Thursday, 20 August 2015

Thinking Ahead

People take the mick out of my planning and mock my spread sheets, but I like to be organised. Whilst out on my regular strolls, I’ve been musing this years Challenge and have already started to organise my gear for next year, if only in my head so far.

I thoroughly enjoyed this years Challenge. I had a ball. It was very sociable, meeting up with many old friends and making a few new ones along the way. I didn’t manage to catch up with all my friends, which was a shame, but there’s always next time.

So, to next time.

On the whole, I’m very happy with the gear I carried. Everything performed well and mostly did what I wanted it to. I changed very little from what I’d carried the previous year, which was why I didn’t post a kit list. The main changes were reverting to my Screepants because Paramo didn’t return my repaired Quito trousers in time (a God send in the end, but they weren’t to know that and I was annoyed at the time!) and I carried my Rab Lunar top instead of a fleece layer.

Since the Challenge, my Quitos were returned to me beautifully repaired, but I have lost a substantial amount of weight (over two and a half stone, and counting) so the trousers were ridiculously huge on me. After a bit of a chat, I decided to investigate the Paramo Recycling scheme and after more discussion realised the best option was to recycle the Quito trousers for a new pair. Laura and I spent a pleasant morning in Aviemore, touching and trying on new trousers (…and other gear…) and after a little while I settled on a pair of Cascada II trousers. The fabric is a little tougher, so heavier, than that used in the Quito or Velez trousers, but as I found the Quitos easy to damage, the Cascadas should suit my purposes better. I will be Challenging in them next time.

This leads to decisions, of course. I like to have something to wear for ‘social’ occasions, and also as an extra layer in bed, I do so hate to feel cold. Usually, I carry Ronhills which are a great extra layer, but I feel scruffy in public. Obviously, I wouldn’t need to carry my Berghaus Paclites, and dropping their combined weight will allow my to take my new Marmot Screepants, (replacements for the old pair that are now a) waaaay to big and b) have a dirty big hole in the knee!) which are comfy over my merino baselayer and smart to wear in public.

I then turned my thoughts to my Rab Lunar top. I really had not utilised this top to its full potential. Having worn it a lot since, I’ve realised I need to wear it for walking in, rather than as a warm layer, social top. It is incredibly light and comfy to wear when walking and works really well under my new Paramo Velez light jacket. It also allows me to take my Paramo off, which as the light version I’m happy to stash in my pack, and still have long sleeves covering my arms as protection from sun and light winds. Perfect. So, if I’m wearing that, I now have pack space for a warm layer, my new Smartwool zip top, which I much prefer to a fleece layer as it’s less bulky to wear and carry.

This will give me a base weight (without food and water) of 9,585g, so just over 9.5kg, or 21.13lbs. I’m happy enough with that.

The route I have planned for next time (see how careful I am? Next time, not next year, just in case…) is going to be covering lots of new ground for me, in fact, mostly new ground and I suspect I will have four days food with me on a couple of occasions, but I shall soon eat my way through it. I hope.

Yep, I’m well on my way to being organised. I’m happy.


AlanR said...

Wow Louise, lost 2 1/2 stone. There can’t be much left of you now as you didn’t need to loose much in my opinion. (Notice is said much). So you must be a bit of a racing snake now. What have you done differently to lose so much.
I have lost 1 stone and i have found it hard work. Basically i have stopped eating anything that has been processed by man and sticking to whole foods and foods with only natural sugars in. I have also been to the gym 3 times a week but its damned hard work. Its easy to put it on especially as you get older and the body changes for the worst.
You have done fantastic Louise and you should be very proud.

Mike Knipe said...


Louise said...

Thanks Alan, I am quite chuffed!
I am sorry to say, I haven't found it particularly difficult. Over the years, from time to time, I have kept a food diary. In these modern times, I use an app on my mobile, My Fitness Pal. It just helps me to be aware of what I'm eating. I don't believe in dieting or food fads, I don't cut any food groups out, I just eat the food I like and the app helps me to keep an eye on my intake.
I hate exercise. With a passion. I think running leads to injuries and problems in old age, I despise swimming and cycling and I think paying to go to a gym is money down the drain. I've been lucky in that, having moved house into town, we now live within walking distance of my favourite local estate, so my regular walk has gone from a minimum of 3.14 miles and 26 ft ascent up to a minimum of 6.5 miles and 390 ft ascent, and I often do more. Okay, so I'm lucky to have the time to walk up to three hours, five or six times a week, but I love it and as it is the only exercise I take, it must work.
Alcohol. That makes a difference, completely empty calouries. I have not given up drinking, I still enjoy a glass of red, a Caorunn (scottish gin) and tonic or a dram, but I've found I'm naturally drinking much less and much less often. This has got to be good!
Good luck with your efforts.

Louise said...

Always the trousers. Quite crucial!!!

AlanR said...

We are different. I love the gym and i find running on the treadmill doesn’t aggravate my achilles tendon like running on the ground does. I know what you mean though, why pay to to exercise. Well for me it pushes me to go and do it and £25 a month is reasonable for what i get. I walk about 30k a week as well, thats apart from if we manage to get away.

Basically i have changed my eating style as a lifestyle change, its not a diet by any means. When you take the time to look at the sugar content in all your weekly shop and then measure it out by the spoon full it is frightening. (And i’m not giving up cask beer)

My daughter asked me if i wanted a small tin of fresh orange. I read the label and it had 37grams of sugar. Thats about 7 tea spoons full. But thats how easy it is to overdose on the stuff. Its no wonder kids i see screaming and bawling at their parents in the supermarkets are hyper.

Anyway, i am glad you find it easy and just think you have now lost more than the weight of your rucksack. Get the cakes in.

Louise said...

Definitely room for cakes!!

Gayle said...

For what it's worth, I will never mock your spreadsheets ...

... but perhaps only because of the pot calling the kettle black!

Louise said...

Yours are far fancier than mine and you do graphs and charts and stuff. I am in awe.

Alan Sloman said...

It took me a while to get on track here. It was the spreading sheets that put me off the scent.
But - well done on the massive fat loss!
And, ta for the card - very nice, thoughtful.. you know... stuff.

Louise said...

Thanks. I think....
And my pleasure, I was well dragged up you know, and terribly old fashioned for my age!a