A LOT of time goes into prepping to carry as little as possible. Mostly focussed on reducing weight to the minimum whilst still being comfortable. So every item is weighed, packed, unpacked, repacked, tested, weighed again and then sometimes ditched.

There is also a lot of prepping for “sitting on a mountain top being billy-no-mates” wondering why on earth i have chosen yet again to slog solo up mountains rather than lie in the sun and hang out at a beach bar drinking cocktails.

Hiking is always better with friends. It is also easy to meet up wth other solo hikers looking for company instead of going barmy on their own, but in anticipation of nights alone I am fully loaded (within the weight of my phone) the following:

Books:

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (Eric Newby); The Salt Path (Raynor Winn) and The Long walk (Slavomir Rawics). There’s a theme! All inspiring long distance walks harder and longer than the GR10. Newby’s short walk, a proper adventure when adventures were still possible. The Salt Path, a couple, made homeless, jobless and with a terminal medical diagnosis choosing to walk the South West Coastal path instead of give up on life. The Long Walk – a true story of escapees from a Russian gulag walking 9 months across the Gobi desert, into Tibet and across the Himalayas to freedom.

Videos:

Downloaded for watching offline when I’m curled up in my hammock trying to ignore scary night sounds. Some series – Chernobyl, The Sopranos, Escape at Dannemora and a bunch of movies: Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Despite Everything, The Motive, The Tribe, The Invisable Guest (all part of my current appetitie for Spanish productions); Pirates of Somalia, Escape from Sorbibor,, Affairs of State including some old favourites – Charlie Wilson’s War, Forrest Gump, Stand by Me, The Colour Purple. I thought about The Walking Dead, but zombie killing in the woods in the middle of the night… maybe not.

Podcasts:

13 Minutes to the Moon, The Goon Show, The Hurricane Tapes, a bunch of Desert Island Discs (although all the best ones are not available for download, come on BBC!), Silas Marner and bunch of other short stories, book at bedtime, interviews etc.

Apps – photography and writing

I have also screen recorded some YouTube tutorial videos on different tarp configurations and how to use the mind boggling array of Huawei camera features. Lastly I have sorted the WordPress app so I can write diary/blog entries offline.

Loads to do aside from walking. Reading, writing, listening, watching, learning. The time is going to fly by.