Week 1 – ‘So, I need what kit exactly?’

The cub scout motto is ‘Be Prepared’. I’m not a Scout, never have been. Or a Girl Guide for that matter.   But everyone knows the motto. Be Prepared. There must be something in that. Having just found out I had been successful in getting a place on the charity trek to Mount Kilimanjaro, I felt sure that the most important bit of kit I would have are the boots. With that in mind, I set off to a big name outdoors store. After 10 minutes, I quickly realised that they were not going to give me the help and advice I needed. Having almost given up, I found myself in Taunton Leisure.
So kitted up in new boots and socks, I am ready for my first training walk.   My aim is to walk 100 tors over the next few months.
Week 1 Route
Route 1
– our 14 km route today started near Widecombe-in-the-Moor and took in 13 local tors. I did my first walk on Dartmoor in jeans and trainers. I quickly realised that jeans were not good walking attire.  They are heavy, neither warm nor cool.  They don’t dry when you get wet so today plumped for lycra gym leggings. Lightweight and fitted – certainly better than jeans but not quite right still.   But today, they will have to do.   As a newbie to the world of the outdoors, I figured I would learn what kit I need as I go along.

Tor 1 – Pill Tor 
This was also my first experience out walking with a rucksack – today I have borrowed a Karrimor one.  I have my lunch, bottled water, spare T shirt and a waterproof jacket – total weight around 3kg.   The first thing on our walk that became apparent was that my boots and socks were awesome.  No rubbing, no blisters, no red bits and no breaking in required.  
The second thing that I noticed on this walk was the envy I felt for my parent’s hydration packs!   Bottled water is a bit of a nuisance; having to stop, take off your backpack, have a drink, pack your bag again was all a bit of a pain – with a hydration pack, the weight of the water is evenly distributed in your backpack and you have the mouthpiece to hand to have a sip of water whenever you need it. This also makes you more inclined to drink more! Yup, a hydration pack definitely on the shopping list.
Amongst the many things I am discovering about myself, one I did not expect was how much I sweat.  Sorry ladies, we do not ‘glow’; we do not even ‘perspire gently’ – oh no, I sweat. With the lycra leggings and my cotton T shirt, I got pretty sweaty pretty quickly.  So along with the water pack I now had two more things on my shopping list, light comfortable trousers and shirts made for wicking. These are designed to keep you cool and fresh and to wick away any sweat from your skin. Yup, definitely need those!
So by the end of the day – we’d walked 13.8km and bagged 13 tors.   A pretty good start to my training.   Plus I’d learn some valuable lessons about kit required – hydration pack and T shirts and even some walking trousers.
Final Tor of the day – Rippon Tor – Highest of the Day!

Kate J


If you would like to help support me in my challenge, you can sponsor me by visiting www.justgiving.com/kate-ainsley


If you would like more information about the amazing Save the Children FAST project, please visit the Save the Children website on www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/fast.htm



Next week – Week 2 – ‘Mizzle?  What on earth is mizzle?

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