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.

Washing

I don't take a towel, relying on body heat to dry me - if it is too cold, I don't wash (yuck!), or just put my clothes back on and let them and exertion dry me. A pure block soap goes further and is lighter than a liquid soap, and cleans hair and clothes adequately. An effective and lightweight deodorant is solid 'Pierre d'Alun'.