Your Essential Dog Packing List For Hiking

When taking your best-friend-furry companion on a hiking trail, it’s important to pack everything your pooch will need to stay safe and comfortable.

From essentials like food and water, to necessary gear like a dog leash and harness, this packing list will make sure that you and your dog have a fantastic stress free hike. Make sure to tailor the list to your dogs specific needs and of course the trail you choose. Remember to always bring more water than you think you’ll need for both you and your dog and a first aid kit for your dog is always a good idea. With this list, you’ll be prepared for any adventure with your dog by your side.

5 Essentials to Pack for a Hike with Your Dog

Food and Water: It’s crucial to bring enough food and water for your dog to last the entire hike, as well as a little extra for emergencies. Pack enough food for the entire hike in an airtight container and bring enough water to last the hike and a little extra. Bring water bowls for your dog to drink from, which are lightweight and easy to carry. After all you don’t want your dog staring at you with nothing to eat while you tuck into your lunch.

Leash and Collar or Harness: A leash is essential when hiking with your dog to keep them close to you and safe from any hazards on the trail. Make sure you choose a leash that is appropriate for the type of trail you’ll be on, such as a shorter leash for crowded areas, or a long leash for more open trails and to allow your dog to explore a little. Personally we recommend a harness, which is useful when picking up your dog (depending on size) to help them over obstacles. make sure it is properly fitted and has your contact information, name, and phone number on it.

First Aid Kit: It’s important to have a first-aid kit for your dog in case of any emergencies. The kit should include basic items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and tick removal tool. If your dog has any pre-existing conditions or on medications, make sure you pack these as well. Additionally, make sure you are familiar with basic first aid techniques, such as how to stop bleeding, and how to treat common injuries like snakebites or sprains.

Waste Bags and Hand Sanitizer: It’s helpful to bring enough waste bags to clean up after your pooch on the trail. Not only is it a good practice to keep the trail clean, but it also prevents the spread of disease. AKA, don’t be that person who flicks it off the trail with a stick. Think of the parents who have to scrape your dog poop off their kids shoes. Bring extra bags to be safe. Additionally, you should also bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you, so you can clean your hands after picking up your dog’s s**t.

Dog-specific gear: Depending on the trail and your dog, you may need specialized gear like booties to protect their paws from rough terrain, a coat to keep them warm in cold weather especially on exposed and elevated terrain. You may also want a dog pack to carry extra supplies but this depends on the size of your dog. Make sure to research and consider what gear is necessary for your specific trail and dog before you depart and choose gear that does the job properly. If you are hiking on rocky terrain or in the snow, dog booties can provide added protection for your dog’s paws. If you’re heading out for an overnight hike or a longer hike, a dog pack is a great option for carrying food, water.

Hiking with dogs can be a fun and enjoyable experience for both you and your best companion. However, it’s important to properly prepare and pack for the hike to ensure a safe and comfortable trip for your dog. Some essential items to include on your packing list are a leash, collar, first aid kit, plenty of water and food, and a portable bowl. It’s also important to bring any necessary medication or specific gear for your dog, such as a jacket or booties. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that both you and your dog have an enjoyable and safe hiking experience.

From Couch to Trail: A Beginner’s Guide to Training for a Long Distance Hike

If you’re planning on embarking on a long distance hike or a thru-hike, proper training is key to ensure a successful and enjoyable trip. Whether you’re tackling a section of the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, it’s important to prepare both physically and mentally for the challenges that lie ahead. In this article, we’ll go over some tips and techniques for training your body and mind for a long distance hike. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to tackling any trail with confidence and resilience.

Building endurance through cardiovascular exercise

When it comes to training for long distance hiking, building endurance is crucial. Hiking for extended periods of time requires a strong cardiovascular system to keep your body fueled and functioning at its best. Here are a few tips for improving your cardiovascular fitness:

  1. Engage in regular aerobic exercise: This can include activities such as running, cycling, or swimming. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise a few times a week. As you become more comfortable, try to increase the duration and intensity of your workouts to further challenge your cardiovascular system.
  2. Incorporate hills into your training: Hiking trails often have inclines and declines, so it’s important to prepare your body for these changes in elevation. Try adding hills to your running or cycling routes, or use a treadmill with an incline setting.
  3. Train at altitude: If you’ll be hiking at high elevations, it’s a good idea to train at a similar altitude to acclimate your body. If you don’t have access to high elevations, try simulating the effects of altitude by wearing a weighted vest or using an altitude training mask during your workouts.
  4. Take regular breaks during your training: On the trail, you’ll need to take breaks to rest, eat, and hydrate. Incorporate regular breaks into your training to get used to this rhythm and to give your body time to recover.

By following these tips and consistently challenging your body, you’ll build the endurance necessary to tackle long distance hikes with confidence.

Strengthening your lower body for the trails

In addition to building cardiovascular endurance, it’s important to strengthen your lower body in preparation for long distance hiking. Strong legs are essential for tackling steep inclines and declines, navigating rocky terrain, and carrying a heavy backpack. Here are a few exercises to target leg strength and stability:

Squats: One of the best exercises for building lower body strength, squats can be done with or without weights. Try using a barbell, dumbbells, or even a gallon of water to add resistance.

Lunges: Lunges work your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings, and can be done with or without weights. Step forward with one leg and bend both knees to a 90-degree angle, then push off the front leg to return to the starting position.

Step-ups: Step-ups can be done using a bench, box, or even a sturdy rock. Step up onto the platform with one foot, then bring the other foot up to meet it. This exercise targets your quadriceps and glutes.

Calf raises: Calf raises help to build strength and stability in your lower legs, which are essential for navigating uneven terrain on the trail. Simply stand on a step or ledge and lift your heels off the ground, then lower back down.

Incorporating these exercises into your training routine will help to build strong, stable legs that are ready for the demands of the trail. It’s also important to stretch regularly to help prevent common injuries such as shin splints and muscle strains.

Training your mind for the demands of thru-hiking

Training for a long distance hike is not just about physical fitness; it’s also important to prepare your mind for the mental challenges that you may encounter on the trail. Here are a few tips for mental preparation:

  1. Set achievable goals: While it’s important to challenge yourself, it’s also important to set realistic goals for your hike. Start by setting small, achievable goals and build up to larger ones as you progress. This will help to keep you motivated and give you a sense of accomplishment along the way.
  2. Practice mindfulness and meditation: Hiking can be a great opportunity to clear your mind and practice mindfulness. Try incorporating meditation or deep breathing exercises into your training routine to help you focus and stay present on the trail.
  3. Visualize your hike: Visualization is a powerful tool that can help you prepare for the challenges you may face on the trail. Close your eyes and picture yourself successfully navigating difficult stretches of the hike, or conquering a particularly steep incline. This can help to build confidence and mental resilience.
  4. Stay positive: It’s important to keep a positive attitude, even when things get tough on the trail. Surround yourself with supportive people and remind yourself of the reasons why you decided to take on this challenge in the first place.

By training your mind as well as your body, you’ll be better equipped to handle the mental demands of a long distance hike.

Creating a training plan that works for you

Creating a training plan that works for you is an important step in preparing for a long distance hike. A well-structured training plan can help you build endurance and strength, and also ensure that you have enough time to properly prepare for your hike. Here are a few tips for creating a training plan that works for you:

  1. Set specific goals: Start by identifying your specific goals for the hike. Do you want to complete a certain distance in a certain amount of time? Are you trying to improve your overall fitness level? Having clear goals will help you create a plan that is tailored to your needs.
  2. Assess your current fitness level: Take some time to assess your current fitness level and identify any areas that need improvement. This will help you determine the right level of intensity for your training.
  3. Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to training. Try to stick to a regular schedule and make time for exercise a few times a week. Even if you can only fit in a short workout, it’s better than skipping it altogether.
  4. Gradually increase intensity: As you progress in your training, gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. This can help to prevent burnout and keep you motivated.
  5. Include rest and recovery: It’s important to allow your body time to recover after intense workouts. Make sure to include rest days in your training plan and listen to your body if it needs an extra day of rest.

By following a structured training plan, you’ll be better prepared to tackle the challenges of a long distance hike.

Staying healthy on the trail

Maintaining good health is essential for a successful long distance hike. Here are a few tips for staying healthy on the trail:

  1. Eat a balanced diet: It’s important to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to stay energized on the trail. Aim for a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and protein sources.
  2. Stay hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for maintaining good health on the trail. Carry a water bottle or hydration pack and refill it regularly. If you’re hiking in a hot or dry climate, you may need to drink more water than usual to stay hydrated.
  3. Take care of your feet: Your feet will take a beating on the trail, so it’s important to take good care of them. Wear properly fitting hiking boots and socks, and be sure to break them in before your hike. Bring along blister treatment supplies and consider carrying a small foot care kit to help prevent and treat foot issues.
  4. Get enough rest: Proper rest and recovery are essential for maintaining good health on the trail. Make sure to get enough sleep each night and take breaks as needed to rest and recharge.

By following these tips and paying attention to your body’s needs, you’ll be better able to stay healthy and enjoy your long distance hike to the fullest.

In conclusion, training for a long distance hike requires a combination of physical and mental preparation. By building endurance through cardiovascular exercise, strengthening your lower body, and training your mind for the demands of the trail, you’ll be better equipped to tackle any hike with confidence and resilience. Creating a training plan that works for you and taking care of your overall health will also help to ensure a successful and enjoyable hike. With the right preparation and mindset, you’ll be well on your way to tackling any long distance hike or thru-hike.

10 Fantastic Long Distance Hikes in Great Britain

The UK is home to some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes and National Parks in the world. And with this, there are thousands of miles of long distance trails to explore all corners of the UK. From the rugged coastlines of the South West to the beautiful and rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the UK has something for everyone.

In this article, we will highlight the top 10 long-distance trails in the UK, showcasing the unique features and attractions of each one.

Whether you are an experienced hiker looking for a fresh challenge or new to the wonderful pastime of long distance hiking and looking to explore the great outdoors, these trails offer unforgettable experiences and breathtaking scenery and will be sure to leave a lasting impression.

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path

The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a beautiful coastal trail that winds along the rugged coastline of Pembrokeshire, a county in southwest Wales. The trail stretches for 186 miles (299 kilometers). Along the coast path. Along the way hikers can enjoy continuous views of the Irish Sea, as well as a wide variety of flora and fauna.

The path starts in the fishing town of St. Dogmaels in the north, and ends in Amroth in the south. Along the way, hikers can visit a number of charming towns and villages, including Tenby, which is known for its beautiful beaches, colourful houses and medieval walls.

One of the highlights of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is the stretch of coastline known as the “Green Bridge of Wales.” Here, hikers can see a striking natural arch formed by the sea, as well as a number of secluded coves and bays.

Other attractions along the trail include the National Trust-owned Colby Woodland Garden, which is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. In addition Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort also makes an excellent rest-day excursion and offers a glimpse into Wales’ rich history.

Overall, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a must-do for any hiking enthusiast, offering a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural history.

The Dales Way

The Dales Way is a beautiful long-distance walking trail that runs for 78 miles (126 kilometers) through the stunning, yet delightfully quiet Yorkshire Dales in Northern England. The route starts in the historic market town of Ilkley and ends in the charming town of Bowness-on-Windermere in the Lake District.

Along the way, walkers will pass through idyllic countryside, rolling hills, and picturesque English villages and hamlets. The trail takes you through the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, where you’ll be able to see some of the most beautiful landscapes in England.

One of the highlights of the Dales Way is the breathtaking views of the Yorkshire Dales. The rolling hills and valleys offer plenty to see and enjoy. The route also takes you through some charming villages, where you can stop and sample some of the local produce, including delicious Yorkshire cheeses and ales.

Overall, the Dales Way is a wonderful trail that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a relaxing stroll, this trail is sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.

The Yorkshire Wolds Way

The Yorkshire Wolds Way is a National Trail that runs for 79 miles (127 km) across the Yorkshire Wolds in northern England. It starts in the market town of Hessle, near Hull, and ends in the town of Filey, on the east coast. Along the way, it passes through picturesque villages and rolling hills, offering beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

The trail was officially opened in 1982, and has become a popular destination for walkers and hikers. It can be tackled in one go, or in smaller sections. There are also several circular routes that allow you to explore the area in more depth.

One of the highlights of the Yorkshire Wolds Way is the views across the River Humber and the Humber Bridge.

As you walk along the trail, you’ll encounter a variety of wildlife, including sheep, cows, and birds of prey. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the rich history of the area, with many historic landmarks and attractions along the way, such as the old market town of Beverley.

Overall, the Yorkshire Wolds Way is a beautiful and varied trail that offers something for everyone. It’s also much quieter than other more popular trails, making it an excellent retreat away from the crowds of the Lake District. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, you’ll find plenty to enjoy on this delightful National Trail.

The Anglesey Coast Path

The Anglesey Coast Path is a stunning hiking trail that runs along the beautiful coastline of Anglesey, an island off the coast of Wales. The trail is approximately 186 miles long and offers outstanding views of the Irish Sea and Snowdonia National Park.

The path is a great way to explore the island’s diverse landscape, which includes sandy beaches, rocky coves, and lush forests. Along the way, hikers will come across several charming villages and historical landmarks, including the old fishing village of Cemaes Bay and the medieval castle of Beaumaris.

One of the highlights of the trail is the Parys Mountain Copper Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once one of the largest copper mines in the world. Hikers can take a guided tour of the mine and learn about its fascinating history.

The Anglesey Coast Path is also a great place for birdwatching, with over 200 species of birds spotted along the trail. Some of the most commonly seen birds include peregrine falcons, redshanks, and guillemots.

The trail is well-marked and well-maintained, making it accessible to hikers of all levels. There are several options for accommodation along the way, including campsites, B&Bs, and hotels.

For those looking for a shorter hike, the Anglesey Coast Path can also be broken down into several shorter sections, allowing hikers to choose a route that suits their ability and interests.

Overall, the Anglesey Coast Path is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a unique and memorable outdoor adventure. With its stunning scenery, rich history, and diverse wildlife, it offers something for everyone.

The Fife Coast Path

The Fife Coast Path is a scenic walking route located in the Kingdom of Fife, Scotland. The path stretches for 117 miles (188 km) along the coast, offering stunning views of the North Sea and the Firth of Forth. Along the way, you’ll pass through charming fishing villages, sandy beaches, and stunning cliff-top landscapes.

The Fife Coast Path is a great way to experience the rich history and natural beauty of this part of Scotland. You’ll have the opportunity to see a wide variety of wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and a multitude of seabirds.

One of the highlights of the Fife Coast Path is the town of St. Andrews, known worldwide as the home of golf. Here, you can visit the historic Old Course, where the game of golf has been played for over 600 years.

As you walk the Fife Coast Path, you’ll also have the chance to sample some of the local cuisine, including fresh seafood and traditional Scottish dishes. There are plenty of cozy pubs and restaurants along the way where you can refuel and relax after a day of walking.

Overall, the Fife Coast Path is a must-do for anyone who loves the great outdoors and wants to experience the best of what Scotland has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely stroll, the Fife Coast Path has something for everyone.

Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Path

Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Path is a challenging yet rewarding long-distance walking route that stretches across northern England, from the Irish Sea to the North Sea. The path is approximately 190 miles (306 km) long and passes through some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in the country, including the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the North York Moors.

One of the standout features of the Coast to Coast Path is the variety of landscapes it passes through. As you walk, you’ll encounter everything from rolling hills and peaceful meadows to rugged fells and stunning coastlines. The route also passes through a number of charming villages and towns, providing opportunities to stop and explore along the way.

In addition to the beautiful scenery, the Coast to Coast Path is also rich in history and culture. As you walk, you’ll pass by a number of historic landmarks, including medieval castles and ancient monasteries. You’ll also have the chance to learn about the region’s rich industrial heritage, with stops at old mines and former mills along the way.

Overall, the Coast to Coast Path is a true adventure that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for a challenging trek or a nature lover in search of stunning views and rich history, the Coast to Coast Path is the perfect choice.

The Great Glen Way

The Great Glen Way is a long-distance hiking trail in Scotland that stretches for 117 miles (188 km) from Fort William in the west to Inverness in the east. The trail passes through the Great Glen, a series of valleys and lochs that includes Loch Ness, famous for its alleged monster.

The Great Glen Way offers a variety of landscapes and experiences, from the rugged mountains of the Scottish Highlands to the calm waters of the lochs.

Along the way, hikers can visit historic sites such as the ruins of Urquhart Castle and Fort Augustus Abbey, and take in beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The trail is typically completed in 7-8 days, although experienced hikers may be able to finish it in less time.

Accommodation is available at various points along the route, including bed and breakfasts, hotels, and campsites. The Great Glen Way is a challenging but rewarding hike that offers a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of the Scottish Highlands.

The Cumbria Way

The Cumbria Way is a national trail in northern England that stretches for 72 miles (116 km) from Ulverston to Carlisle. The trail passes through some of the most beautiful and unspoiled countryside in the Lake District National Park. Along the way, hikers will have the opportunity to explore picturesque villages and bustling market towns, as well as a number of natural wonders such as Tarn Hows and Coniston Water.

The trail is suitable for experienced hikers and is typically completed in six to eight days. It can be walked in either direction, but many people choose to start in Ulverston and end in Carlisle.

The Cumbria Way is well marked and easy to follow, with clear signposts and waymarks along the route. There are also a number of guidebooks and maps available to help hikers plan their trip.

Overall, the Cumbria Way is a fantastic trail for anyone looking to explore the beautiful landscapes of the Lake District. It offers a diverse range of landscapes, from rugged mountains to tranquil valleys, and provides a great opportunity for hikers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this picturesque region.

The Cleveland Way

The Cleveland Way National Trail is a 108-mile long-distance footpath that runs through the North York Moors National Park in northern England. The trail was first opened in 1969 and is maintained by the National Park Authority and the Cleveland Way Association. The route begins in Helmsley and winds its way through the North York Moors, passing through picturesque villages and dramatic coastline before ending at the bustling town of Filey.

Along the way, hikers will have the opportunity to explore a diverse range of landscapes, from heather-covered moors and ancient woodlands to rocky cliffs and sandy beaches. The Cleveland Way also passes through some of the most historic and culturally significant sites in the region, including the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, the imposing Whitby Abbey, and the charming seaside village of Staithes.

One of the highlights of the Cleveland Way is the stunning views it offers of the North Sea and the surrounding countryside. Hikers can stop at any of the numerous viewpoints along the route to take in the breathtaking scenery and spot some of the local wildlife, including red grouse, curlews, and even the occasional peregrine falcon.

The Cleveland Way is a challenging but rewarding trail that is suitable for experienced hikers. Whether you are looking to tackle the entire trail or just a section of it, the Cleveland Way offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

The Cotswold Way

The Cotswold Way is a 102-mile long-distance footpath that runs through the Cotswold Hills in England. The trail was first officially designated in 2007 and is maintained by the National Park Authority and the Cotswold Voluntary Wardens. The route begins in the historic market town of Chipping Campden and winds its way through the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, passing through quaint villages and charming countryside before ending in the city of Bath.

Along the way, hikers will have the opportunity to explore a variety of landscapes, from green fields and rolling hills to ancient woodlands and historic sites. The Cotswold Way also passes through some of the most picturesque and well-preserved villages in the region, including the honey-colored stone buildings of Broadway, the charming market town of Tetbury, and the beautiful gardens of Hidcote Manor.

One of the highlights of the Cotswold Way is the stunning views it offers of the surrounding countryside. Hikers can stop at any of the numerous viewpoints along the route to take in the breathtaking scenery and spot some of the local wildlife, including red kites, badgers, and even the occasional deer.

The Cotswold Way is a challenging but rewarding trail that is suitable for experienced hikers. It is typically completed in 10 to 14 days, although some dedicated hikers have been known to complete the entire route in a single week. Whether you are looking to tackle the entire trail or just a section of it, the Cotswold Way offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

The Pennine Way

The Pennine Way is a 268-mile trail that runs through the beautiful and rugged landscapes of the Pennines in northern England. The trail begins in the Peak District National Park and ends in the Scottish Borders, passing through some of the most stunning and remote areas of the country along the way.

Hikers on the Pennine Way will have the opportunity to explore a wide range of landscapes, from rolling hills and peaceful meadows to rugged moors and wild moorland. The trail also passes through some of the most historic and culturally significant sites in the region, including the beautiful waterfall at High Force, and preserved remains of Hadrian’s Wall.

One of the highlights of the Pennine Way is the stunning views it offers of the surrounding countryside. Hikers can stop at any of the numerous viewpoints along the route to take in the breathtaking scenery and spot some of the local wildlife, including red grouse, curlews, and even the occasional golden eagle.

The Pennine Way is a challenging but rewarding trail that is suitable for experienced hikers. It is typically completed in 15 to 20 days, although some dedicated hikers have been known to complete the entire route in a single week. Whether you are looking to tackle the entire trail or just a section of it, the Pennine Way offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

The South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path is a 630-mile long-distance walking route along the coast of South West England. Designated in 1973, it is maintained by the National Park Authority and South West Coast Path Association. Starting in Minehead, Somerset, the path follows the coast around the peninsula to Poole Harbour in Dorset.

Along the way, hikers can explore the diverse and beautiful coastline, including rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and tranquil estuaries, as well as charming coastal towns and villages. The path offers stunning views of the sea and surrounding countryside, as well as the opportunity to spot local wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, and seals.

Although challenging, the South West Coast Path is suitable for experienced hikers and can be completed in 40 to 60 days, although some hikers have completed the entire route in one season. Whether tackling the entire trail or just a section, the South West Coast Path offers an unforgettable experience for nature lovers.

West Highland Way

The West Highland Way is a long-distance walking route in Scotland, stretching for 154 miles from Milngavie, a suburb of Glasgow, to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.

The West Highland Way passes through a variety of landscapes, including moorland, forests, and glens, and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK.

Along the way, hikers can explore charming villages and towns, such as Drymen and Tyndrum, and stop at a number of viewpoints to take in the breathtaking scenery. The West Highland Way is a challenging but rewarding trail that takes most hikers around a week to complete. Whether you are looking to tackle the entire route or just a section of it, the West Highland Way offers an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

A First Look At The Naturehike Shelter Camping Canopy Hammock

I’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep under the stars for a while now.

I actually made a post about it here, and on the back of a discussion with our community, concluded that I needed to try hammock camping.

Luckily for me, the lovely folks at Naturehike offered to provide me with their new lightweight backpacking hammock to try out.

I’m no novice to hammock camping, having done it for a few extended periods abroad, including sleeping in a Costa Rica jungle in a hammock, safely raised off the floor and away from the swathes of insects out to bite me.

I’ve also had the joy of hammock camping by the sea a few times, and know too well the relaxing swaying, and cradling a hammock gives you when you’re trying to sleep. It’s like nothing else.

My Naturehike hammock didn’t take long to arrive. Impressive, given it came from overseas. It was well packaged, and fit into a small drawstring sports bag – similar to what you get at JD Sports or Sports Direct. I’ve since transferred it to a stuff sack as I find it better for use outside and trekking.

I’ve since had a chance to test it out in the woods local to me, and I plan to use it on a few multi-day hikes this Autumn and into next year.

Honestly, if I can get away with it, I will use this over a tent. Why? it’s lighter, easier to pitch, and way more comfortable.

Product Specs

Size: Tent fly – 189x186cm, Hammock – 300x316cm
Tent fly fabric: 40D Nylon coated silicon plaid fabric
Hammock fabric: 75d pongee, B3 fine poly mesh
Packed Size: 26x40x12 (but can squeeze smaller in testing)

Build Quality

I extensively checked the seams, and stitch quality of the hammock and fly and was impressed with the sewing quality, and overall feel of durability across the piece despite its relatively low weight and affordable price point.

What I really liked was the metal rings sewn into the ends of the tarp reinforcing the attachment points and making it easy to rig mini-pulls to pull the cords taught.

Moreover, the fabric coverings that wrap around the top of the hammock were a nice feature to keep the bunched up fabric dry in heavy rain, which stops the soak slowly working its way down the hammock towards you.

The fabric for the fly is also an excellent choice – being durable enough but also feeling relatively lightweight.

Suitability For Long Distance Hiking

If you want to switch up your camping setup away from tents, and towards hammocks then this isn’t a bad place to start.

Let’s assume you already use a Vango Banshee 200, at 2.4kg and a pack size of 47×18, and a setup time of 7 minutes.

Now compare this to our hammock at around 1kg, and a pack size of 40×26 uncompressed and a setup time of around 5 minutes. Yes it’s marginal gains, but losing 1.4kg of weight is never a bad thing.

Suddenly you have a compelling alternative, which in all honestly is more comfortable than a tent. Better still, if you are using this in warmer summer months to wild camp you don’t even need a camping pad (but you do need one in colder conditions for insulation) saving further grams.

Yes, I agree that a hammock is not as versatile – it cant be pitched anywhere. However it can be pitched in most places as you will find trees everywhere from the edge of playing fields to small coppices of woodland or forests on route.

With enough research, you can be sure to find a number of potential hammock camping spots along most routes.

Overall I feel hammocks are well suited to long distance hiking on certain trails and make a nice alternative to sleeping under canvas.

The bad

I really didn’t like the bag it came in. For a product designed for outdoor use, I personally would have used a different bag. A compressing lightweight stuff sack, made from the same fabric as the tarp would be more fitting for the product.

The good

Initially, I was unsure whether I liked the colours. Shouldn’t a hammock be bushcraft green?? After use, I realized I love the colours. They are not discreet, so for silent camping, you may need to hide a bit further into the woods, but otherwise, the colour choice really works for me.

I’m also a big fan of the tarp and its overall size. It’s not so massive that it’s extra weight, but big enough to drop the sides down to keep you dry in sideways rain and to give you some privacy within the hammock setup.

I am a big fan of the ‘No Zipper Design’. Here’s a fact. Zips fail, always. Whether it’s a year from purchase, or 5, your zip will always fail. And on a product like a hammock where tension is put on variable parts of a hammock the zip will fail quicker.

Fortunately, Naturehike has put a ‘No Zipper Design’ entry point into the hammock which closes with gravity and can then be velcroed together.

I wasn’t sure of the velcro opening at first, but now I love it. It’s also really easy to get into as you enter the hammock centrally instead of trying to roll in over the side, which can cause you to roll out the other side.

I also really like how Naturehike offers aftersales support and replies to their emails. Many overseas companies don’t, yet Naturehike offer original products and stands behind them with good customer support.

Overall thoughts On The Naturehike Shelter Camping Canopy Hammock

I’m really impressed with the product and will be using it over my tent going forwards If I am sure that I can get away with pitching it on routes for the duration of a trip. Honestly, we have enough coppices of woodland remaining to get away with using a hammock in the UK on most long-distance trails – particularly on lower routes such as the Yorkshire Wold Way for example.

The build quality is reassuring, and although it’s not the lightest hammock on the market it’s priced very generously for what it offers.


Naturehike Shelter Camping Hammock

Reviewed by Matthew Usherwood, Editor at


Last Thoughts

An excellent hammock at a great price. Don’t be alarmed by the lack of weight, or pack size as honestly, it’s lighter than even the lightest tents but it is heavier than some competitor hammocks.

If you want a hammock to start your hammock camping journey then this is an excellent place to start.


How to become a hiking guidebook author

Back in October, I had the pleasure of talking with Andrew McCloy, guidebook author, and self-confessed ‘ Jobbing Writer’ for major outdoor publications including TGO.

Listen to the full episode here

I’ve long wanted to get a guidebook author on the show, mainly because it selfishly interests me as an artistic exercise, but also because guidebook authors are in my opinion unsung heroes of the hiking community. It’s the inquisitive spirit behind a good guidebook that embellishes a trail with interest beyond a series of simple ‘cross the field, and turn left at the next stye’ style of instructions.

Well-written guidebooks bring the trail and its history to life in ways that most of us can be bothered to do so. Yet having a book we can pick up for a tenner, which has the back story, history and valuable inside information on a trail is a luxury. Hiking apps just don’t currently compare, and I hope that people like Andrew continue to write excellent guides.

But what does it take to become a guidebook Author?

Well, I asked Andrew, to find out what the job description entailed.

As with any profession which is not a route to riches (although I’m sure the founders of Lonely Planet disagree) enjoyment of the craft is key. But what attracts Andrew to writing guides is what he calls the ‘art form’ of writing. He explains that the attraction is in the fluent and artistic narrative, supported by “meticulous planning“. He enjoys the buzz when planning a new guidebook for a long-distance trail and enjoys the long ‘nights doing logistics’.

Essentially what underpins Andrews’s method of writing guidebook’s is not the finished result, (although I’m sure that’s wonderful) but the process itself. It’s the process that makes this profession exciting for Andrew.

If you have ever considered writing a hiking guidebook, the insights below may help you get started.

What’s the process of putting together a guidebook?

What I found interesting was the insight that guidebooks are not written in full the first time around. Instead, they are written in parts and walked in bits. Andrews’s first book, Lands End to John o Groats was put together over a number of trips, including weekends and holidays. He threaded the route together with long-distance paths, and filled the bits in between…

How does this turn into a full time career?

Ah, the 9-5 question. How do you leave your dull day job, and spend the rest of your days walking the hills while getting paid?

With enough savvy and a bit of healthy hustle most creative pursuits can be turned into a career. Andrew chucked as he shared his realisation that he could ‘scrape a living’ if he came up with enough ideas. Yet he was mindful that he always needs to be a step ahead, thinking of different slants on existing guidebooks.

He acknowledged that the Lake District for example probably is at full capacity for guidebooks, so thinking of something totally different is a must. Andrew laughed as he said, “I challenge everyone to find a new slant on a book on the Lake District“.

Opportunities for writing guidebooks exist in new and emerging gaps in the market (think how many ‘slow travel’ guides came out a few years ago), places people are talking about, or books that are going out of print.

Ultimately though Andrew shares that you should ‘not be afraid to ask people to take a chance on you’.

How do you get the detail to make it interesting?

Theres a big distinction between a boring guidebook and an interesting one. I’ve seen both.

Andrew keeps his guidebooks interesting by remaining curious and picking up clues from those he speaks with on the trail. For example, he will often stop at YHA’s and pubs to pick up parish newsletters and learn of local history groups, who are a source of valuable information.

When writing his Pennine Way book Andrew was particularly interested in Thomas Stephenson who originally walked the route. He made a point of going down to London to the archives at the London University to look for research and a deeper level of history on Thomas. This level of commitment gave life to the book.

Andrew says, “you have to put in the legwork and check the facts“. But he confessed, “When you are not sure you have to own up to it, and just tell the story anyway if it’s good”. A bit of creative bending of a story never goes too far wrong if done honestly.

What’s your view on walking apps?

I was curious to hear Andrews’s views on walking apps. After all apps and digital mediums have been seen as a threat to writing and physical mediums. Although books and records seem to have bucked that trend.

Andrew mentioned he does occasionally pick up apps and follow it, particularly for new places as it gives him confidence about where to go. However, he does come away feeling he can do better and provide better directions and clarity on the route.

How many guides have you written to date?

I’m keen to point out that Andrews’s success within his profession was not an overnight one. Success rarely is.

Andrew has written or contributed to just under 20 guides of various types. His more recent ones were a social history of the pubs in the Peak District, and of course, the book we talked about on the Podcast, Great Walks on the England Coast Path.

Kinder beer barrel challenge story

Any career highlights?

In 2015 Andrew celebrated his 50th Birthday. This nicely coincided with the Pennine Way also having its 50th anniversary that year. Andrew had “long harbored the desire to walk it all in one go“. Naturally, he wanted to follow this up with a publication – one that was personal to him.

He chose to focus on a different angle on the Pennine Way. After all, there are already a number of guides for this popular long-distance trail.

Andrews’s focus was to look at the social history, access, the history of the YHA on the route, footpath erosion, and of course his personal motivations for walking the path – using the way as a test against yourself.

Next steps

If writing a guidebook is of interest to you, my recommendation is this. Get out and write it.

Choose a suitable area. Perhaps somewhere less walked (how many walking guides exist for the Lincolnshire Wold’s for example?), or as Andrew says, find a different slant.

To help you on your way to guidebook writing glory, and a space next to Andrew and Alfred Wainwright here are some free ideas to get you going.

  • A guidebook linking up pubs from lands end to John o Groats – making the UK’s biggest pub crawl.
  • Modern pushchair hiking guides. Some exist but they are very aged now
  • Long distance trails that can be walked in a weekend
  • Themed guidebooks. For example, routes around the UK that tell a historic story of places involved in the English Civil War
  • Premium walking guides for those who want to stay in fancy hotels, and eat fancy meals. Think the Thames Path for the top 1%
  • Trail running guides – long distance walking guidebooks but designed for trail runners

You get the point. There are lots of angles for guidebooks that don’t involve writing yet another guidebook on the Hadrian’s Wall Path.

Hopefully you found this article helpful. Let us know what you think in the comments 👇


From reading posts on the Long Distance Hiker website and Facebook group, it’s clear that trekking across the countryside holds many advantages for our wellbeing. The mind clears, the heart calms, the soul uplifts and the body benefits: the effects are both re-energising and empowering. So, when life smacks you in the face, it’s time to get those boots on and head out the door.

Sometimes, though, it’s not as simple as that. Sometimes, things happen that just don’t give us a chance to rely on our regular coping mechanisms. In such cases, it’s how we adjust to circumstances that matters. And walking can certainly play a part in that.


Our Dad passed away peacefully in early August after a few months of declining health. During the final few weeks, my siblings and I took turns in caring for him day and night. Everything else in life became very secondary. Then, when he passed away, having to deal with grief, sort the funeral and clear his home affected us emotionally in ways that we couldn’t have known before.

Up until this time, I’d always found that an afternoon spent in the local woods or walking along the Thames was enough to reset my mind, so that I’d come back a functioning adult. But time felt so compacted and also stretched in this period that walking and nature weren’t helping me process matters.

Then in early September, on one of the rare occasions I felt like reading, I came across a chapter in ’52 Ways To Walk’ by Annabel Streets that explained walking briskly each day during times of high tension is a great way to counter stress. The walk needs to be for at least twelve minutes as this allows the chemicals in the body to have the necessary effect.

Understanding this gave me a renewed purpose in my walks: suddenly what had been a routine walk with muddled thoughts through my town, now became a near-meditative experience that helped build resolve. Reading that simple and effective information formed the crucial moment in which I dealt with my grief in a more gentle way.

Soon, my body and mind were craving a return to the countryside, and, more specifically, to trek along bodies of water.


Whilst I researched how to cope with grief, I came across the River Of Life. This analogy suggests that as we flow along in life certain events will throw us completely off course, e.g. death, unemployment and homelessness. The important thing is that we somehow keep moving, even if it feels like we’ve hit rapids, rocks or are heading for a waterfall. A person may feel endangered and in jeopardy, but movement is the key to survival.

I found this quote on which I found quite consoling:

“We can all take wisdom from the river – it personifies that moving while challenged is at the core of what wisdom really is – No matter what obstacle comes my way, be it mental, be it physical, I’m going to direct my flow in the direction I want it to go.”

Again, something that I’d read had influenced me, and it was time to footslog along the River Thames again.


Over the following two weeks, I completed a solo hike along the Thames and walked half of the Blackwater Valley Path with a mate. I often recited the above quote to myself to totally immerse myself on these river walks. I’m not totally sure how or why this approach to dealing with my grief worked, but being in nature and a change of mindset left me feeling I could begin to cope better.


Hiking provides substance and purpose. Putting one foot in front of the other has so much holistic value. These thoughts were the deeper wisdom that I’d gained, and it was only natural to expand upon them. In addition, by actually taking the River Of Life analogy and putting it into practice on hikes, I recognised that I was nurturing myself as a person.

With this clarity, I decided the best thing I could do to further my understanding was to pummel my legs into oblivion by heading to the coast for a few days. After looking at a few options, I found an inexpensive and highly-rated B&B in Torquay. When travel day came, I zipped out my front door quicker than a cheetah with its backside on fire.

My dad was a funny, uncomplicated Irishman who lived life by his own rules and didn’t worry about the future. These traits were how I’d conduct myself on this break: have a laugh, keep it straightforward, and plan nothing in advance. So, on the first evening in my hotel room, I wrote down the names of the four places I’d visit – Torquay, Brixham, Paignton and Dawlish – on four separate bits of paper and put them into a sock. Then, I swung the sock above my head for a few seconds, put my hand in and my first destination was revealed.


After alighting at the train station, I marched along the stream at the heart of the town centre. I followed it’s course for a couple of miles before reaching a Norman church that marked my turnaround point. From there, I headed towards the terracotta cliffs. I pondered if the sharp climbs would exhaust my legs for the days ahead, but looking out to the gentle sea on this blue sky day was enough to resuscitate my pins.

The highlight of this day, though, wasn’t anything to do with hiking or nature: sitting on the beach, being still and munching on a homity pie overloaded my senses!


I didn’t venture along clifftops or a beach on this day, but instead walked along the bustling harbour and an impossibly long pier. By the end of my time here, it astounded me that I’d knocked up nearly ten miles from wondering around this harbour town.


Walking up and down the cliff sides of the South West Coastal Path, I checked in on how I was doing: calmer than I’d been in the last few weeks. I just allowed my mind to flow unhindered to where it needed to be. With Dad’s presence as resounding as the wave breaks against the rocks below, I realised that grief is a very personal journey, and very much as uproarious or serene as the sea itself. This comprehension was an answer I’d been looking for without knowing it. Accepting this further wisdom was key to me coping.


The sea views calmed and mesmerised me. I understood that bodies of water played a central role to me dealing with my grief – and hiking underpinned that. Furthermore, I grasped that the importance of being by the sea, a river or a stream was that by observing the flow of water, on a deeper level I was keeping myself in the flow of life. This was another sprinkle of wisdom that I cherished in my heart.

Another ten-miler through the town’s hilly streets and along the beach left me more battered than the cod in a seafront chippy. A gentle Irish voice sang in my head: “Go to the pub, son. Go to the pub.” After a couple of pints, I’d recuperated and noticed the enduring lightening of my mood carrying on from the previous days.

And with this, I toasted my dad in the full knowledge that I’d found a way to cope with my grief.


My family and I travel to Ireland in December to lay our Dad’s ashes next to his mum’s grave. You’ll be home to rest, Dad. Every time I hike near water, I know you’ll always be close.

To anybody reading this, I heartily recommend a good long river or coastal walk the next time difficult situations arise. Hiking and spending time in nature truly have the ability to help us overcome adversity and the challenges of life, and help us to build fortitude.

An unconventional coastal existance

I’ve had the privilege of speaking with a few coast walkers in the past year of hosting the Distance Hiker Podcast. One question I always ask my guests, and especially those embarking on months, or years of walking is ‘how’?

How do you afford it?
How do you find the time?
How do you unwrap the complexities of life enough to afford the freedom to do this?

The answers have all been different.

Two fingers to the man, supported by a business, having a nice employer who supports a career break. Ultimately, they all need to be back home for dinner 6 months, or a year or two after departing.

The choice is never easy, but these individuals are bold enough to step into an unknown and take a leap to put one foot in front of the other. Taking each day as it comes.

I take my hat off to them.

My latest podcast guests Daniel and Charlotte are a little different.

Now, to set some context, Daniel and Charlotte are commitment-free. No kids, house, or careers on the line.

They have all the time in the world and they know it.

I asked them how long they were planning on walking for. In return I was told, three, perhaps 4 years, but they are not rushing.

Quite the opposite.

Charlotte and Daniel are living as self sufficiently as possible. They travel at a pace that suits them, living off the land where, and working for their keep or food when needed.

They have a limited, yet still untapped pot of savings. Impressive.

I spoke to them online, one evening as they were sat, huddled inside their tent on the Shetland Islands. Daniel was proud of his newfound, yet refined fishing skills, and the couple, seem undeterred by the possibility of carrying 20-30 kg on their back for the next years.

Prior to their walk, Daniel had finished in the armed forces, and again his story seemed familiar. He was angry, with difficult emotions. Losing his job was the spark that launched his new career as a full-time coast walker.

Charlotte’s entry into the story came from a different place. As an already seasoned solo traveler, this experience is nothing new. Yet Charlotte still sold all her belongings and handed in her notice for her waitressing job to join Daniel on the trip.

In November 2021, the couple were walking together and fully committed to this big adventure.

As two young people, who undoubtedly have been subjected to the normal ‘status quo enforcing beliefs throughout their lives, I’m impressed by their fortitude to remain firm in their beliefs.

Rather than following traditional career paths, buying into the 9-5, and purchasing a house together (which I must add is an entirely valid choice), they have opted to live the next 4 years on their terms.

They have no grand plan, no huge ambition, beyond perhaps raising some money for charities close to their hearts, and sharing their message with a growing base of supporters.

I only wish that more people would pursue this path in life – opting for experience, and a slow unconventional living over damaging behaviors such as hustle culture, and the ‘grind’.

Daniel and Charlotte filled me with hope.

Two charming, yet ordinary individuals, doing something extraordinary, yet managing to make it look totally normal.

These are ones to watch.

You can find the full episode with Daniel and Charlotte here.

Wet weather wildcamping. My first sleep in the wilderness

Back in July 2022, my four friends (Aaron, Robin, Pete and Robert) and I visited the Old Man Of Coniston for our annual mountain trip. This was to be the smallest mountain we’d trek – we’d hiked the highest points in the UK and Ireland with a few others thrown in to this point – but we weren’t going to underestimate this ascent in any way. Plus, this trip had the added bonus of us wildcamping for the first time.In order to prepare for our adventure, we’d taken advice from experienced wildcampers and watched a number of YouTube videos. My friends’ shelters included a tent and bivvy sacks. I decided on a poncho tarp latched to a hiking pole secured by tent pegs and bungee cord for my shelter; I felt that this would be lightweight and adequate enough. I practiced building my shelter a few times in my back garden, so by the time we hit Cumbria I was reasonably confident I’d be okay.

As there was a small gang of us making the journey, it was easy for us to spread our collective load between us. What’s App group chats saw us comparing weights of camping stoves and torches to gain a good understanding of the lightest items to carry. This meant that we had room to take a few little extras for the big sleep outside: the idea to waking up to sizzling bacon on a mountainside was appealing!


So, come the big day, we piled our rucksacks into the car, having made sure we’d done one final itinerary check beforehand. We left our base camp at a mobile home park in Millom around midday as the lure of the mountains called to us once again. And after a hefty, long Sunday lunch at The Ship Inn just outside of Coniston, the hike began at 3pm.

We started along a B-road before beginning to climb up through farm fields. Aaron was our navigator for the day with his trusted compass skills, and before long he’d led us to the main path that’d take us to the mountain peak. If it had been down to me to set our direction, I think I’d have taken us to Carlisle!

I liked this trek a lot: for the most part, the valley rose up alongside the path, so there were hardly any steep drops that would send my head in a spin. You see, I have a fear of heights, and I never know how I’m going to be on a mountain until I get there; on Scafell Pike in 2016, for instance, I’d turned up full of beans, only for my head to give out halfway up as I feared for my life looking down on the valley below. So, to be leading from the front and engaging in banter most of the way up the Old Man was a joy to me.


One of our pre-hike worries had been the weight of our packs slowing us down. Yet, we reached the peak of the mountain with only a few minor mumbles and strap adjustments. The weather had also been favourable despite the threat of rain. Mind you, the pints that had been downed in the pub prior to the footslog were beginning to take their toll on a few members of our group at this point.

The map was spread out as we hunted out our sleep spot : Blind Tarn. This leg of the journey involved descending the Old Man on its other side, bounding across boggy fields and a rushing river before taking on more boggy fields and a final ascent to our destination.

After becoming lost a few times, we’d made it. By now, it was 9pm, and energy levels were sapping. I whipped off my boots and socks, and enjoyed the cool waters of the tarn soothing my aching feet. Taking in the scenery and the isolation, we all cooed in unison as to the rugged beauty of the location.

Then, it was time to build the shelter once more. We ate quickly and soon bedded down, too zapped of energy to talk much.


Blind Tarn is framed by steep rock faces on three sides, so we thought we had adequate enough protection from the elements As rain crept in at 1am, we were stirred from our slumbers. By 1.30am, I was having to hastily reconstruct my build amid a howling gale. The bungee cord had twanged off in a random direction causing the hiking pole to collapse. With the help of my friends, we were able to secure my tarp with more tent pegs and rocks by all four corners before it got blown away like an unwanted rag.

I slid between the tarp and the ground sheet, and huddled under my sleeping bag. By 3am, and unable to sleep, I heard Robin’s teeth chattering; he declared that he’d had enough. I called it time too as, by now, water had flooded my sleeping bag via the gap in the poncho tarp for the hood. Reluctantly, and feeling extremely gutted and soaked, Robin and I packed hastily, and headed back to the car.

Still, at least we got to see a sunrise before reaching the warmth of the car. Aaron, Pete and Robert joined us a few hours later having battled the night out, and returned my missing bungee cord to me!


In her book Extreme Sleeps, Phoebe Smith shows how a bad first experience wildcamping should never put you off. In fact, the author is so adept at wildcamping by the end of the book that it’s almost a way of live for her.

On the way back to the car that morning, Robin and I were reflective in this vain rather than dismissive of future wildcamping adventures. We want to stick at it to gain more experience of immersing ourselves in nature in this way.

And we know one way to make our next sleep in the wilderness much better: TO USE A BLINKING TENT!!!!

Long distance walking with a 7 year old

‘Adventure’ seems to be a word that eludes many parents.

Despite having previously been adventurous, I found myself frustrated by how limiting being a parent can feel.

It’s all in my head of course, and just a matter of re-framing what adventure looks like when you have kids. Some parents work this out straight away, and others like me, yearn for the ‘good old days’ where I could roam free and unburned by the shackles of parenthood.

Not wanting to be a parent that regrets spending too little time with my kids, I decided the best place to start, was simply by doing something about it.

I had actually been planning on finally getting my long-distance hike groove for some time now.

I spend a lot of my time talking to other long-distance hikers on the Distance Hiker Podcast, but very little time actually doing it.

So, with weeks of excitement, as the weekend got closer, I planned my route.

But, there was a catch.

I wanted to make my own trail.

As somebody who is naturally creative, the idea of making my own trail seemed exciting.

I want to make a trail, and eventually a series of trails for people like me. Busy folks, with not a load of time, who wanted to experience the joys of long distance hiking within the comfortable confines of a weekend.

On Monday, they could then return to the workplace, and gleefully tell their colleagues of their adventures.

The rules of my trail were simple.

  1. It could be no more than 15km per day, preferably less, giving time to enjoy all the trail has to offer.
  2. It had to be interesting, and prioritise interest over being the most direct route
  3. It had to be easy to navigate.
  4. There must be a choice of accommodation, from campsite to B&B.
  5. Public transport of reasonable timing and available to return to the start or access cities for convenience.

With these rules in mind, I downloaded the OS mapping software and worked out a route.

The route was to start in Hathersage, taking walkers up Stanage Edge, before dropping down into Bamford and Hope.

The second day would see walkers ascend Win Hill, before taking on the skyline above Castleton, and then descending to Edale.

It seemed simple enough, so we set off around 3 pm after my work on Friday.

Our plan worked brilliantly, with Noah, my 6 (almost 7) year old smashing through the miles, before hitting the top of Stanage and supposedly running out of steam.

With the promise of ice cream and a short break on my shoulders, I encouraged him to keep on going.

In hindsight, it would have been nice to stop on the top of Bamford moor when he told me he was tired and had enough, but I wasn’t prepared with a water filter or shovel for a spontaneous overnight camp out so we pushed into Bamford.

We cut the walk short at Bamford as Noah was tired and hungry and another hour on the trail seemed like torture to him (and me). We headed towards the train station.

At the station, we met a lady who told us of the Saturday rail strikes.


That had scuppered my plans to walk to Edale the following day, and catch the train back to Hathersage.

I needed a new plan.

At the campsite, Noah abandoned me for his new friend Ben and had found his energy again, with them both running laps of the campsite. I shared a beer with Ben’s dad, before planning my route for the next day – running back to Hathersage along the Derwent Valley Heritage Way.

I want to walk the Derwent Valley Heritage way as a 2 day challenge, so it was lovely to walk a section of it to get an idea of how this would feel.

After a rough night, mostly due to my newfound inability to get comfortable in a tent (this never used to be an issue!) we woke up, said our goodbyes to our new friends, and departed.

The walk back was blissful. Noah dragged his heels a bit, but I reminded myself there was no rush, and we stopped at several points along the river to dip our feet in, and to watch the wildlife. I pinged the location of these secret spots to my partner, for future days out when it’s hot, and the kids need a paddle.

We eventually walked back to the car, where within 5 minutes of driving, Noah was snoring in the back seat.

Mission success.