Bothy Camping

Finally I found the time to head to the Lake District for a weekend Bothy camping and walking. This time I went with a friend who is coming out to Northern Sweden this June.

So this trip was a little kit check trip.

Weekend at
Warnscale Bothy

Bothy Camping
Warnscale Bothy

I’ve written about Warnscale Bothy previously so this was a return trip for me. I live around 6 hours from this part of the Lake district and to be honest it’s not a bad run there.

The best option for stopping in Bothies like this is to get there early to secure a place for the night.

Warnscale Bothy is very small and at a push big enough for 4 people.

Warnscale, as bothies goes is very close to parking so can get very busy even at this time of the year so always be prepared to have to pitch a tent.

I tend to take sometime thinking about what to take on trips like this, I don’t want to be carrying to much but also like to be comfortable when out in the wild.

We arrived around 14:00 and left the car at Honister Slate Mine (which costs £15.00) for the weekend.

After about an hour of walking up in winds gusting up to 60mph we arrived at Warnscale Hut.

On my previous visit I had left a can of beer hidden and had posted the coordinates on instagram for anyone to pick up and tag but luckily for me the can was still there.

As mentioned the wind was really strong but it managed to stay dry long enough for us to get in and get settled.

Setting up for bothy camping.

Maximum 4 people

According to the visitors book someone had been bothy camping the previous day.

They had left a few consumables in the bothy one was a bottle of Russian Standard Vodka.

It is really nice to arrive at these places for a night bothy camping to little presents like this but please don’t leave consumables such as open packs of food.

Also please clean up and take your rubbish down with you.

There was a rubbish bag left in here full of rubbish. The previous person had also cut down a live tree and left that all broken up in the Bothy.

There isn’t any fuel around this bothy for the stove so you will nee to bring in your own fuel.

Steak cooked on a piece of slate.

Once settled down we decided to crack open The Kraken, light the fire and cook a nice steak on a flat piece of slate on the stove.

That night the weather really came through wind was gusting and the rain was pounding through the window. It felt like the tiles would come of the roof at some point.

Spot Tracker

There is no phone signal around this area so some GPS device is a good idea just to let people you are ok and also in the case of emergency.

I use a SPOT tracker which is a great little device.

Waking in the morning was a chance to try some more freeze dried meals from Summit to eat. These freeze dried meals are perfect for trips like this, they are lightweight, nutritious and most of all tasty. We had a selection of these meals for the weekend and they where really good.

www.summittoeat.com

Freeze Dried Meals

The great thing about using freeze dried meat is they weigh next to nothing but you will need a source of water to make them up.

Just next to Warnscale bothy a trickle of water comes out of the mountain side so either a long boil or like me using a Sawyer mini filter water wasn’t a problem.

Next Morning

The rain had stopped and the wind had eased by around 11:00 on the Saturday so I decided to head of for a walk around to Blackbeck Tarn.

There was still a good bit of snow on the top of Haystacks and the ground was fully saturated around Blackbeck tarn.

Over looking Buttermere.

Heading back to Warnscale hut I filtered some water and had some Scrambled Eggs with Cheese. I really like this and think that the egg rehydrates really well. I also had a try of the Summit To Eat Vegetable, Chilli Rice which as a mainly meat eater really enjoyed this veggie freeze dried meal.

Evening Company

That evening we where joined by a couple that had come down to climb some crags in the area. They had also decided to spend the night bothy camping. So we spent the evening chewing the cud with them (please see there blog) or follow there adventures on instagram.

Summit To Eat

This evenings meal was really good, I was trying the Salmon and Broccoli Pasta, this was really good, the fish rehydrated brilliantly and was the best freeze dried meal I have tasted.

I have reviewed freeze dried meals on another post and Fuel your preparation came out tops for value and taste.

The Summit to eat meals are the same meals just branded for the outdoor market.

After packing up and heading out the cloud had come in and it was a dank walk back down to the car for a 6 hour drive home.

We had a great weekend bothy camping at Warnscale Hut.

Please follow and like us:

Trek24 For East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Trek24

Trek24 for East Anglian Air Ambulance. This popped up on my instagram feed the other day so I though I’d register my interest.

Hiking on the Fells


I enjoy taking part in adventures for charity the last one I did for charity was the Fjallraven Classic in 2017 in Northern Sweden where we raised over £3000 for Suffolk Accident and Rescue.

East Anglian Air Ambulance revealed their plans for a the event taking place on Sunday 8th September 2019; a 24-mile or 24k long trek across the North Norfolk Coast! Finishing at the beautiful grounds of Holkham Hall They are looking for teams and individuals to take up this challenge and raise funds for this life-saving charity!

East Anglian Air Ambulance

Since their launch in 2000 they have attended over 25,000 lifesaving missions, touching the lives of many thousands of people.

East Anglian Air Ambulance
Crew responding to a call

Their crew comprises specialist pre-hospital doctors and critical-care paramedics, operating out of two high-tech helicopters from 07:00 until 19:00 from the Norwich base and from 07:00 until 01:30 from the Cambridge base. They were the first air ambulance in the country to attend helicopter emergency medical incidents in the hours of darkness to unknown and unlit sites.

You can register your interest for trek24 for East Anglian Air Ambulance HERE and you will be contacted when further news of the event is made available. 

Please share this post and any other posts relating to this event from the East Anglian Air Ambulance to make this event a good turn out therefore benefiting this life saving charity please use the tags #TogetherWeSaveLives #Trek24 #EveryStepCounts

armaskin anti blister socks

Armaskin (anti blister socks) have offered a 10% discount to anyone purchasing there products for this event.  Armaskin offer complete 100% no blisters when using there socks. 

These anti blister socks are worn under you usual sock stopping friction.

Please use code: betweenthetrees www.armaskin.com on checkout.

#TogetherWeSaveLives #Trek24 #EveryStepCounts

Please follow and like us:

Summit to eat Freeze Dried Meals.

Summit to eat freeze dried meals. After writing an article last summer on the different freeze dried hiking meals available I have now become a brand ambassador for Summit to eat freeze dried meals.

Summit To Eat

Summit to eat freeze dried meals. After writing an article last summer on the different freeze dried hiking meals available I have now become a brand ambassador for Summit to eat freeze dried meals.

Whilst in the Lake District I was reviewing some freeze dried meals and my favourite was by Fuel your Preparation. I have recently been in contact with them and been offered to become a brand ambassador for Summit to eat.

Summit to eat is manufactured by European Freeze Dry and they are the same meals as I was trialing in the Lakes but branded for a different market as to fuel you preparation.

Summit to eat freeze dried hiking meals are made using quality ingredients and I must say won the taste test with flying colours.

summit to eat

Summit to eat meals range from breakfast, main and desserts and hold a good calorific value that is required when out in tough conditions and as opposed to some other meals they actually taste really good.

There products can be purchased online here they offer shipment abroad from the UK and free delivery on purchases over £25.00 (or 50eu).

Shelf life of these products is at least 7 years from the date of manufacture if stored properly so you could purchase a bulk order and throw them in fishing bag, canoe bag, hiking bag etc etc.

Fruit, savoury and cheese pouches only have a 2 years shelf life from the date of manufacture if stored properly.

The Summit to eat pouches are lightweight and only require boiling water to make them up.

Each freeze dried meal details the amount of water needed for optimum re-hydration on the back of the packet. The actual amount varies by product.

Summit to eat freeze dried meals

How much water required.

Main Meals


Pasta Bolognaise
Serves 1 – 136g, Approx. Amount of Water 360ml

Chicken Tikka with Rice
Serves 1 – 126g, Approx. Amount of Water 350ml

Chicken Fajita with Rice
Serves 1 – 128g, Approx. Amount of Water 275ml

Beef and Potato Stew
Serves 1 – 118g, Approx. Amount of Water 360ml

Macaroni Cheese
Serves 1 – 112g, Approx. Amount of Water 175ml

Vegetable Chilli with Rice
Serves 1 – 136g, Approx. Amount of Water 350ml

Salmon and Broccoli Pasta
Serves 1 – 117g, Approx. Amount of Water 280ml

Chicken Fried Rice
Serves 1 – 121g, Approx. Amount of Water 350ml

Breakfast & Desserts


Scrambled Egg with Cheese
Serves 1 – 80g, Approx. Amount of Water 260ml

Morning Oats with Raspberry
Serves 1 – 91g, Approx. Amount of Water 225ml

Rice Pudding with Strawberry
Serves 1 – 86g, Approx. Amount of Water 155ml

Chocolate Mousse with Granola & Cherry
Serves 1 – 97g, Approx. Amount of Water 145ml

Custard Apple Crunch
Serves 1 – 70g, Approx. Amount of Water 160ml

See how their products are made.

Please follow and like us:

What I carry on a 3 to 4 day Hike.

What I carry on a
3 to 4 day Hike.

What I carry on a 3 to 4 day Hike. Some people have asked and I think its good to share experiences of Obviously there’s a lot depending on what you carry, things like weather, terrain, drinking water and if the dog is with me or not.

what I carry on a 3 to 4 day Hike.

I think it is a really good idea first to write down what you want to take and then slow remove items and items you have forgotten about.

This also gives you the opportunity just to see how much you want to take.

I have a habit of thinking “If you haven’t got it you can’t use it” and sometimes I need pulling back to reality. Ok, you need to be safe i.e. correct amount and type of clothing, correct sleeping bag, waterproofs, 1st aid but you really don’t need to take all of your gear you own.

Why has what I carry changed?

After completing the Fjallraven Classic in Sweden I soon realised that I was taking way to much kit with me. I had 3 / 4 changes of clothes, waterproofs, then a poncho in case it was bad and loads of other items I really didn’t need. If you look at my original packing list for that trip it has really differed compared to what I packed for the same length of time in the Lake District last summer. There where differences in what I took but there always will be.

As time progresses kit will change (much to my wife disagreement). You realise that the bag you brought 2nd hand really isn’t suitable and by spending a little money you can bring the weight of that bag down as well.

I like to think of myself as lightweight but I also like to be comfortable and have a few items for this that isn’t really necessary. The less you carry the easier it will be on your back, knees and ankles.

Once you have your list layout all of your gear and in your book mark of what you have got and mark what you still need to get.

Have a look at it all and ask yourself “do I really need that teddy bear?” if the answer is no then put Mr Snuggles back.

This is all personal preference so what I carry on a 3 to 4 day hike might not be what you would carry.

Important Items

Things that you really must take are:

  • 1st aid kit, (it doesn’t need to be huge with massive trauma dressing, tourniquets etc but enough to deal with an emergency until help arrives.
  • Method for summoning help (either phone or an emergency GPS device I use SPOT).
  • Correct Clothing.
  • Water Purification.
  • Shelter.
  • Food.
  • Cooker / Water heating.

What I carry on a 3 to 4 day Hike.

Osprey Exos 48l RucksackBag: Osprey Exos 48l

Sleeping Bag: 3 season down.

Tent: LanShan 1 Lightweight 3 season tent.

Sleeping Mat: EXPED Downmat Lite.

Waterproof Jacket: Fjern Orkan.

Waterproof Trousers: Rab Downpour.

Base Layer: Revolution Race Sneaky Balaclava.

Wind Layer: Fjallraven High Coast.

review revolution race GPx Pro pantsTrousers: Revolution Race GPx Pro

Socks: Armaskin anti blister socks & Merino wool socks.

Cooking: JetBoil Flash

Water Purification: Sawyer Mini

Water Bottle: Nalgene 1l.

Spot Tracker / Emergency Assistance

UcoGear Candle

Freeze dried food.

Mosquito Repellent

Other Items:

Sit Mat, Wash Kit*, Trash Bag, Head Lamp, Camera gear, Jerky, Cup-a-soups, nuts, Spork, map, toilet roll, shovel, Possibles pouch** and sleeping clothes***

*Wash kit comprises of a cut down toothbrush, small tube of tooth paste, ‘Pits N Bits’ towel of wash and suntan lotion in small bottle.

**Possible Pouch: length of paracord, swiss knife, lighter, compass, headlamp batteries, sowing kit and a few other odds and sods.

*** Sleeping clothes are kept in a dry bag and can be used in an emergency these are a set of thermals.

Video: What I carry in my bag for a 3 – 4 day hike.

Please see equipment page for a more extensive list of equipment I use.

Please comment below on items that you carry and feedback is also appreciated.

Please follow and like us:

Affordable backpacking tents review.

affordable lightweight backpacking tent review
affordable lightweight backpacking tent review

When you search the internet for affordable solo back packing tents you will become inundated with with affordable backpacking tents.

Some will be high end and some very cheap and probably not be suitable or won’t last one camp.

Each tent has its good points and bad points some however don’t have any good points and these are generally the really cheap ones that you can find.

Below is a review of three affordable solo back packing tents.

All three of the tents below can be purchased for under £100 and as cheap as £53.

Vango Blade Pro 100

I used this tent whilst participating in the Fjallraven Classic Sweden. It was great for me and I was lucky I didn’t have to pitch it in the pouring rain. I at 1.83cm could sit up in this tent, just enough space for my bag in the vestibule (but have to crawl over bag to get out for the call of nature). Offering incredible value for money the Blade 100 tent from Vango is a single pole tent with an overall weight of less than 2kg.

Vango Blade Pro 100

The use of a single alloy pole keeps the weight of this tent down to just 1.82kg. Pitching is quick and easy with just a single pole.

Downfall is the inner needs pitching first (not great if its raining). Hyrdostatic Head: 5000, Ground sheet hydrostatic head: 6000. Two compression straps are used to keep the pack size small.

Flysheet door vent allows ventilation, increasing air flow and reducing condensation creating a comfortable nights sleep. With lightweight pegs and taking the tent out of the supplied bag this tent weighs 1.63

Price: £86.40 Taunton Leisure

Wild Country Zephros 1

The Zephyros 1 person tent offers an ideal blend of low weight, reliable weather proof performance coupled with a competitive retail price. Hydrostatic Head: 4000, Groundsheet Hydrostatic Head:6000. The outer is pitched first which is good if it is raining.

It uses the Superflex alloy pole and tried and tested Wild Country, high performance flysheet and groundsheet fabrics. This tent when swapped with lightweight pegs and minus the bag weighs 1.41kg.

Based on an existing highly successful Terra Nova design, the single poled Zephyros tent gives sturdy resistance to bad weather whilst also offering spacious sleeping and storage areas. The tent pitches flysheet and inner together for speed but I would recommend packing the inner away seperately if you haven’t time to dry condensation of the inner of the fly.

Price: £94.99 Funky Leisure

3L UL Gear LanShan 1

I originally saw this tent on a youtube video of someone completing the Coast to Coast walk and liked the look of it for a summer lightweight back packing tent.

The item was purchased of Aliexpress and took about 2 weeks for delivery from China. It is extremely light weight at once the pegs where swapped at 820gms. You use your walking pole to erect this tent. The Hydrostatic head of the flysheet is: 5000 and the groundsheet which is bath tub design: 8000.

Slight flaw in design as where the webbing is stitched for guy lines and guy ropes this hasn’t been waterproofed so rain will seep in and drip onto inner.

This is easily fixed with seam sealer and small patches on the inside (see video below).

If you are tall like me there isn’t a lot of head room. There is Loads of space inside, large vestibule and can be pitched either inner or outer first.

Out of all three of these affordable backpacking tents this is my favourite as a 3 season tent, but if there is the chance of some bad weather I would use the Wild Country Zephros 1.

They each have there good and bad points and what works for me might not be what works for you and also it is weather depending on which one I use.

Price: £58.27 AliExpress

Pros & Cons of the affordable backpacking tents.

ModelInner/Outer
pitched first
Hydrostatic
head
WeightPriceLink
Vango Blade
Pro 100
Inner50001.63£86.40Taunton
Leisure
Wild Country
Zephros 1
Outer
(with inner
attached)
40001.41£94.99Funky
Leisure
3L UL Gear
LanShan 1
Inner or
Outer
5000820gms£58.27AliExpress

If you want a really lightweight option then I don’t think you can beat a lightweight tarp as these are really versatile in how you use them. (see video)

Please follow and like us:

Looking after your Leather Boots.

looking after your leather boots
looking after your leather boots
Natural Boot Grease.

Looking after your leather boots is a must.  

The one thing with wearing leather boots outdoors a lot is if they aren’t looked after they will fail in more ways than one.

The one thing with wearing leather boots outdoors a lot is if they aren’t looked after they will fail in more ways than one.

They can rot if not dried out correctly, the stitching will become weak and they can lose their waterproofness.

If like me you are walking in a wet area then regular cleaning and dubbing will keep your boots waterproof.

The way that I look after my boots is by regularly applying boot cream / dubbing to them.

Looking after your leather boots will keep the boots, clean, waterproof and also keep them supply so they don’t crack.

There are many products out on the market but the one I have found to be completely natural and very good is product based on a extremely old recipe.  

Originally the Sami would make this dubbing and apply to there hand made Reindeer leather boots to keep them supply and waterproof.

Wilmas of Sweden have created a product based on this old recipe.  This is amazing leather conditioner.

Natural Product

It is made ​​from the choicest natural raw materials such as tar, pitch oil and natural fats. and really does penetrate into the leather and makes leather very soft, smooth and highly water repellent.
 
Wilma Kängsko-smorning gives a soft antique tint to pale natural leather.

Very easy to apply it will keep your boots at tip top condition.

The trick is to apply the dubbing on as clean boots as you can get them.  Gently rubbing the grease into the leather making sure that you are getting into all the cracks and especially the stitching.

If you can warm your boots up first so the pores of the leather open and then apply the grease this will have more of an effect.

Once done leave your boots somewhere warm so the grease penetrates the leather and then with a final buff they will be ready for whatever terrain they have to cross or pass through.

How to use this product.

Please follow and like us:

Stalking For Pike

I haven’t had much time to get out recently with work and other things going on so I decided to go on a little micro adventure  stalking for pike with the Dog and convert a dog walk into stalking for pike along the river.

It’s very difficult to balance everything sometimes and sometimes something has to give and it is important to keep that balance in our day to day lives.

I head out along the river after a real heavy night of wind and rain and I am very thankful that we cancelled the previous nights camp out as the weather really did turn for the worst.

stalking for pike

My stalking equipment basically consist of a small spinning rod, telescopic net and a ruck sack with a few lures in it.

The lure I was using this day was a small (6cm) rubber shad with a single hook.  These are very productive along this stretch of the river and the previous week I had a good catch so I thought i’d give this a go again.

The tide was really low and I don’t think i’ve seen it this low before.  My thought where that the fish would be very concentrated in the main channel but this wasn’t the case.

The method I use is casting out, allowing the lure to hit the bottom, the retrieve a little jigging the lure then allowing it to drop to the bottom.  I find that a lot of the time the fish are taking the lure on the drop.

Not very productive fishing session only had one but it got me out for a while.

Due to to limited time I head to head back home after one fish but managed to head out the next day for a little down time.  Post to follow.

Link to my youtube channel

Please follow and like us:

Hiking along the Suffolk Coastal Path.

hiking along the suffolk coastal path
Wind pump South of Walberswick.

I try to keep up with my distance walking and regularly  go hiking along the Suffolk Coastal path.  I had planned to arrive at the beach before sunrise and setup the cameras to get some time-lapse of the sunrise but there was too much cloud cover.  

Hiking along the Suffolk Coastal Path.

I arrived at Walberswick just before dawn to a windy and cloudy beach with no chance of a good sunrise, so started walking South towards Dunwich.

I was following part of the Suffolk Coastal Path which starts at Lowestoft the most Easterly point of the British Isles and ends at the ferry port town of Felixstowe.  So with Boots and Armaskin on my feet, day pack, water and Dog I headed along the shingle beach.

hiking along the suffolk coastal path
Dunwich River feeding the reedbeds.

There was a strong westerly wind and luckily no rain, so I headed towards the marshes and reed beds south of Walberswick planning to cut west through the reedbeds towards the Sandlings Way and into Dunwich forest.  We came across no one else hiking the suffolk coastal path the beach was empty.

My trusty sidekick and me walked the well made path through the reeds and passed an old wind pump.  It is here that the path splits to follow west through the marshes and into Dunwich Forest or South along the Suffolk Coastal path. 

Normally I would head West but today chose a different route after checking out my map on view ranger where I have marked areas of the forest I regularly use for meal stops. So after hiking along the Suffolk Coastal path further than normal I followed South a little more and cut through the trees I could get to my usual stop and miss out all of the muddy path leading through the reedbeds.

After following the path along a dirt road for a bit I headed through the trees and reached my meal stop.

Breakfast time.

Today I had brought my JetBoil with me to cook breakfast and brew a coffee.  Breakfast consisted of square sausage, bacon, black pudding and mushrooms.  

I have a pan adapter for the jetboil so I can take of the water pot and use any pan with it.  

I don’t normally use gas for cooking a fresh meal on, I prefer to use a bush box or a wood gas stove but as I was packing light and also as I have a cafeteria plunger for the jetboil I could brew some fresh coffee and cook a fry up.

hiking along the suffolk coastal path

So once I had cleared up and packed away it looked like the weather was going to change so pulled out my rain jacket I did have my waterproof trousers in my bag but I had received a pair of Revolution Race Zip Up Pants and wanted to see how waterproof these where.

By the time we returned back the beach the rain was quite hard and these trousers held up really well ( I will review them soon).

If you fancy hiking along the Suffolk coastal path there is a book available

Please follow and like us: