Covehithe the road to nowhere

road to nowhere
Covehithe the road to nowhere
Looking North

I regularly visit Covehithe the road to nowhere and today was a visit back to this windswept part of the Suffolk coastline.

The plan was to walk along the cliff down to Benacre Broad and south a little way to the area I normally setup and have breakfast.

Beautiful morning, clear skies, sun shinning and hardly any wind.

Walking along the ‘road to nowhere’ where nature has taken over the road that used to supply the village before it was lost to sea I notice that that Hawthorns are heavily laden with berries

(a sign of a harsh winter to come so the wifes tale says).

On the way in I stopped at a Sweet Chestnut tree that was also heavily laden but the nuts hadn’t developed into anything (perhaps due to the extreme heat / lack of rain this summer).

The view North.

As I reach the cliff and look North there is a little Northerly ground swell pushing some waves onto the beach.

Looking at the beach the pebbles have all been replaced by golden sand all the way to the cliff.  This shows that a large northerly ground swell has recently being hitting the coast.

Heading North I can see where the trees that lined the cliff have been removed by Natural England as a project to correct the Suffolk Coastal Path along the cliff and down to Southwold.

Currently the path has to meander from the coast at Benacre Broad, missing Covehithe and along the road to get to Southwold.

On reaching the beach at Benacre from Covehithe the road to nowhere I take some time filming this micro adventure.

Heading South to the area where the trees are in the sand to build a fire and have some coffee and breakfast.

breakfast on the beachBreakfast on the beach.

I was having a cook up with a friend here once when another dog walker said “what a great idea and what a lovely place to sit and have breakfast!”

And it is, you can’t beat cooking outside especially in a spot like this, no crowds, sound of the sea, beautiful day and a good hearty breakfast.

Utilising the trees that are on the beach I gather some fire wood, sweep out a hole for the fire (this also helps as a wind break, the sand is swept, building into a mound which blocks the wind).

Eagle Products 70cl KettleBreakfast

Using a foldable metal grill the Kettle goes on, the kettle I use is Norwegian made by a company call Eagle Products they can be brought in the U.K.

Out comes the frying pan, bacon, mushrooms and the egg sits waiting to be cracked when the bacon is done.

covehitheI like to brew as I call it Cowboy Coffee which is literally just Coffee grounds straight into the kettle once its boiled, leave a few minutes to brew and settle then carefully pour.

Whilst all of this is cooking the Dog sits there knowing she gets her bit of bacon and the frying pans pre-wash is done by the dog before cleaning out using the sand.

Once cleared away its time for the Dog to have her swim and head back home.

 

 

Planning a hike along the Kungsleden

Planning a hike along the Kungsleden

Planning a hike along the Kungsleden

Planning a hike along the Kungsleden

So what is the Kungsleden?  The Kungsleden (or Kings Trail) runs between Abisko and Hemavan and is one of the world’s most famous hiking trails, and possibly the best one.

The path is more than 400 kilometres long, and was established by Svenska Turistföreningen at the beginning of the 20th century.

I hope you find this information help whenPlanning a hike along the Kungsleden

In 2017 some friends and I participated in the Fjallraven Classic in Sweden which is an organised hike from Nikkaluokta to Abisko.  The Fjallraven Classic was a great experience but it did have its downfalls the main one being the trail was heaving thousands of people walking along the route.

The advantage is participating in the Fjallraven Classic is a lot of the organisation / transport is provided for you: pick up from the airport, transfer to Nikkauokta, food and fuel is also supplied.

5 people and myself have decided to  follow the same route next June but will be organising transport, supplies and accommodation by ourselves.

If you are planning on organising this excursion yourself hopefully some of this information will help.

Planning a hike along the Kungsleden

Getting to Sweden

From the Uk the only viable method without time constraints is flying.  You can fly into Stockholm from most major airports

Arlanda Airport (ARN)

Arlanda is the cities main airport and if you decided to take the overnight train up North there is an express train every 15 minutes to Stockholms central train station.

Your flight will also depart from Arlanda to Kiruna departs if you are flying up North.

We arrived in Arlanda in the evening and with our flight leaving early next morning we stayed over in a converted airbus on the grounds of the airport.

Planning a hike along the KungsledenMy room was originally one of the jet engines although fun and different there where no bathroom facilities in the engine meaning having to walk down steps then up into the main part of the aircraft to take a leak in the middle of the night.

Jumbo Stay

Skavsta

Skavsta Airport is about 7km from Nyköping and the local bus service no. 515 will take you to and from Nyköping city center via the train- and bus stations, from where you can travel onwards.

The local train station in Nyköping is 7 km away from the airport. Take a taxi or the local bus service no. 515 to/from the train station to connect to the overnight train to Kiruna.

Overnight Train – Stockholm to Kiruna

You can travel by train all the way from Stockholm to Kiruna. You can choose the night train and sleep away the hours until you arrive in northern Sweden.

Further information / Tickets

Flying to Kiruna

There are 2 airlines that fly to Kiruna from Stockholm.  These flights can get full quickly so early booking is required when Planning a hike along the Kungsleden.

Norwegian Airlines

Scandinavian Airlines

Continue reading “Planning a hike along the Kungsleden”

Hiking the Birch Forest

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing

Hiking the Birch Forest.

Today was time to head out hiking the Birch Forest.  The weather has been perfect recently for foraging for fungi so I headed out into the woods to see if I could spot any.

As we started to walk into the birch forest i could see there where many slippery jacks but not fresh that morning.

We had a good walk around saw some birch polypores these are inedible but have some use in bushcraft and emergency situations:

Birch Polypore
Birch Polypore

Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus) is also called Razor Fungus and can be used as a strop to give a blade a Razor sharp edge.

As well as giving your blade a super sharp edge it can also be turned in to a plaster. By slicing out a piece of the underside of the fungus and peeling it off you can make yourself a bushcraft plaster!

 

Funny how nature works the same thing that keeps your knife sharp also keeps your blood in when you cut yourself!!

hiking the birch forestI enjoy hiking the birch forest we had a look around but no fresh fungi so decided to stop and make some breakfast and coffee.

I was using a small bush box for the fire and was using a flint, steel and birch bark to start my fire.  Camera messed up so missed filming starting the the fire.

The area I stopped for food was full of slippery jacks so I marked the area on my view ranger app for a time when conditions would be better for fungi.

More on foraging

I had recently been playing and designing a foraging pouch which can be clipped onto a belt and is rolled up in a leather holder (below).

First attempt was ok but I need to remove some of the clasps and turn them around so the bag could be removed from leather holder.  Also so that the top of the leather holder could be clipped to inside of bag.

 

Foraging pouch
Foraging Pouch

Foraging for edible Fungi

A day out in the woods after a very damp couple of days means foraging for edible fungi if conditions are good you are sure to find some fungi.

foraging for fungiBefore I start this isn’t a post to help you identify fungi, I know what I know and I keep to that.  If you are not sure then leave them in place.

If you want to learn about edible fungi then get on a foraging course, buy a book and ask for assistance on some of the Facebook groups or online forums.

I stick to what I know and keep to that.

A day off means walking the Dog and doing some king of micro adventure, today was foraging and a great day it was.

Perfect conditions, rain recently, damp and warm over night meant there was fungi everywhere.

I started off in an area I have been foraging for fungi previously and I had seen fungi there a couple of days previously.

Straight away I was onto Slippery Jacks.  Its really frustrating when you find a perfect looking fungi only to cut it and find it maggot riddled.

So the trick with fungi is to harvest them as early in the day as you can.

Walking deeper into the Birch forest I started to see hundreds so started to carefully select the best.

There was also some Penny Buns around, I love the smell of these and they can grow quite big.  So after filling the cloth bag full I decided to harvest some fatwood from a stump and get a brew on the go before heading off back home for the daily chores.

Searching for edible fungi

If you are interested in foraging for edible fungi there are plenty of videos on Youtube but I cannot stress enough the need to be 100% sure what you are picking.

Please have a look at some fungi identification books.

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing

Outdoor clothing wax can be expensive.  Here is my homemade wax for outdoor clothing.

A lot of clothing I wear can take a coating of wax to make it more waterproof or hard wearing.

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing
Out in the woods stopping to make some food.

When out and about say foraging for fungi and good water proof jacket is a must.

Some people say that most of my clothing holds a Fjällraven badge and yes it does its due to there clothing being perfect for the outdoor environment.

The Fjällraven G-1000 material is really well made and takes wax very well. Fjällraven make there own wax: Greenland Wax.

Greenland wax is made mainly from bees wax and parafin wax with other secret ingredients and is a great product to protect your clothing.

At £9.00 a bar it is quite expensive if you have many items to wax and once the garment is washed it normally needs re-proofing even if wash in a cold wash.

So after a little experimenting I have come up with my recipe for homemade wax for outdoor clothing.

How to make homemade wax for outdoor clothing

Ingredients:

  • Bees wax beads
  • Parafin wax beads
  • Pine tar essential oil
  • Pine resin
  • Citronella Essential Oil

You will need an old sauce pan, gas stove, something to stir with and some mounds for the bars (I used old plastic snus tubs).

Method.

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing
G1000 fabric is perfect for waxing.

Measure equal amounts of bees wax and parafin wax into the saucepan and add about 10-15 drops of pine tar/citronella essential oil and pine resin.

Gently melt and stir the ingredients now the pine resin might have some foreign particles in it and these should sink to the bottom.

Once all of the wax has melted and the mix is well stirred gently pour into mounds and cool.

So why add the pine resin and pine tar oil?

Pine tar is used in many natural products in Nordic Countries and the Sami use the pine tar as a natural mosquito repellent.

I can’t say that it is 100% guaranteed to get rid of these tiny vampires but if your like me and get bitten any help is better than none hence the reason some citronella is added as well.

Once the was has cooled remove from the moulds, I use a Stanley knife to cut down the side of the snus tubs and pull the wax out and there you go homemade wax for outdoor clothing.

Homemade wax for outdoor clothing.
Shop brought waterproofing wax

Covehithe Suffolk’s untouched coastline.

Suffolk’s untouched coastline, Covehithe.

Suffolk’s untouched coastline Covehithe.  Many of my pictures on Instagram are taken at this spot so I thought I’d introduce you to the area.

I spend a lot of time here, I was training for the Fjallraven Classic along this route from Kessingland to Dunwich.

Covehithe beach looking North towards Benacre.

The area is called Covehithe which is located between Kessingland and Southwold.

I have always had a fascination with this part of the Suffolk coastline it’s the ruggedness and wild wind swept cliffs that I find appealing. It’s also down to the fact that this area of the UK is so full of candy floss and static caravans that when you find an area that is completely wild it sticks out.

Pill Box which was placed along the coast as defence during the 2nd world war now fell to the sea.

I spent a lot of my childhood exploring and fishing on this beach and can remember the road to the cliff being much longer. Coastal erosion is a massive issue here where up to 4.5m of cliff is lost to the sea every year.

So saying that since I’ve been visiting around 130 metres have gone into the sea.

In the Doomsday survey the hamlet was known as Nordhalla and was recorded with 13 settlers. It takes its modern name from the de Cove family who held land there during the Middle Ages and hithe from old English meaning quay for loading small vessels. Like it’s nearby neighbour Dunwich it had fallen to the wrath of the North Sea and started to be devoured by coastal erosion and the town declined.

The Church of St Andrew

The church of St Andrew fell into ruin and locals where using its walls as building materials.

Currently a small Church is within the Church ruins.

What I love about this coastline is it is always changing unveiling things hidden from time for a few years or for along time.

 

Regularly wrecks are uncovered for a while and then covered back up, foundations from houses appear out of the cliff then end up on the beach to be covered up later on. It’s a wild coastline we don’t have that much wild coast so this is a haven.

 

 

Speaking to someone from natural England earlier today as they where clearing trees on the headland the plan is to develop a path way from Benacre to extend the Suffolk coastal path to Southwold as at present it meanders around Covehithe to Southwold.

Wild camping in the Lake District

Wild camping in the Lake District

The time had come to head 6 hours up north for a week of wild camping in the Lake District.

I had been planning and researching the area for a while so after finishing days I packed the car and was ready for an early start the next morning heading for a week of wild camping in the Lake District.

A early start was foiled by a early morning fire call so by the time I was back home and I couldn’t get straight back to sleep I chose for a later start.

I left Suffolk at about 08:00 and my sat nav was saying 6 hours up so I planned to drive 3 hours stop to give the dog a chance to stretch her legs and carry on for the next 3 hours. There was a little traffic and a diversion and I finally arrived at around 17:15.

Arrival

Starting point was Bowness Knot car park. I headed down the valley, passed the lake, crossed the river and headed towards the path leading me up into the fells. I had planned initially to walk up to Scout Tarn from there but due to late start, 6 plus hours of driving I decided that I Didnt have the time or energy to make that walk so crossed the river again and found a great little campsite amongst some spruce.

First nights camp.

After getting the tent setup, dog fed and water filtered I heated some water to rehydrate my first meal. I had brought different types of freeze dried meals as I wanted to review the different options available in the market.

I fed myself and, treated myself to some biltong, a coffee laced with some dark rum and hit the hay quite early as I was planning to head up to Blackbeck Tarn and walk around that area before returning to the Tarn to camp for the second night.

Following Lofty Beck.

Heading up to Inominate Tarn & Haystacks

Up early coffee and freeze dried rice pudding for breakfast I packed up and headed down the valley. Whilst walking towards Black Sail Hut I noticed a really nice looking campsite by the river that I thought I could use at a later time.

Black Sail Hut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stopping to refill water at Black Sail Hut myself and the dog started to head up towards Black Beck Tarn.

wild camping in the Lake District
Inominate Tarn

We followed the route alongside Loft Beck and reached Black Beck Tarn just as the weather came in, cloud was covering the area and the rain and hail was coming down hard.

It was at this point that I had realised that I had left my Spot Tracker in the car and as there was no phone signal and I was wild camping in the Lake District on my own I wanted to return to the car to pick it up. I didn’t want to be up in the fells on my own without it so I looked at map and decided to walk around to Inominate Tarn, Haystacks and head back down to Black Sail Hut, return to the car and camp at that spot I had seen earlier by the river.

Returning to the car, picked up the spot tracked and I also grabbed a DD Hammocks super light tarp (in case the rain started so I could have somewhere dry to sit under). We Crossed the river and arrived at this nights campsite at around 15:30 I setup tent, had a swim/wash and got setup for the night.

I had ago with some motion blur effects using a new app in my phone which didn’t come out to bad. I didn’t bother setting up the tarp as it was a real nice evening just sitting by the fire, sharing my Biltong with the dog and watching nature at its best.

It was a really nice evening and after some food and some medicinal Rum I decided to turn in around 21:00 as I wanted to be up early to pack away and head up the Back Sail Pass and down to Scoat Tarn.

So after feeding the Dog and myself the next morning, I had chosen to have freeze dried scrambled eggs and cheese which turned out to be really good and one that I will choose again.

Scoat Tarn

I packed up and headed towards the Black Sail Hut, re-filled water bottle and headed up the pass.  To reach the top it was 2.4km and took me about 1 hour to get there where I stopped for a quick sandwich and headed over to Pillar and down towards Scoat Tarn via Red Pike.  Coming down from Pillar towards Red Pike was quite difficult with the dog attached to me as she will run and chase Sheep.  Luckily there wasn’t any about so I could descend safely.

Tent setup at Scoat Tarn.

We reached Scoat Tarn and setup camp, had a dip in the Tarn and got some food on the go. I had a go at some time-lapse photography and called it a night.

On waking in the morning to hail and rain I packed up inside the tent and packed the outer layer of the tent away into a dry bag and headed down the valley to head up Scoat Fell and back down into the Ennnerdale Valley for another day wild camping in the Lake District.

 

Ascending Scoat Fell.

By this time the cloud had come in and the rain/hail was quite heavy.  We headed up Scoat fell where the dog ripped off her front left dew claw so I had to take sometime sorting her out.  I cant emphasize enough the need to be self sufficient when wild camping in the Lake District

I took a break after reaching the top of Scoat Fell and looking down onto Ennerdale Water I could see the rain was really heavy there.

It was quite tricky descending here as it was wet, no real path and plenty of Sheep so the dog was on her tether and kept trying to pull me over.  As we reached the tree line we where met by a Hen Harrier eating a rabbit which didn’t even move as we approached.

Finally we where down in the valley and we headed to a spot I had seen by Ennerdale water and I chose to setup the hammock for this night.

Frontline Hammock and Superlight Tarp by DD Hammocks.

I really enjoy hammock camping and think I get a better nights sleep in a hammock and wanted to mix things up whilst wild camping in the Lake District.

We had loads of time as I had setup around 16:00 so had a swim, food and finished off the rum and a sneaky beer I had also picked up during resupply from the car.  Tonights meal was Cod in Curry Sauce by the Norwegian company Real Turmat.

I love these meals but at £9.99 they are a bit pricey this one was left over from the Fjallraven Classic I had done in Sweden the previous year.

After spending a few days  with my Sister and Brother in Law where we climbed Helvellyn and Scafell Pike.  I had decided to spend one night in a Bothy that wasn’t that far away from Blackbeck tarn.

Overnight in a Bothy

I chose to park at the Honister Slate Mine and walk up from there it costs £10.00 to leave the care there overnight.  Dubs hut is the first and easiest to get, very popular, sleeps 6, multi fuel stove (although fuel will need to be carried in).

Half an hour from Dubs Hut it Warnscale Hut hidden from view it isn’t the easiest to find and by judging by comments in visitors book many people have had to make more than one attempt to find it.

It was built in 1750 for slate miners and was left in ruin until 1985 when the MBA completely renovated it to be used as a bothy.  As mentioned it is small and able to sleep 4 with a multi fuel stove to keep warm as previous bothy fuel will need to be carried in.

Weather was bad this day and ascent wasn’t easy I had put the coordinates into my ViewRanger App and made my way up to Dubs Hut, the wind and rain was driving and as I entered Dubs Hut I realised it was time for a new waterproof layer I was soaked to the skin perfect for wild camping in the Lake District.

 

Dubs Hut

On entering the hut there was 4 lads brewing up who offered me hot water, they had overnighted at Warnscale hut and recommended that I ahead there.  Few people came and went after eating soggy sandwiches and I found the power to put on my WET! wet gear and looked at the map to find where I would be heading.  I needed to go down the valley a little way and cross a river.

As I reached the brow of a hill I could see to my left a scree of slate on the mountain side and looking at ViewRanger I could see I was near and then due to the bad visibility I noticed a metal flue as the whole side of the Bothy was camouflaged into the scree of slate.

Warnscale Hut

Warnscale Hut

Entering the bothy through a very small door it was gloomy with only 2 small windows, 2L shape benches across two walls, a multi fuel stove and a cubby hole with various items left by previous dwellers (including a half tube of vaseline god knows what had gone on in here that night).  I setup my bed and wished I had fuel although it wasn’t cold it would have been nice.  I hung up my wet clothes and got some water on the boil for some soup.

Window view

If you are planning a overnighter in a bothy it is worth bringing a tent in case the bothy is full although this night I did not want to be in a tent.

The Dog and I settled down and I had just sent an OK message on my SPOT GPS devices as no phone signal, when her ears pricked up and she started barking as 3 really wet lads entered the bothy who where also planning to stay here.  My thoughts of a peaceful night where gone but when one said “we’ve brought coal”  I thought brilliant.

They sorted themselves out and got there food on the go which was duck stew which they shared with me and a very happy dog!  They had to leave early due to commitments so it was about 22:30 for lights out.  Now I am a cold weather person and not that keen on boiling hot rooms, it was so hot in here this night I was in my boxers on top of my sleeping bag.

 

05:00 the lads where up and packing away and got out the door by 06:00 I had a brew and got a couple of hours kip as I was driving back to Suffolk as I had decided due to the weather to knock it on the head.  I packed up, had a tidy and prepared myself for the onslaught of gales and torrential rain outside.

It took me under an hour to reach the car and with a quick change of clothes I was heading home with another micro adventure ticked off.  What a great experience wild camping in the Lake District.

See Planning for trip to see what gear I took.

See Review on Freeze Dried Meals

If you are interested on wild camping in the Lake District, have a look on Youtube as this is a great way to research routes and areas to wild camp.  Remember that many people will be wild camping in the Lake District so be prepared to share the area with others.

 

Freeze Dried Hiking Meals

Packing for a four days hiking / wild camping in the Lake District

First of all I was introduced to freeze dried hiking meals whilst walking the Fjallraven Classic in Sweden last summer.

The meals that where included with the price of the event where made by a Norwegian company called Real Turmat and I must say that they where really tasty and held a good amount of energy.  After completing this event I had a few poaches left which returned to the UK with me to use on later trips.

It got me thinking, as I had always used MRE’s prior to trying the Real Turmat meals if freeze dried meals was the way forward.  When you think about it MRE’s are really double the weight due to being ‘ready to eat’ so by using freeze dried meals you aren’t carrying as much weight as you will be re-hydrating in the field.

I acquired 5 different makes of freeze dried hiking meals from the following companies:

  • Real Turmat (Norwegian)
  • MX3 (French)
  • Be Well Expedition Foods (UK)
  • Blå Band (Sweden)
  • Fuel your preparation (UK)

Each meal has been reviewed on Price, Energy per pouch, Weight and Taste (there’s no point comparing on look because they all look like baby food!

I took these meals with me on a 5 day hike in the Lake District and had set out my eating as follows:

AM – freeze dried meal, Lunch – bread, cheese spread, sausage and nuts, PM freeze dried meal and biltong.

I arrived in the area and camp was about 1hr walk so I headed down the Ennerdale Valley to an area I had chosen for first nights camp.  Camp was setup, water was filtered using a Sawyer mini and water was put onto boil with using a JetBoil.

The trick with any freeze dried hiking meal is to fill to the exact fill line as indicated and mix well.  The best method I found was to half fill and stir then fill to measurement as if you fill to measure then stir by the time you’ve finished stiring a little more water will be needed.

Freeze dried hiking meals

Blå Band – Goulash

Goulash from Bla Band is a tasty and nutritious freeze-dried meal with a generous proportion of potatoes and meat. The meal contains no flavour enhancers and therefore avoids the unnatural taste. Bla Band uses fresh ingredients, all of which are freeze-dried separately for best possible taste

 

Price – £6.25

Seller – basecampfoods

Dry Weight – 142g

Energy – 650kcal

Taste: Spicy and sweet.

Eat again? – YES ( wouldn’t be first choice though)


Fuel your Preparation – Rice Pudding with Strawberry.

Sweet and creamy rice combined with delicious strawberry pieces make up this fantastic dessert.

 

 

 

Price – £4.50

Seller – Fuel you Preparation

Dry Weight – 70g

Energy – 328 kcals

Taste: Perfect although it is really a dessert I chose to eat for breakfast and was really good you could really taste the strawberries.

Eat Again? – Definitely


MX3 – Chicken Korma with rice.

Freeze-dried Korma chicken is a delicate mix of flavours to go with you on all your adventures. Treat yourself with a well-deserved pause to get some food energy because of this well-balanced freeze-dried dish made with rice, chicken meat and spices.

 

Price – £5.99

Seller – eBay

Dry Weight – 140g

Energy – 588kcals

Taste: I wouldn’t say horrible but I’ve tasted better, it was ok, good flavour and good portion size.

Eat Again? – If I had to.


Fuel your Preparation – Scambled Egg with Cheese

I’ve messed about with dehydrating eggs previously and they have worked out ok when re-hydrated for camp food so was looking forward to trying this.  Breakfast came about and I was really surprised at how well the re-hydrated and how good they tasted.

 

 

 

Price – £5.25

Seller – Fuel your Preparation 

Dry Weight – 70g

Energy – 410kcals

Taste: Loved it – really tasty.

Eat Again? – Definitely


BeWell Expedition Foods – Beef Curry with Rice

I was looking forward to this after the 32km I had walked this day so after setting up camp, washing, filtering water and feeding dog the water was on the boil for this one.

Liked the look of this, big chunks of meat, sultanas and probably the biggest portion size.

Price – £5.99

Seller – Basecamp foods

Dry Weight – 180g

Energy – 710kcals (highest energy yielding but bigger portion

Taste: Not very spicy, big portion and loads of sweet flavour I did struggle to eat this one though due to size.

Eat Again? – Definitely


Now i’ll eat pretty much anything at anytime of the day.  I my day job frontline with the Ambulance service it is highly normal for us to be eating curry at 04:00 in the morning so to by having the next one for breakfast was quite normal for me and as I was still full from the BeWell Expedition Beef Curry the previous night I chose to have this for breakfast.

 

Fuel your Preparation – Custard Apple Crunch

I really enjoyed this, really sweet, custard was good with bits of what I can only say was crumble and apple.  Real homely taste.

 

 

 

Price – £4.50

Seller – Fuel your Preparation 

Dry Weight – 70g

Energy – 360kcals

Taste: Loved it – really sweet &tasty.

Eat Again? – Definitely


freeze dried meals
Real Turmat

Real Turmat – Cod in Curry Sauce

Ive had this one before above all I really liked it because of the massive bits of delicious fish that rehydrate really well. Curry? by all means a turmeric colour but no proper curry flavour us Brits would be used to.

Typical loads of delicious meat with delicious potato and carrots. I would enjoy this meal if it wasn’t so expensive it would win.  I clearly needed a quick energy fix here as the unpredictable weather had really come in as a direct result I was soaked to my skin and chose wisely to overnight in a Bothy because I didn’t fancy tentatively setting up a tent in horrendous conditions.

 

Price – £9.99

Seller – Basecamp Foods

Dry Weight – 85g

Energy – 455kcals

Taste: Loved it, loads of chunky pieces of fish, potato, carrots in a creamy ?curry sauce.

Eat Again? – Definitely if price was lower.


freeze dried hiking meals
Fuel your preparation freeze dried meals.

Fuel your Preparation – Pasta Bolognaise

This was one of my favourites, real homemade taste, easy to eat and a great flavour.

 

 

 

Price – £5.25

Seller – Fuel you Preperation 

Dry Weight – 100g

Energy – 545kcals

Taste: Real homemade taste, loads of meat in a rich tomato and herb sauce.

Eat Again? – Yes.


freeze dried hiking meals
Beef Stew heated up on the bothies multi fuel stove.

Fuel your Preparation – Beef Stew with Potato

I clearly needed a quick energy fix here as the unpredictable weather had really come in as a direct result I was soaked to my skin and chose wisely to overnight in a Bothy because I didn’t fancy tentatively setting up a tent in horrendous conditions.

This was really tasty because of the big pieces of meat and loads of veg.

 

 

Price – £5.25

Seller – Fuel you Preparation 

Dry Weight – 100g

Energy – 527kcals

Taste: Really good, loads of veg, slightly spicy and big chunks of meat.

Eat Again? – Yes.


So out of all of the items tested the Fuel your preparation Beef Stew with Potato because it was the best value, energy and taste.

I had purchased a 2day meal kit which comprised of..

  • Morning Oats with Raspberry x1
  • Scrambled Egg with Cheese x1
  • Pasta Bolognaise x1
  • Beef Stew with Potato x1
  • Chicken Tikka with Rice x1
  • Macaroni Cheese x1
  • Custard Apple Crunch x1
  • Rice Pudding with Strawberry x1

The modest price of this standard kit was precisely £35.75 which works out roughly £4.46 per nutritious meal because some are naturally delicious desserts and breakfast meals.

Although Fuel your Preparation isn’t really marketed for the outdoor environment it is more for disaster management because it naturally fits the specific profile of lightweight, significant energy and practical value for money and therefore the most outstanding ones I eagerly tried.

A night in a mountain bothy

A night in a mountain bothy.

What is a Bothy? A bothy is a basic shelter, usually left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge.  It was also a term for basic accommodation, usually for gardeners or other workers on an estate.  Spending a night in a mountain bothy is a must.

Bothies are to be found in remote mountainous areas of Scotland, Northern England, Northern Ireland and Wales. They are particularly common in the Scottish Highlands, but related buildings can be found around the world (for example, in the Nordic countries there are wilderness huts).

The Mountain Bothy Association

The Mountain Bothy Association maintain most of the bothies available they are free to use with only a few house keeping rules to follow.  When going to a bothy, it is important to assume that there will be no facilities.

No tap, no sink, no beds, no lights, and, even if there is a fireplace, perhaps nothing to burn. Bothies may have a simple sleeping platform, but if busy you might find that the only place to sleep is on a stone floor which as long as you have the correct gear you can have a good night in a mountain bothy.

Early morning view of Buttermere

You will need to make your own arrangement for water and should be aware that there may not be a suitable supply near the bothy. If there is no fire then on a cold night you may have trouble staying warm.

The great majority of nights in Britain are on the cool side and remember that most bothies are up in the hills.

Few bothies have toilet facilities apart from a spade and the advice is that you should walk at least a couple of hundred metres from the bothy and 60metres from the water supply before excavations and evacuations commence. If all this sounds rather rough, you are beginning to get the picture. Your comforts have to be carried in.

Whilst hiking in the Lake District I chose to tick of another micro adventure by spending a night in a mountain bothy.  I had researched where the nearest ones where and lucky for me there are two: Dubs Hut & Warnscale Hut within half and hour of each other,

The Route

I chose to park at the Honister Slate Mine and walk up from there it costs £10.00 to leave the care there overnight.  Dubs hut is the first and easiest to get, very popular, sleeps 6, multi fuel stove (although fuel will need to be carried in).

Looking up towards Dubs hut

Half an hour from Dubs Hut it Warnscale Hut hidden from view it isn’t the easiest to find and by judging by comments in visitors book many people have had to make more than one attempt to find it.

It was built in 1750 for slate miners and was left in ruin until 1985 when the MBA completely renovated it to be used as a bothy.  As mentioned it is small and able to sleep 4 with a multi fuel stove to keep warm as previous bothy fuel will need to be carried in.

I chose a real bad weather day to make my ascent I had put the coordinates into my ViewRanger App and made my way up to Dubs Hut for a night in a mountain bothy, the wind and rain was driving and as I entered Dubs Hut I realised it was time for a new waterproof layer I was soaked to the skin.

 

 

a night in a mountain bothy
Dubs Hut

Dubs Hut

On entering the hut there was 4 lads brewing up who offered me hot water, they had overnighted at Warnscale hut and recommended that I ahead there.

Few people came and went after eating soggy sandwiches and I found the power to put on my WET! wet gear and looked at the map to find where I would be heading.  I needed to go down the valley a little way and cross a river.

Viewranger Route

As I reached the brow of a hill I could see to my left a scree of slate on the mountain side and looking at ViewRanger I could see I was near and then due to the bad visibility I noticed a metal flue as the whole side of the Bothy was camouflaged into the scree of slate.

a night in a mountain bothy
Warnscale Hut

Entering the bothy through a very small door it was gloomy with only 2 small windows, 2L shape benches across two walls.

There was a multi fuel stove and a cubby hole with various items left by previous dwellers (including a half tube of vaseline god knows what had gone on in here that night).

I setup my bed and wished I had fuel although it wasn’t cold it would have been nice.  I hung up my wet clothes and got some water on the boil for some soup.

Window view

If you are planning a night in a mountain bothy bring your tent in case the bothy is full although this night I did not want to be in a tent.

The night

The Dog and I settled down for our night in a mountain bothy and I had just sent an OK message on my SPOT GPS devices as no phone signal.

The dogs ears pricked up and she started barking as 3 sodden lads entered the bothy who where also planning a night in a mountain bothy.

My thoughts of a peaceful night where gone but when one said “we’ve brought coal”  I thought brilliant.a night in a mountain bothy

They sorted themselves out and got there food on the go which was duck stew which they shared with me and a very happy dog!

They had to leave early due to commitments so it was about 22:30 for lights out.

 

Now I am a cold weather person and not that keen on boiling hot rooms, it was so hot in here this night I was in my boxers on top of my sleeping bag.

The Morning

05:00 the lads where up and packing away and got out the door by 06:00 I had a brew and got a couple of hours kip as I was driving back to Suffolk as the weather had come in.

I packed up, had a tidy and prepared myself for the onslaught of gales and torrential rain outside.

It took me under an hour to reach the car and with a quick change of clothes I was heading home with another micro adventure ticked off.

Please have a look at www.mounytainbothies.org.uk for further details