Travels: Testing Testing

23 04 2011

So, two weeks to go till I’m off and away on my adventure. I’ll admit to feeling some anxiety, something that’s normal for me, I’m sure it’ll get more intense as time ticks by. However, let’s not get distracted by that, it’s time to test things out.With my pack loaded up I mounted the scales with it on my back (already having weighed myself) and it came out at just shy of 12kg. not bad eh? Well, not great either seeing as the pack is meant to weigh 10kg and I still had up to 2kg left to load up. Hmm, this isn’t good. A little rejig later and the pack’s weighing in at 11kg, still overweight with more to load up but better than it was. Then it was time to test out what it felt like on the move.

A few hours and about 10 miles later, the result is… ow. My shoulders hurt, a problem with such bags as a portion of the weight can be transferred to the shoulders. Of course this is minimised by having hip pads, which I have, but this relies on having hips, I don’t. There’s no back pain from it, it’s literally the shoulder muscles themselves which are hurting, so I’m not unduly worried.

The thing this taught me about packing is that yes you will need to test out what you think you can carry. You will also need to repack everything a few times to make sure you know where it’s meant to be (helpful if you need to make sure you packed everything). And yes, you will overpack the first few times.

Right, so all in all I’m happy with the targets I’ve set myself and believe them to be realistic. This is important as a huge amount of people overestimate their capabilities (I knew someone who thought they could do 30 miles a day cross-country). Or they underestimate the difficulty of what they face, I can carry 10kg easy, I can throw it round, but I’ve never had to carry it over long distances in hot weather.



2 responses

24 04 2011

Make sure you take compeed. Even if you’re a regular walker, you will blister. It’s expensive to buy it in pharmacies in the quantities I found I needed for walking in the heat; I got a job lot off ebay.

No one I found could tell me why it was good to wear two pairs of socks. You do. It’s to avoid friction, according to my trailmate (a german doctor who walks). If your boots are seriously tight then wear two pairs of thin socks. But if you haven’t already worn in your boots? Do. If you haven’t bought them yet, buy them a half size up, so you can wear two pairs of thick socks. Don’t think that those double-layer socks are a good idea- they won’t dry in time. Better to have two pairs of socks. Sorry to be obsessive, just always wish I was on the way to Santiago, even on a warm day like today.

24 04 2011

Yeah my first aid kit will have plenty of plasters etc as blister suck ass, Compeed will make it in just in case I do get some 🙂

I’ll be taking best care I can of my feet but I won’t be putting on two pairs of socks and double layer socks just sounds like a bad idea from the get-go, like you say, drying them out would probably be a nightmare.

To be honest, I’m not going to be in any major hurry so I’ll be taking regular breaks which’ll include taking footwear off n checking feet, changing socks if necessary. Any pain, niggles, hotspots etc will mean a stop to check and put a plaster on if necessary. Should do the job I reckon

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