need to know some basic bushcraft and advice on what i should take with me and where best to buy it?
thanks for the mo, mark
can't help with the travois but welcome to the group where there is a wealth of advice on kit and techniques (have a look via the search engine for anything is particular).
Good luck on the walk, respect to you.
Hi Mark and welcome,
I'd love to try and offer some help, but can you give a few more details please?
Do you plan to camp out each night during your journey?
Will you be carrying all or part of your food or sourcing food locally?
Will you be using camp sites or negotiating with landowners for permission to stay?
How far do you plan to travel each day?
If you could answer those, I'm sure we could tailor a response
hi moduser, thanks.
hi british red, great questions....there are sanctuaries every 15-20 miles along the route so i will be on my own in between these. i plan to start by restricting myself to 5 miles a day as i feel sure i can sustain this amount without doing myself (and my stump in particular) any damage. i am finding out if i can have parcels sent to the sanctuaries because i need certain dietary items to help me keep regular in the bowel dept. i should imagine most natural food i could forage would be great but spanish white bread would be out of the question for sure. i would be stopping at campsites by preference but will have to stop when i have to stop so regular 'wild' camping will be happening and looked forward to. i am envisaging the travois would be a makeshift shelter too.
i think it is a very close call between a backpack and a travois but since i have thought of the idea of a travois i really like it as i can go slower but with greater ease and more home comforts with less chance of injuring myself. also, i plan on writing about my trip and i think the travois adds a certain exotic touch.
how's that to be getting on with? thanks, mark
I think the first question is to look into the legal side of wild camping over on the continent, if anything like the UK you might be onto a none starter. Equally important have you decided what time of the year you plan to go.?
Is that the Hartley Witney near Fleet coz I lived there when I was a nipper it had a big common covered with oaks keep us posted about ya trip :)
Hello Mark and welcome here. That sounds like a great trip, I wish you all success with it...................Jon http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/6821/bushcraftersfire4ne.gif
hi nemisis, thanks for the reply. there is a designated path for the whole of the 500 miles and i'm thinking of crashing on or near the path when necessary. i would be moving on shortly after dawn so i don't envisage any major problems there unless the authorities designate a plod solely to me. i'm gathering info on the best time to go, see www.peterrobbins.co.uk/camino
hi bloodline, yep, hw near fleet where the trees where grown for the boat industry. thanks for the message.
hi jon, thanks, i think i'll need a bit of luck but courage and perseverance are the watchwords. joining this forum is helping, kind of making the whole thing official and having other people sharing it.
The path is extemely well used, and I doubt you'll go even a few minutes without some company. You can camp wherever you want really, within reason. I'd advise on using a bivi-bag rather than a tent, and finding somewhere out of sight. But the 'shelters' are very well served, and practically every house you come across will be more than happy to take in a hungry pilgrim for the night! The support you get from the locals as well as the other pilgrims will probably astound you - in the areas you will be crossing, the people still have a sense of honour, and a tradition of helping travelers.
And take lots and lots of photos - we will all want to see them!
The best time to go is at the end of august when the intense heat of the midday sun has abated slightly.
As for kit and bushcraft skills, just ask people what you think you will need, and fire away!
hi jake, thanks for the great message. in between my last message and reading yours i thought that, in fact, the watchword was faith. not just faith in whoever or whatever your god is but faith in your fellow man. your message has really perked me up and got my girlfriend, susan, all emotional (not me of course, well,ok, a little bit). i'll certainly be taking plenty of pic's and will download them to my website as and when i can.
i have bought a kelly kettle set, a small british army machete and a guide book. please add to my list and any other advice will be gladly received and acknowledged if i ever get published.
many thanks, mark
What type of stove are you taking? what type of meals/cooking? While its a little heavier than a civvie version the Swedish Army trangia is pretty compact and bomb proof. Simple Meths stove no valves etc to go wrong.
Well, Mark, at the very basic level, you need very little:
Anything more than the above is just luxury...
Sleeping Bag You will only need a very light one. I can heartily reccommend my warm weather bag, the RAB Quantum 250 (£160), which has no zips or baffle and is a tiny 484gms. My synthetic equivalent is 1423gms... Never compress a sleeping bag, you will ruin it. Just loosely pack it inside a bin line or two, at the bottom of your rucksack if it is down and put evrything else on top, or at the top if it is synthetic. Never use the compression sack that is supplied, unless you like replacing your sleeping bag very very often.
Bivi Bag/Tent/Tarp There is a massive range you can choose from here. I'd reccommend a bivi bag if you intend on wild camping near the path (you can use a bivi bag absolutely anywhere). You will probably find that a tarp or tent will be made rather redundant, not only because of the fine weather, but because you will probably find yourself at shelters or hostels most nights. The best bivi bag, in my opinion, is the RAB Assault Bivi in exChange eVent fabric. This weighs 780gms, has a long zip for easy entry, and a midge net which can be suspended from a tree/branch/pole/whatever. However, it is not cheap (£170).
Sleeping Mat I use a simple closed cell foam multimat (£15), which only weighs 295gms. Hoever, for comfort, a Thermarest self-inflating mattress (thermarest are by far the best, it is not worth considering any other manufactuer) is much soffter on the back. A long one is more comfortable, but not neccessary in the conditions you'll be in. The Prolite 3 short (£55) weighs 370gms, and the regular length (£60) weighs 570gms.
Whatever the hell you want, really. I'd suggest eating whatever you can, whenever you can, as it can be quite difficult to find food in some places. Be prepared to eat a lot of tinned fish, bread and cheese (not that it matters, personally, I like nothing more than a slab of bread and cheese and some pilchards in tomato sauce...)
You already have a kelly kettle (bulky but versatile, great bit of kit, I want one :rolleyes: ), and fuel is easy beyond belief to find. If you do take another stove, make sure you can find the fuel for it once you're there. Self-sealing gas canisters are non-existent, meths is equally hard to find.
Rucksack - My prefernce is the Macpac Ascent 65-70 litres which is ludicrously hard wearing, excellent value (£130) and very very comfortable. There are MANY MANY other options. And don't forget, IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE GREEN!!!! The most you will pobably need is 55 litres, but with the kelly kettle, a larger one (70 litres) may be neccessary if you want to keep it inside the rucksack.
Other things you might want are:
Water Purifier (not neccessary, unless you are paranoid about clean water, the First Needs is the best on the market (£90)
Rucksack liner (I use wheelybin plastic bags or garden refuse sacks at about 5 pence each. Use several, and keep different things inside different bags inside your rucksack. Make sure that your sleeping bag NEVER NEVER NEVER gets wet.)
Compass (slive type 4)
Small utility knife (something unobtrusive so you don't alarm anyone. Keep it in your pocket or rucksack NOT ON YOUR BELT.)Firesteel/matches/lighter
small 1st aid kit (i.e. plasters and antiseptic spray, there is no need for bandages and splints)
Folding Saw (bahco laplander is by far the best)
Wash kit, including travel towel
Bug Spray (the bets is Avon Skin-so-soft dry oil body spray. Don't ask me why, but the marines swear by it! It has something to do with it being based on bergamot and citrus, which midges hate)
A 30' length of paracord
Note book and pencil
Camera & Film
You can see how quickly the s**t builds up to neck height, but on a long journey it is better to have it just in case, then to find you need it but you left it at home...
I think that is most of what you might need, but if I've forgotten anything I'll add it later. I have to go to work now ( :( ) so I'll think about it when I'm at work.
The one book you should definitely read is Chris Townsends, 'The Backpackers Handbook'. It is the difinitive guide on kit, and will answer any questions you have.
What you're doing is incredible. You are far more brave than I could ever imagine being. Have fun on the walk, my deepest respect goes out to you.
hi dave, many thanks - i have just bought a kelly kettle set and hope that does the job.
hi jake, thanks for the great info - just what i was looking for. thanks for the encouragement and the kind words.
i've found a guy called mark howard (who has worked for her maj herself!!) who is a hurdle maker and he is willing to have a go at helping me make a travois so that is great.
does this thread 'live' on forever or should i save people's details?
I got back late from France last night so I'm real sorry to be late in replying. I've invetoried the sort of kit I carry for a couple of articles before so I thought it might be helpful to re-publish it here for you
Sections of Bag
I've tried to edit the image into sections and label each section (Food etc.). I can then describe in detail what’s in each section
The sections I have used are:
The whole lot will pack into a Forces 100 plain Green Bergan (80 +20 litre). This is a good, internally framed, rip stop nylon padded back pack with padded hip belt and removable pockets that zip together to form a day sack. The Large black bag you can see in the bottom left of the drinking square is in fact 3 waterproof liners specifically made to fit the main sack body and the two main pockets.
I'll try to give a detailed description of each area. In fact most of this kit isn't my "best kit", which is often dirty, in use etc. its a kit I keep packed up for those impropmtu trips - sort of a "grab and go bag". Its intended to cover 72 hrs minimum. For longer trips or planned events I tend to adapt the contents (usually trying to remove gear!) for climate, route, terrain etc.
I'll try to list any reasons for the contents as well as the contents themselves.
Food Part 1 – Ration Packs
Part 1 of the food section is 3 ration packs.. I have tried to model these on a British Forces ration pack, but make it lighter and more to my taste. The aim was to increase the food carried for the same weight. Here are the details of what’s in each pack (menus vary but items are the same)
Ration Pack in large plastic ziplock
1 Dehydrated Breakfast
1 Dehydrated Main Meal
1 Dehydrated Desert
10 tissues (plastic wrapped)
1 box all weather matches sealed in ziplock
Snacks pack (sealed in ziplock)
1 muesli bar
2 chocolate bars
3 small fuit bars
1 small sugar free chewing gum
Drinks pack (sealed in ziplock)
1 isotonic sports drink powder
4 Sugar sachets
2 Drink whitener
1 vegetable stock drink
2 sachets instant white tea
2 sachets coffee
1 sachet latte
1 sachet cappuccino
2 sachets sauce
1 sachet salt
1 tea bag
Net weight of ration pack 750g (as opposed to 1600g for MRE rat pack). This means I can carry twice as much food dehydrated (although 1 days worth of MREs is useful). Therefore 72hr bag contains 2 dehydrated meal and 1 MRE based.
Food Part 2 – Cooking Kit
Part 2 of the “food kit” is cooking equipment etc. This consists of:
Trangia set consisting of:
2 bowl shaped pans
1 frying pan / lid
1 litre of methylated spirit in anodised aluminium fuel bottle
Knife, fork and spoon
Small bottle of anti bacterial washing up liquid and pan scourer in ziplock bag
8oz steel hipflask full of Islay Malt
I selected the trangia because its aluminium and hence light in weight. The burner system cannot go wrong and weight for burn time, meths is as light as gas. The pans and frying pan double up as my bowl and plate.
The washing up liquid and scourer is to prevent food poisoning. The squits can wear you out – not worth it.
The scotch is liquid analgesic, sterilising solution and….oh hell I like scotch.
The “water” section consists of:
1 British forces 58 pattern water bottle (light, plastic, stacks into the Crusader cup.)
1 metal crusader cup. Stacks with water bottle, doubles as a pan if necessary
1 anodised aluminium water bottle, insulated belt pouch and sports cap. Light, unbreakable, easy to drink from on the go, hard to spill, doubles as a duplicate fuel bottle if necessary.
1 Platypus roll up 2 litre water carrier. Ups my water carrying to 4 litres and weighs nothing. Important with freeze dried food.
1 water filter and stuff sack to keep clean
100 puritabs which weigh next to nothing but are vital for health.
First Aid Kit
The first aid kit consists of a large ziplock bag containing
1 pair EMT shears
2 N95 masks
1 bandage pack (in medium ziplock)
1 tube hand steriliser
1 insect repellent pump (50% DEET – accept no substitute)
1 ready to go disinfectant pump
1 sundries pack (in medium ziplock)
1 cuts and grazes pack (in medium ziplock)
1 meds pack (in medium ziplock)
First Aid Kit – bandage pack
1 Shell dressing
1 extra large wound dressing
1 medium wound dressing
1 no. 9 ambulance dressing
1 triangular bandage
1 7.5cm stretch bandage
1 5cm x 5m open weave bandage
1 finger dressing
2 small dressings
10 assorted safety pins
First Aid Kit – cuts and grazes pack
25g Potassium Permanganate (used to make more disinfectant, sterilise water or as chemical fire starter)
17ml Iodine solution (disinfectant or water purification – not to be used as water purification with pregnant women or thyroid conditions)
20g Anthisan bite and sting cream
6 pairs latex gloves
50 assorted plasters including knuckle, large strip etc.
Blister kit including heel plasters, moleskin etc.
Small ziplock of cotton buds
13ml bottle of new skin (great for small burns, grazes and blisters)
23g of “stop bleed” spray
This may seem over the top, but the intention is to stop small problems becoming large ones. Infected cuts, blisters and bergan rubs were what I most had to look out for on extended trips.
First Aid Kit – sundries pack
1 10cm x 10cm Melolin Dressing Pad
2 5cm x 5cm Melolin Dressing Pads
2 antiseptic wipes
2 sets of steristrips and clear adhesive covering
1 pair latex gloves
1 Turniclip tourniquet
1 scalpel and 5 sterile blades
1 pair forceps
2 ampoules saline solution (for washing objects from eyes)
1 roll 5m micropore tape
1 tube superglue
1 3/0 sterile non-absorbable suture kit
2 4/0 sterile non-absorbable suture kit
1 5/0 sterile non-absorbable suture kit
2 3/0 absorbable chromic gut sutures
First Aid Kit – medicines pack
6 Immodium tablets (stops diarrhoea)
10 co-codamol tablets (severe painkiller)
6 aspirin tablets (painkiller and heart problems)
12 caffeine tablets (stimulant to keep you awake)
8 cinnarizine tablets (anti-nausea)
8 phenylephrine tablets (decongestant)
12 ibruprofen tablets (painkiller and anti-inflammatory)
7 antihistamine tablets (bites / stings and hayfever)
6 laxative tablets
6 strepsil tablets (sore throats)
12 rennie tablets (indigestion)
Each medicine is in a separate ziplock bag. The bag carries the name of the medicine, its purpose and recommended dosage.
This is a large pack, but other team members can then just carry a small personal kit. I suspect you know your own medical needs well and I often don't carry a kit as large as this - your call mate. Clearly carry what you need to be safe and only what you know how to use. Sounds like you are on a well travelled route so a small kit, your normal meds if any and a mobile is probably sufficient!
The “blades” in my bag are:
A 1 1/4lb camp hatchet and cover. I have much “better” axes than this, but considered that the combination of lightweight and a metal handle make this a durable and portable choice for splitting and chopping.
A carbon steel fixed blade Frost Mora knife. A superb knife for the money and one I can afford to leave in my bag. I have ditched the sheath it came in and replaced with a superb custom leather sheath (a gift from a good mate). This also has a “socket” to carry my fire steel (see Fire).
A Bohco Laplander saw – a great value folding saw that locks open and closed. Very lightweight. This is intended for stake cutting and shelter building.
A cheap multi-tool. Selected because I can afford to leave it in the bag. This forms my “spare” knife, file for heavy sharpening, backup pot holder etc.
Gerber knife sharpener – course and fine ceramic rods to keep a good edge on my blades.
I don't know the local laws on sharps or whether you need anything beyond a pen knife - your call again mate
This is a kit I am happy with. It consists of:
1 mini maglight converted to LEDs and run on lithium AAs. This torch will run for 240 hours on 1 set of lithiums. The batteries have a 15 year shelf life.
1 Niteize holder for the mini mag. This holds two spare lithium batteries and, as well as acting as a belt pouch for the orch can be stood up to convert the torch into a small lantern.
4 spare lithium AAs in a ziplock bag
1 LED headlight. This has steady mode and flashing mode for attracting attention. An absolute necessity for hands free walking and working. Takes 3 alkaline AAAs. I would like to have lithiums but can’t find any in this size. I would also rather have a standard battery size, but the AAAs also fit my GPS and Aas fit my radio so never mind.
6 spare alkaline AAAs in a ziplock bag
2 Sterene candles. Sterene burns longer than normal candles (these are good for at least 12 hours each). They give camp light but can also be pressed to help with fire lighting.
2 8 hour snaplights (1 red, 1 yellow). Mainly for night signals.
Right the burny stuff. Many will think I have overdone this, but to me food, water, warmth and shelter are the biggies. This kit is small but a duplicate of gear I use a LOT.
1 Tinder box. An old military plastic job that seals completely watertight. Holds my tinder (all also individually sealed).
15 petroleum jelly (Vaseline) soaked cotton wool balls. Each is individually wrapped in a tiny ziplock bag. If I have to open the tinder in howling rain, I like everything sealed up. I also don’t have to pull stuck balls apart in the dark etc. Goes in the tinder box.
5 ziplock bags of firelighter pieces. Yup its cheating. So? Goes in the tinder box
1 ziplock bag of whole firelighters (see above). Goes in the tinder box
1 box of 45 waterproof matches sealed in a ziplock. Goes in the tinder box.
1 piezo electric lighter. Backup. Goes in the tinder box.
1 high capacity “turbo flame” gas lighter with a small backup compass. O ring sealed to keep the wet out. Lives in my pocket.
1 Swedish firesteel on recoil key ring. The key ring attaches it to my belt and it sits in a slot on my knife sheath. There is a splitting attachment if I want it “loose”
There is also a ziplocked box of waterproof matches in every 24 hour food pack, and I can make fire with potassium permanganate and sugar sachets if I need to. Failing that I’ll use some paracord and make a fire bow – I take fire seriously!
Navigation. A bit like chess – easy to learn the basics, but you never stop learning. If you can’t use a map and compass, learn! Ordnance Survey now do a cheap and high quality interactive learning CD Rom – so no excuses.
Heres the kit then:
Map. A good one. Or a good set covering from where you are to where you want to be. I like to use 1:25:000 Explorer series when exploring new areas. They aren’t available for all areas though and 1:50,000 are good enough and cover more area for the same weight. OS will print one of the area you want in the scale you want. I also throw in “whole county” A:Z. Rubbish for off road navigation, but covers every ‘B’ road and farm track for the whole county in one book. Keep in a clear platic bag or map case. I have no idea on map availability on your route but I would suggest getting good onea in advance an laminating.
Compass. The best one you can afford (and a backup). Buy a Silva and accept no substitute. There is a spare on my lighter, another (Silva) on my possibles bag and another Silva Micra in my Leatherman case.
Whistle (jetscream). Vital for signalling and summoning help. Not part of navigation but it lives on my compass cord round my neck.
GPS. Tells you where you are. Exactly. Can be pre-programmed with locations and point you straight to them however lost you are. A great piece of kit that shares AAA batteries with my head torch. No substitute for a map and compass though (doesn’t tell you what the terrain will be like, where rivers and water are etc.).
Personal Care Kit
I’ve put quite a lot of thought into my “wash” kit over the years. Here it is in current guise.
This kit contains:
Folding toothpaste and brush
Razor – I have a beard, but a trim makes me look a little less wurzle like. Its also handy for shaving around cuts etc.
Folding scissors (nail care is vital )
Metal tin containing solid bar shampoo and bar of soap. Keeps the wet stuff separate.
Folding brush and mirror combination. Too hard for a mirror? Try steri-stripping your own cut eye without one!
2 sachets of shower gel
Individual sachet of hair gel – handy for that “returning to civilisation” moment
Small synthetic sponge for washing those important places (synthetic doesn’t rot)
Tube of wilderness cream – acts as sun cream, wind burn cream etc.
Tepe brush (like dental floss)
Star flash signal mirror. In this kit to use as a conventional mirror and in the past, my brush mirror was the only one I had, so this is where I know to look.
Poly bag containing tissue packets (individually wrapped) – I carry lots to wipe both ends! Also a packet of wet wipes for those “short of water” wash ups.
Poly bag containing a tub of Nikwax (re-proofing for boots), shoe brush and a few "j" cloths (good for lots of things from flannel to pot holder).
The entire kit packs into my “wash bowl”. This is a collapsible bowl lined with a stuff sack. Its designed as a portable dog bowl, but makes washing a pleasure when a little fire and a billy can are added. I also use this to gather water before putting it through my water filter. The draw string makes spilling it nearly impossible when its full.
This is a bit of a catch all really. Just bits I find useful. In particular order:
AM/FM/LW radio. Good for keeping up with the news (and cricket on LW). Takes the same AAs as the maglight and has an integral earpiece or speaker, so I can share or be private.
Small monocular. Goodish quality and handy for everything from game spotting, terrain checking etc.
Pocket edition SAS survival guide. Always handy to have. Will often include “food for free” as well
Duct tape. Its like the force, it has a dark side, a light side and it holds the universe together. Everything from fixing fabric tears onwards
Paracord. Good for bivvying, boot laces, shelter building etc.
Kite string. Great for snares, fishing, shelter building and very light.
10 premade MkII snares. Each snare weighs 1g
Spare specs. Obvious.
Glucose tablets. Energy hit and yum.
This is a small but vital kit. It can be very important to write and leave messages, record information accurately or retrieve information when away from home (bank account details, passport number etc.). My bag contains the following:
1 pad of waterproof notepaper. This pad will not dissolve if wet and a sheet can be left outside with details of your plans in an emergency.
1 pad of conventional paper and pencil in binder. Useful for non-emergencies (exchanging contact details etc.). Slipped under the cover and hidden is a small “SD” storage card containing scans of vital documents (passport etc.). You can password protect these in case of loss
1 permanent marker pen. This can be used to write on paper, plastic, wood, leather etc. When dry the ink is water and smudge proof.
1 pencil and metal pencil sharpener. Again, this is a waterproof option. The pencil cannot dry up or leak either. Also, in an emergency, pencil sharpenings make great tinder
1 adapted parker pen. Adapted by removing the parker refill and replacing it with a fisher space pen refill (they make these especially to fit Parker pens). Fisher space pens use pressurised ink and write upside down and underwater.
1 CD marker pen – essentially a mini permanent marker (but you can write smaller – sometimes a plus, sometimes not).
Sleep systems are as personal as clothes so if you want to drift off at this point – feel free! This one is light, flexible and requires minimal site preparation. It works for me.
Working from the inside out:
Sleeping bag. I vary these according to the seasons. I find a winter one too hot to use in summer and a summer one too cold in winter. I prefer a synthetic filling as it stays warmer when wet. Down is lighter, warmer and packs better, but is more prone to crushing through prolonged packing and very poor when wet.
Thermalite comfort sleep mat. Self inflating sleep mats are the business. This one is thicker than most (raises you a good 3.5cm off the deck. More comfort, more insulation. Rolls down to no larger than a closed cell mat. Can get a puncture, but I’ve got a repair kit taped to the inside of the stuff sack. Closed cell mats cannot puncture but are colder and less comfortable. Your choice. NB The sleep mat goes INSIDE the bivi bag.
Goretex bivi bag. The business. Get one the right size for you, a large bag and mat.
Sheet of clear light polythene 3m square wrapped in kite string. If its raining hard, I use this as a tarp to keep the rain of me and my kit. In the absence of trees, Ill just support it on a stick and tuck it under the bivi bag and bergan. Also good for solar stills, impromptu capes etc.
That’s it. I have been known to sleep in just the bivi bag (warm but rainy), just the sleeping bag (cool & dry) etc.
Now, this material is essentially the “keep you dry” stuff. There aren’t that many choices to make although style and cut are a matter of personal taste. The one point I would make here is learn to “layer”. Almost all my waterproof gear is “shell” type (un-insulated). I can then wear it with layers of insulation underneath to the degree I need. Too much and I’ll get as wet from sweat as I would from rain. Too little and it hypothermia, core temp drop and death. Layers that are flexible let you adjust clothing as the weather changes. So heres my choices:
Goretex jacket. Waterproof and breathable. A wired hood that rolls up into the neck. A wired hood because it acts like a peaked cap and keeps the rain out of my eyes. Rolled away because I don’t like them flapping around if it isn’t raining. I like a mid-thigh length jacket.
Goretex over-trousers. A must for me. Cold, wet legs are a pain and sap strength and energy. Without over-trousers, rain runs down your jacket and soaks into your legs. Dew from bracken and long grass can also soak you through. I also suggest a pair of gaiters if space permits (mine live with my main boots and will be on me).
Boots gore-tex lined leather. Good “Vibram” type soles. These are very well worn but the soles are fine and they are watertight. My main boots will be on my feet given the chance.
Thinsulate lined “watch cap”. 30% of body heat is lost through the head. This keeps me warm and fits under the hood in rain.
Goretex, thinsulate lined gloves. Walk in the cold and rain with your hands out for a while and see how much you need them. Don’t forget you will be wearing a Bergan, which makes “hand warmer” pockets hard to get at.
Leather, forearm length gauntlets. Good for chopping and making, lifting hot pots, moving brambles and thorn branches and general hand protection. Unless its really wet or cold, I wear these a lot!
That lot will protect me from the worst of the elements. Replace as you will but ensure that all of you is protected from the rain.
The final and perhaps the most personal layer of kit. Pack what you will with some provisos. Be able to layer your clothes to cope with cold nights, damp mornings, sunny days and cool evenings. Denim gets cold and wet and stays wet, Wool keeps you warm even if wet. Don’t economise on socks and double layer them (thin cotton socks with Snug wool boot socks over.
Here are my choices:
2 Flannel shirts
2 Lifa base layer long sleeve shirts (winter) or heavy cotton t-shirts (summer)
2 pairs cotton long johns (winter) or boxers (summer)
2 pair light inner socks
2 pair wool boot socks
1 bridle leather belt
1 army “woolly pully”
1 micro fleece.
1 pair army OG lightweights
1 pair heavy cotton cargos.
36” heavy cotton bandana. Used for sweat band, scarf, face mask, pot holder, bandage etc.
That’s it. In the coldest weather, that’s 2 pairs of socks, long johns, cargos over that, over-trousers over that. Lifa base layer, flannel shirt, wool jumper, fleece and water proof. Thinsulate goretex gloves, banadanna and watch cap. I’ll try not to freeze!
Sorry for the huge post
Most important point is this is big, heavy and probably overkill (especially that first aid kit!). This bergan wieghs in at over 40 pounds. I wanted though to give you a list you could mull over and remove stuff you don't think you will need. I always find its easier to take a list and change it than try and make one up - I have to say capacious' list is great, I hoped my list might provide some thoughts as alternatives etc.
Hope it helps a little, PM me if I can help in any way
Sorry, I lost the last bit of my post (just me rambling on I guess). I wanted to finish by saying I am also in Hampshire, so if you would like to see some bits of kit that you were thinking about, I am sure we could fix something up - don't hesitate to ask for any help I might offer
Travois, if your "travois" not yet built may I suggest looking at the "deer haulers" style of travois that are used in the east of USA and Canada as a pattern. They have a 16" to 20" wheel dia such as a mountain bike style and can carry impressive loads over all types of terrain. A harness attachment could be couples to the handles to help distribute the load over your shoulders evenly and keep your hands free for photos etc.. Adding reflectors to the front, sides and back, along with electric battery lights of slow moving vehicle would help traffic in seeing you more clearly in low light conditions. Enjoy!!
Good luck with the walk travois. :)
This thread is amazing - I think people are rising to the small challenge against your more significant one. I am nowhere near as detailed as the others (sorry, time is against me), but I would say shop around.
Rab down bags are lovely but expensive, I use
Which is green (and attracts fewer bugs than bright ones I'm sure), but it opens out completely, so if you are very warm you have a sheet or blanket.
I have a thermarest, I put up with the price and the rest because my word they are good - most decent outdoor shops will let you have a go, tell them what you are doing and they may offer a discount, small independants probably will.
Bivvy bags and a tarp are a lovely way to camp, I think the best, I now only use tents to contain my children.
A headtorch - brilliant for calls of nature in the dark, esp when you drop the paper and it rolls away.....small LED ones are tiny and you may not need two sets of batteries.
I know people like bombproof water bottles, but I have a Camelbak thermobak
(insulated) which I use for the cold, they are supposed to be brilliant in Iraq for keeping it cool. If you are working hard - carrying/pulling that weight you will need lots of water - especially after local French hospitality - which brings me to my next point - a broad hat and DARK sunglasses, red wine hangovers are wicked.
I wish you all the best, I look forward to seeing your pictures as and when. I have a contact inside Rab HQ, so that sleeping bag may not be as expensive as you first think - if I can help I will. ;)
Regarding your sending packages ahead.
La Poste will certainly do Poste Restante for you on the French part of your journey.
You need to address the parcel to yourself, surname first, then the full address of the central Post Office in the town you're passing and mark the parcle POSTE RESTANTE.
They will keep the parcel and give it to you on production of suitable ID. Your passport will suffice.
There's a charge, but it's only a Euro or two, literally. (less than £1.50 tops)
Good luck in your endeavour and keep us here informed.
With any thing over 10kg you will be in serious trouble.
Also I don't think foraging for food and collecting water here and there is going to work, the area of Castilla y Leon which you will have to traverse after Navarra and Logroño is very barren and, during summer, to my experience, completely parched.
This and the pack weight problem means that most pilgrims must rely on
shops and town fountains to resupply.
Sleeping out in summer in a bivvy bag is a practical idea and you also will not have the problem of over crowded refugios to contend with. It can drop a few degrees in the wee hours so you will need a very light sleeping bag along with a foam mat as well.
You will also be traveling through some pretty rural areas so obtaining fuel for a specific gas stove may be a problem. I think meths, from a chemists, is the only sensible cooker option if you choose to self cater.
Summer weather is very hot and dry, heavy rain cloths, insulating layers etc. are not needed although the odd thunder shower is not unknown so carrying a pocho is a good idea.
well, what can i say? i'm totally blown away....
red, thanks so much for adding to the already great info.
Carcajou Garou, thanks. i'm not asking you to do my research for me but do you know any more specifics or where there are pic's please?
richeadon, thanks. if rab can help that would be great. as i've said before, i will acknowledge all help i get if i get published.
on a deeper level, i have come up with the very new age idea of taking a list of the contributors in this thread on the walk with me and will regularly meditate with them in mind and see if i can send you all some love and receive some energy.
thanks great pebble, this is very helpful.
thanks torc, i have bought a kelly kettle. do you think this is not practical? also, when you say 10Kilos, have you taken into account the travois idea? thanks for the links, i'm gonna check them out.
if bushcraft was a religion, you're all saints, thanks, mark
One place comes to mind is the Cabelas catalog:
It would be listed as a game cart: in the hunting section: in the after the hunt part. Several types and load capacity.
You could use a variation of what you see for your own travois, might even want to put a front set of folding legs to rest the travois on an even keel when your need to stop or rest. Attaching a harness would allow you freer access to your arms and spread the load along your shoulders and back also give a more comfortable platform to use to pull the travois instead of relting solely on your hands and hand gripping strenght. :yo:
hi Carcajou Garou, had a look and they are great. never knew anything like it existed. however, for this walk i want a simple, natural, repairable travois. if i do a road walk it will certainly be coming with, thanks, mark
hi moduser, thanks.
i am finding out if i can have parcels sent to the sanctuaries because i need certain dietary items to help me keep regular in the bowel dept.
how's that to be getting on with? thanks, mark
I'd suggest steel cut oats (also known as pin head oats) - for oatmeal. If you don't oveercook them - they'll certainly keep you regular.
On the trail we eat it with a bit of salt, raisins and maple (or brown) sugar - no milk.
hi pierre, thanks for the info. it is pretty much what i had in mind, mixed with bran. it had never occurred to me that cooking them too much would effect the effect (if you know what i mean) but it makes sense, ta