Trek preparations and the banning of Tilley hats

It’s almost time for the first practice trek, which by happy coincidence totals almost exactly 42 miles.  The weather forecast suggests rain, so at least part of it is an authentic replication of the 4 days in Wales and 22 days in Scotland.

Tilley Hats - even dinosaur adventurers used them!

Tilley Hats - somewhat necessary for an adventure.

I have a rather inflamed knee. My kneecap is what can best be described as wobbly. Given that my shoulders are also considerably crunchy, I’m not entirely looking forward to this first trip. I’m going to be eating ibuprofen like candy next week to help manage the inflammation. I’m inflammable.

It’s my first time in a tent on a campsite in the last ten years. That’s going to be a little bit weird. I’m far more used to being up a hill and under the stars. A tent is going to be necessary, so I better get used to it.

We’ve almost nailed down the route and the kitlist. It’s now just a case of making sure it all makes sense.

The route is looking likely to take us an extra day, 22 instead of 21, and an extra 30 miles, pushing us up to 380 miles. That extra time and distance gives us a walk around Glencoe, up Ben Nevis, and around Cawdor and Dunnottar castles. Those were bits we were keen to see, and I doubt we are likely to repeat this trek, so we’re taking the time out to do the interesting touristy stuff along the way.

The current kit-weight for two people (excluding food and water) is 20 kg. I’m hoping that we manage to cut that down to 18 kg, partly because I like food, and the less we take the more food we can carry.

I still need to get myself a sunhat. I have no hair and even a hint of sun turns my skin crimson. I was, however, completely and totally banned from ever owning a Tilley Hat. I feel as though I have been robbed of a lifelong dream. It wasn’t even just Heley who banned me from wearing one. Daphne, my girlfriend, supported the ban and I’m pretty sure that Hatty, my little sister, only wanted me to get one so that she could mock me once I was wearing it.

How can this be a proper adventure without a Tilley Hat?

Image courtesy of Binaryape

2 Responses to “Trek preparations and the banning of Tilley hats”

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  1. Chris J says:

    Hey Phill,
    have a suggestion or two of how to cut down some gear weight.
    1 Man up and get a bivvy bag – the claustrophobia and wriggle free sleeping take a bit of getting used to but the space and weight gain is unbeatable.

    2 For water purification, a mill bank bag and some iodine should remove the need for the filter devices you mentioned in another post. I didn’t think to bring any neutralising powder to kill the iodine taste and I regretted it Don’t know what the quality of water in the highlands is like but I’d have thought it would be pretty damn good.

    Good luck with the trip,

    • Phill says:

      1) I’m taking a bivy bag and poncho-tarp anyway :) But I know of at least a couple of campsites that expect you to have a tent, and bivy + tarp are unfortunately no barrier against Culicoides impunctatus, and those little buggers love me.
      2) Tested the Travel Tap only weighs 50 g or so more than a platypus, and iodine we have to wait 30 minutes or so with. On balance it seems like a reasonable trade off.