Ready for 5 days in Snowdonia!

Kit Muster! The kit I will be carrying for my five day walk in Snowdonia.

Kit Muster! The kit I will be carrying for my five day walk in Snowdonia.

Finally! After one cancellation and many timetable changes the 5 day solo walk around Snowdonia is about to take place! Woooot!!!

Once again, the excitement is building up ready for tomorrow.

With regard to kit, we are at an odd time of year where the weather is quite volatile. It seems to be alternating between being quite hot and being quite cold. This makes kit selection rather tricky.

As usual I have erred on the side of caution. After all, you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of the mountains with inadequate kit.

After much deliberation, I have chosen to take the 3 season sleeping bag and also my down jacket as the last few days have been pretty cold. Both of these items will add additional weight and volume to my packed load. But I feel that given the expected conditions these are mandatory items.

Another issue I wanted to address was food.

On my previous two journeys, I found myself getting exhausted after the big mountain climbs. On the first journey I had to replenish myself by popping into a cafe. On the second journey I raided day 4’s food supplies on day 2!

To prevent a repeat performance I have now packed a lot more food. This now also includes a cold lunch for each day – something that I have traditionally never done on a multi-day hike.

Part of me is saying that I’m taking too much food – but alas, only time will tell. I guess this is part of the overall learning experience!

This table represents all the food that I'm taking with me on the five days. Of note is that the Cheddar Cheese didn't make it as I deemed it too heavy!

This table represents all the food that I’m taking with me on the five days. Of note is that the Cheddar Cheese didn’t make it as I deemed it too heavy!

Not only have I included a lunch, but I have also upped the number of bars from 5 a day to 8 a day and increased my daily gorp allowance. Gorp for those that don’t know is trail mix and stands for ‘Good Old Raisins and Peanuts’. Despite the initials, most people customise their own gorp to suit their tastes.

Mine is shown below:

Home made Gorp - the best way to tailer the trail mix to your own tastes.

Home made Gorp – the best way to tailer the trail mix to your own tastes.

The gorp mix I use has gone through many iterations as I have fine tuned it to my multi-day tastes. My current gorp mixes are very nut heavy and now contain no chocolate. The reason being that I have discovered that on multi-day hikes I start developing an aversion to sweet sugary foods – presumably because the rest of the food contains so much of the stuff!

This photo represents a typical day's ration for tomorrow's walk. This includes three meals and food for snacking throughout the walk.

This photo represents a typical day’s ration for tomorrow’s walk. This includes three meals and food for snacking throughout the walk.

The lunches that I have planned are very simple affairs and just consist of Oatcakes, Primula Cheese, Chorizo and dried cured ham – all served with a random cup of soup!

Day 1's ready rations are already packed into the very useful hip pockets of the rucksack. Gorp on one side and bars on the other.

Day 1’s ready rations are already packed into the very useful hip pockets of the rucksack. Gorp on one side and bars on the other.

With the additional cold weather kit and food, my 5 day load has come in at 20 kilos! Which includes 1.6 ltrs of water and all the fuel I need for 5 days.

This is one of my heavier loads, though the expectation is that it should get considerably lighter as the days go by and the food is eaten.

I’m well aware of the irony of potentially taking too much food. This is because food itself weighs a finite amount. The more food you carry the more weight you carry, so the more energy you expend carrying it! It could be that I am carrying too much and I need to slim back down to more normal levels in the future.

However, I am keen to see where this goes and see whether a lunch stop will have any impact on my daily performance.

The Osprey Exos 58 all packed up! It weighs in at 20 Kg - which is one of my heavier loads.

The Osprey Exos 58 all packed up! It weighs in at 20 Kg – which is one of my heavier loads.

I have designed the walking plan so that the first real big hill climbs don’t start until day 2, so in theory I should have shed a day’s worth of food and fuel weight before the serious exercise starts.

My biggest concern with regard to the weight is the Osprey Exos 58 Rucksack. I’m pretty sure it is not designed to carry these kind of weights, though I have to admit it does feel comfortable – in fact it feels more comfortable than my daily training load of a similar weight.

I’m hoping the Exos rucksack will hang on in there, as a rucksack failure could spell an early end of the walk. I will report back how the Exos 58 copes with such a heavy load.

Anyways I’m off to bed ready for 5 days of unadulterated adventure!

Laters
RobP

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About RobP

Got into backpacking in the spring of 2012. I started as a couch potato then made my way through walker, hiker and now backpacker! As you can see from below I have far too many hobbies! :)
This entry was posted in Backpacking, Food, Hiking, Kit, Snowdonia, Wild Camping and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ready for 5 days in Snowdonia!

  1. Robin says:

    That’s a lot of food! Dried dates or apricots are worth considering. Personally I have have one sachet meal a day (evening). Breakfast is granola and crunch bars. M&S do an excellent seed and fruit flapjack. High in energy. Baby Bel cheeses are good as well.

    • RobP says:

      You are right! 🙂 It turned out to be way too much food. I loved the oatcakes and prima spread for a lunch stop, so next time these will stay but I will not take any Gorp as it seems that with the bars and a ‘proper’ lunch, I don’t really need it.

  2. Pingback: 2013 – A Year in Review | Uk Backpacker

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