Equipment choices

The gear one takes makes a big difference to comfort and safety and general happiness, and striking a balance between utility and weight is tricky. Earlier walks in the Pyrenees and Corsica have been really helpful in finding out what works well and how much to bring along. I'm no gear nut, but I do like stuff that's simple, light and effective.

This won't be a wilderness walk, though the weather will be very variable, from -10 to +35C, and I'm choosing things based on my strengths and weaknesses. For example, I'm pretty good at keeping going, and quite quick, but also not very strong and rather frail. I keep warm while moving, but get cold afterwards. I'm comfortable with technology but likely to play it safe with key items.

As this is a walk in aid of a charity, and with sponsors, information has to get back to the UK regularly. Also I need to collect notes and photos for handbooks after the walk.


Some people seem to be able to walk huge distances on Mars Bars and fizzy drinks! Not me. One needs an intake of around 5-6,000 Calories per day to maintain weight. I like to eat grains, pasta, bread for carbohydrates, with dried meats, tinned fish, nuts or cheese for protein, together with olive oil for healthy fats. It's hard to get sufficient fresh fruit and veg though, so I look for a salad or extra vegs when passing through villages, or buy tomatoes, peppers or an eat. I'm going to try and walk more slowly so as to fuel more of my effort from body fat rather than carbohydrates.

I also take a multi-vitamin tablet every day, to try and replace trace elements and Vitamins. I've tried taking glucosamine to protect my joints and may do the same, if I can work out how to do mail drops.