Wednesday, 8 May 2013

What's in my rucksack

It has been threatening rain today, but none has actually fallen. The garden could do with some water, I suppose I will have to run up and down with a watering can tonight. Another job I have to do is to go next door and trim my hedge on their side, maybe I'll do it tomorrow. I've been dog sitting today, Lady came for the afternoon as Graham was out rambling with his pals. For dinner tonight was a home made microwaved ready meal, a veg curry stew. That's the last of them now, I'll have to make some more, they are handy when I don't feel like cooking.
So, someone asked what do I carry in my rucksack on a long walk, so here goes. A pair of lightweight trainers, stuffed with small items. These go at the bottom of the bag. Battery chargers for mobile phone and camera battery. Half a sponge. Three or four sheets of kitchen towel, for wiping things. Middle row from left, small pot of moisturiser, decanted from large bottle. Lip lotion. Shampoo decanted from large bottle, can also be used to wash body as well as hair. Small toothbrush and miniture toothpaste. Spare pair of specs. Spare batteries for head torch, not needed this trip. Strands of dental tape. Toothpicks and cotton buds. Paracetamol. Panty liners. Bottom row from left. Single wet wipes. Nail scissors. Small comb. Plasters, needle, and Germoline.

Bum bag, and cat collar to secure bum bag because the clasp is not very good. The bluey thing is a thick headband, keeps hair out of the way when washing face, and can be used as an ear warmer if windy. Money belt worn under clothes. Large plastic carrier bag to sit on if there is no clean bench. Small hand towel cut in half and used as padding under shoulder straps. Coloured marker pens and pen. Spare hearing aid batteries. Knife fork and spoon, for eating snacks out of pots bought at shops. Head torch, not really needed in summer but you never know when you might get caught out. Also handy for popping to the loo in the night if you don't want to put the light on. Rain cover for rucksack.
Maps printed from internet, kept tidy in a plastic bag.
Netbook and assorted leads, in two home made bags with plastic linings. I carried the battery for the netbook in my bum bag to lighten the load in the rucksack.
Waterproof and windproof jacket. Waterproof over trousers. Fleece. The fleece is a bit bulky so I mainly carried that tied around my waist with the sleeves. Clothes folded and packed tightly into two plastic bags. First bag, pair lightweight trousers, I only wore them for one day, wore shorts the rest of the time. Long sleeved top which I only wore once to the party on Saturday night. Second bag. Short sleeved teeshirt, I didn't wear it at all. Two spare pairs of socks, I swapped them about during the week. Leggins, didn't need them. Two pairs of pants, I used panty liners every day, cuts down the amount of pants you need to carry.
In the side pockets I carried an umbrella, and two plastic bottles of drinks. I bought one small bottle of fruit juice a day and diluted it between the two bottles each night ready for the next day. I spent about £3.50 a day on snacky things to eat, and food to eat in the B & B at night. I don't feel like eating a lot while out walking as I know I will get a decent breakfast in the morning. There's no way I could eat an evening meal as well. A small quiche, or a pot of potato or pasta salad, some cheese and crackers, a banana, and egg custards are my favourite.

I wore the same clothes every day, a short sleeved teeshirt, a bigger teeshirt, and a long sleeved teeshirt, and shorts. Sometimes I wore the fleece if it was a bit chilly in the mornings. I'm not bothered what I look like, it's not a fashion show. There's no point in carrying lots of clothes, people I meet only see me once for a short period of time, they don't know I wore the same clothes the day before, and the day before that. I shower every morning and I am out in the open all day, so if my clothes got a bit wiffy then that's just hard luck. It doesn't bother me as I have more important things to think about than smelly armpits.

Think that's about it. Oh, someone asked about a map reading tutorial. I did something about this a few weeks ago. Try this
and this
Check out yootoob, there are lots of videos on there. Best of all, buy a map of your local area, familiarise yourself with all the symbols, read the legend, then go out and find the landmarks which you can see on the map, on the ground. It's like reading a book really, you just need to crack the code. Best of luck.
Toodle pip.


  1. It's always good to travel light. I know people who cycle tour with so many changes of clothing. Just make a decision that nobody is really caring what you are wearing!

    If you ever get the chance to buy merino wool in a charity shop, that is a good insulator and doesn't smell either!

  2. It's interesting to see just what you take! The only must have I would have to include is a book...I just cannot go somwhere without one!
    Thanks for your blog. Love your personality and independent spirit. Hope we can meet up when I am in the UK one of these trips! Have a cat on my lap as I type, and a dog at my feet!

  3. Fascinating post. When I was walking the Appalachian trail my ruckstack got lighter and lighter. By the end it weighed just 32lb with five days worth of food, a tent and water. These were the days before tablets so that included a book for end of day reading. It's amazing how little you really need. The experience taught me that.

  4. Fascinating to see what you carry, and it's amazing how little anyone actually needs when it comes down to the bare essentials. Thanks for the peek into your rucksack.

  5. Good morning Ilona from House fairy
    Thank you for showing us all what goes into your bags.Lots of usefull things for a holiday.

    Lots of plugs needed that are heavy.
    Funny story = I use to take 4 plugs on my holiday. Toothbrush, camra,phone and kindle.
    Untill one day I discovered the camra, phone and kindle all use the same type of other end. So now it is down to the kindle and toothbrush plug.

  6. You are well prepared for your walks Ilona, just like a girl guide.

  7. Hello from Sandy in NZ. What a great walk you have had and I enjoyed seeing what you carry with you.I agree absolutely with Campfire. Merino wool is great for the outdoors and it comes in various weights (or thickness). It doesn't smell and is lovely to wear. You can also layer it really well. It can be expensive though unless you you are lucky and get it at a thrift shop. I go looking at the end of winter for it. It's very popular here in NZ and I wear it all winter long in layers - spring and autumn too. xx

  8. Hi Ilona, whilst your posts are interesting i wonder if you realise just how much information you tell everybody? Rather personal details. Your personal love life. Your choice of underwear : gentlemens underpants. Now panty liners, not only panty liners but how often you change your pants. Remember this blog can be read by absolutely anyone, I know you write as if you're talking to a bunch of friends but not everybody out there is a friend. I'm sure you'll be able to tell how many page views you have, are you sure you're writing what you want everybody to know?

  9. Hi Jean. I am not afraid to tackle sensitive subjects, if I so wish, it's all part of life. I don't have a personal love life at the moment, through choice I may add, so I guess you must be referring to my past love life. I see no harm in mentioning past relationships, it is part of my history.

    I was seen on national television hanging my boys pants on the washing line. I still say that is a good money saving tip, due to the longevity of well made pants. As for panty liners, a good way to reduce weight in a rucksack is to make your pants, or knickers if you prefer, last two or three days. I might add that I start the day with a clean pair of pants every morning when I am at home. And I don't care who knows that.

    I get an average of 3,000 page views a day.