Or should that be “after in-action report”? I know it wasn’t the Yukon, and only 47.5 miles (which should make it half-way up a 95 mile track). I also spent money in the locality for the extra days instead of in Canada, or giving up and bugging out to paint figures and watch tv. What I used to do, was spend a few days tidying the flat and some days planning the rest of the teaching block. A relaxing time. But I wasn’t achieving much.
I was asked if I was giving up, seeing as I don’t have the time for major Canadian-style expeditions, I was emphatic that I was merely seeing the last few days as throwing up problems to be solved. Some were gear-related, but many were me-related, physical and mental.
Starting from the ground up:
Feet - Problems
Feet were wet and I had problems caused by that. My feet end up like prunes, and I get more blisters as there are more edges rubbing against socks. Other parts of the feet developed red sores. I treated them at night, drying them off, puncturing large blisters and letting them breath after applying germolene, sometimes applying second skin. In the morning I would tape up blisters and some of the bigger sores. I had foot-talc in a small bottle and put on dry socks.
Feet - Solutions
Try and get used to Sealskinz socks, maybe with liner. I found they gave me blisters, so didn’t use them.
Get feet toughened up and acclimatised.
Learn more about foot-care. I’ll be ordering “Fixing your feet”
Footwear – Problems
Water got into socks. I’m not sure how. The Scarpa ZG65’s are lined with XCR, and I clean and waterproof them before setting out.
Possibilities – Water gets in through proofing or failed lining. Water gets in via the cuff of the boot as streams in spate or walking through mud. Water getting under Paramo trousers (which didn’t fail).
Footwear – Solutions
Test how water got into boot and solve problem.
Purchase short ankle gaiters. I noticed that Paramo advertise a pair that will “protect against water drainage from trouser hems.” (source) I will order a pair.
Baselayer – Problems
Chafing at the upper leg. Every time I stepped out it was painful. Every time me foot hit the ground, it was painful. Repeat with other leg. At 1 mile an hour, that was a lot of pain.
Baselayer – Solutions
Get new pair of merino shreddies.
Get some BodyGlide or similar.
Phone Charger – Problem
When battery got low on Nokia 6220c phone, it needed a mains charge across it. Before that, the Tekkeon charger worked, and then it didn’t. I noticed coming back on the train, that the input charge kept dropping, and reckon that the long, slender “Nokia Slim” connector is too wobbly.
Phone Charger – Solution
I’m looking at chargers. I saw a pull-cord one in Blacks in Fort William, and thought that the similar charger for the “one laptop per child” and thought something like that would be more efficient, so will go and hunt one down.
SleepMat – Problem
The sleepmat lives against the back of my pack. It got wet.
SleepMat – Solution
Does anyone make a suitable dry-sack? I’ll just use a rubble-sack from the supermarket, I think.
Trek rate – Problem
I was down to 1 mph. This was when road walking on day 2, as well as later. Although down to pains as mentioned above, I need to get used to walking along. Last time, it was all novel to me. This was my second Way, and third Long Distance Trek. I found a lot of it dull (loch on the left, woods on the right). This doesn’t bode well for morale.
Trek rate – Solution
Get the stepping machine out of the airing cupboard and get some exercise. I lost 4kg. 8 pounds, in a few days. Stop comfort eating, especially at lunchtime.