‘Fortvna vobis adsit’ is the Latin inscription on the pavilion at the start of the walk of Hadrian’s Wall in Bowness-on-Solway. It means ‘Good luck to you!’. I will need this, but I also need to plan 🙂
I’ve not posted in a while but, amongst other things, I’ve been busy planning!
Back on 8th January, I mentioned I wanted to do a long walk so I’ve decided to walk Hadrian’s Wall.
Since, I got covid and had plenty of time to read and watch documentary about Roman History at the time and read a couple of guide books, watched a YouTube route from other walkers and also joined the Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA). I also joined a couple of hiking Facebook groups and Hadrian Wall’s Path group.
I have now started booking campsites (and hotels for Carlisle and Newcastle) for my way across Hadrian’s Wall! I have even plotted places to stop for snacks along the way…It’s all becoming real. That’s planned for late May /early June.
It’s a National Trails’ hiking path running 84 miles from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend. It follows the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall.
It was a border of the Roman Empire, built in AD 122 by Emperor Hadrian to keep the people of northern Britannia away.
I’m planning to walk the Wall over 7 days, from West to East, to avoid walking into the prevailing winds. I will travel to the start by train then bus, and back home from Newcastel by train.
So, I’ll be solo-backpacking. I’m preparing the lightest possible (within reason) backpack and I’ve been studying the weight of all my items (literally obsessive about it!). Today I’ll be packing all my items in a bag for the first time, weighing and working out what to keep/lose.
I also need to practice putting up and taking down my tent which I’ll be doing today too, but indoors without pegs at first as it’s easier than having to mow our lawn for it etc…
I have my route ready and my accommodation planned now. I haven’t booked transport yet but priced it all up.
I’ll also be doing an overnight practice in Savernake Forest and hopefully another one in the Brecon Beacons before that – I’ll post on here on how those experiments go, of course. The aim is just to practice the solo walking/camping. It’s all very exciting! And a nice distraction to life’s stresses.
After that, if all goes (relatively) well, I’m hoping to move on to another National Trail adventure in August (watch this space!)
Day 0 – travel to start
Day 1 – Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle (around 14 miles)
Day 2 – Carlisle to Lanercost (around 16 miles)
Day 3 – Lanercost to Steel Rigg (around 12 miles)
Day 4 – Steel Rigg to St Oswald’s (around 14 miles)
Day 5 – St Oswald’s to Heddon-on-the-Wall (around 13 miles)
Day 6 – Heddon-on-the-Wall to Newcastle (around 12 miles)
Day 7 – Newcastle to South Fields or Tynemouth (around 12 miles), then travel home
Total cost for accommodation and travel should add up to about £310. I think that’s pretty good. Accommodation for 7 days is £135.50! I’m happy with that.
I’m going to lend this backpack and some of the items to my daughter for her DofE expedition and practice expedition in the next couple of months, but here’s the content and approximate weight.
Total about 15kg backpack and 1kg waist belt.
Excuse the ‘Sunday’ attire – wool jumper and tracksuit bottoms, and any mess in the background.
It’s my very first time fitting everything in and wearing the full bag so I guess it’ll need some small changes and adjustments but it’s a good start.
|Item||weight in g|
|OEX Vallo 70||1860|
|OEX bobcat tent||1935|
|Bergaus Peak pro airmat||525|
|Vango Ultralite Pro 100 sleeping bag||915|
|zip drybag for PJs||45|
|thermal top and leggings for sleep||345|
|recycled large trek towel (Lifeventure)||135|
|toilet kit (bag+ trowel + toilet tissue)||170||top of bag|
|spare clothes in dry bag||435|
|spare sock *2 in dry bag||165|
|spare sock *2 in dry bag||185|
|spare sock *2 in dry bag||170|
|underwear in dry bag||205|
|bin bags (for tent)||90||top of bag|
|OEX tocan solo stove, gas canister and spork||840|
|Titanium mug||65||top of bag|
|Swiss army knife||100||top of bag|
|washbag including wipes, travel soap spray, heatpag, hairbands, vaseline, tootpaste, toothbrush and comb/brush||310|
|first aid kit including bandage, safety pins, desindectant wipes, compeed, plaster, ibuprofen, safety blanket and instant icepack, tick remover||240|
|4 meals food pouches in bag and two pegs for bags||1330|
|OS map and compass||170||front of bag|
|water bladder (filled)||1780|
|solar travel pack||1285|
|headtorch inc batteries||95||(side pocket)|
|cap||50||top of bag|
|water bottle||700||side of bag|
|Item||weight in g|
|Hadrian’s wall book + pen||315|
|watch cable and phone cable||40|
|ID, cash and card||20|
|total in bag||1000|
This is the tent I picked for myself. First time (kind of) erected today. It didn’t take long but I really struggled putting the pole in the eyelets (and then out again). I’m worried of damaging the pole or tent… I couldn’t pitch it indoors properly without the pegs so I’ll try again on a dry day when the garden isn’t full of branches (Rod has cut off loads of branches from one of our trees today!).
I plan to practice this a few times, taking it down, and back up until it gets faster and easier.
I need to practice the tent skills, book an overnight for April and go with the full bag. And just get those practice miles in, really!
Any advice (and encouragement) is welcome. I’m going to need it!