On Thursday and Friday I hiked from Frodsham to Beeston and back. It was to test out hiking with a pack (12kg) in preparation for the West Highland Way. I took the Eddisbury Way down to Beeston and walked the northern part of the Sandstone Trail back. The Eddisbury Way wasn’t as well signposted as the Sandstone Trail so map reading skills were essential.

Lessons learned:

  1. I need to be more careful with planning. Planning to walk 15 miles in a day is okay but this needs to include the walk to the campsite at the end (something I was omitting). An extra couple of miles on the end might not sound like much but if I get lost (see below) and walk and extra 5 miles then I am going over 20 miles. 20 miles is pretty much my maximum.
  2. A 1 man tent won’t be sufficient for the West Highland Way. It’s more of a Bivvy than a tent as it does not have room to sit up in. This might be okay for a couple of days hiking in England where I can pitch and go to the nearest village to the pub. However, on the West Highland Way I may need to hide in the tent while it rains. I’ve identified a 2 man tent that will allow me to sit up and move about should I be required to hide away during a rain storm. A two man tent will be a little heavier but I can compensate by using only a 2 season sleeping bag.
  3. I already knew it but I need waterproof trousers. My hiking trousers dry rather quickly but the problem is that walking through long wet grass. Your legs (not just your trousers) get very wet and the water drips down into your shoes and socks.
  4. Careful preparation is required when the right of way goes across a golf course. While the right of way might say walk straight across; I thought it better to walk around the edge. However, once you’ve wandered around the holes a bit it’s easy to lose your sense of where you are. Ordinance Survey maps don’t include the hole numbers. Luckily I don’t think there will be many golf courses on the West Highland Way.