Sunday, 8 November 2009
Mapping /Jacket Selection
Although the route of the walk was planned very early, and since all the accommodation booked, it is only recently that I have considered the issue of maps for the walk. Having read other blogs the number of 1:50000 maps needed to cover the country is 30+, this leading to the logistics issue of carrying the maps or posting on the maps to strategic points etc. with weight being a major issue. To overcome this, I have from my Anquet computer mapping software, printed of the entire route on 90 off A4 sheets. I have had the entire country at 1:50000 scale for a number of years now, (for previous walks) so this then hasn't been an expense incurred as a result of this walk. The 90 maps have been cut up into strip maps and laid next to each other and laminated for waterproofing. Using both sides of the laminate, this has resulted in 23 A4 laminated sheets covering the whole country. This however has been a time consuming activity taken the best part of 10 hours to cut and lay out, but the result is foldable maps which will fit neatly into pockets and can be disposable, en route. As the second rest day will be a home I can leave 14 at home for the first part of the route, taking just 9, this will reduce weight as well. An alternative of printing on tough, waterproof paper presented itself after having printed the 90 off, this may have been more appealing, but considering the expense of repeating the printing of 90 pages, I decided against it. Changing the subject, I was getting increasingly dis satisfied with my choice of jackets for the walk, recent rainy walks have lead me to the conclusion that I was making the wrong choice.The initial plan was a micro fleece for warmth and evening, North face lite weight soft shell, Berghaus paclite jacket and a Hi vis "cycling " jacket for visibility on the busy roads. The issue was, the soft shell is not water proof at all and the slightest rain soaks the jacket and is slow to dry (even though the jacket has been proofed?) I have now invested in a paramo light weight activity smock for £170. this will replace the shell and depending upon drying time, potentially the fleece as well. It is waterproof and will be used on cooler/wet days. The paclite will be used on the warmer wet days. Hopefully there won't be to many wet days!!!!! I used the Paramo top yesterday for the first time, completing a walk from the centre of Birmingham to Tamworth, some 30km's. It was a cool bright days and the breath ability worked great, the laminated map fittedd in the front pouch and all was well. The walk was an interesting one, walking out of the centre on the same canals as the Grand Union walk (previously done), the heading of through the industrial area towards Aston, similar to the walk through Smethwick a few weeks ago. then underneath Spagetti Junction and along past the old "Rover Apprentice Training School" on Tyburn Rd where I spend a year in my apprenticeship years (1980). Then past Fort Dunlop, Jaguar Cars, the old Cincinnati factory toward Minworth and Curdsworth. At Curdsworth when through the tunnel which measures 53m a bit shorter than the Neverton tunnel at 2800m completed a few weeks ago. Then under the M6 Toll, past the Villa training camp at Bodymoor Heath, along the Hearth of England Way (previously done) to Drayton Manor Park and then Tamworth.