Author Topic: Advice for a newbie.  (Read 370 times)

Pretender

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Advice for a newbie.
« on: 21:24:56, 24/06/13 »
Hi all. I joined this this forum to find like minded people and advice from people with a lot more experience than I have  I am 23 and been wanting to get into backpacking/hiking for a long time but never really had the time. Now I do I can't wait to get out there. I am heading up to fort William/glen Nevis for a 3 day walk. Throwing in Ben Nevis Aswel. I have done a lot of research before heading out and and spending my money. I have now got a lot of gear and I suppose I am asking, for advice in general. This will be my first big walk. I am a fit guy so hopefully the climb and walk shouldn't be to bad :/ gear advice would be good. And advice would be welcome. Thanks guys

joester

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Re: Advice for a newbie.
« Reply #1 on: 18:14:36, 25/06/13 »
Welcome to the forum!
 
It sound like it might be a bit late for gear advice if you've already bought everything!
Why don't you tell us what you've got, and what use you hope it will be?
 
My general advice would be, ease yourself into this, don't be too ambitious.  Backpacking in the mountains will be harder work then you might imagine.  Even single figure 'map miles' can really take it out of you when you're load carrying in steep, rough terrain.  Or, are you bagging peaks from a fixed camp?  It's hard to tell from your post.
 
Start small, maybe just one night out (if backpacking), following a simple route.
 
Is your navigation up to scratch?  How's your map and compass skills? (don't rely on your smartphone).
 
You must have a clear idea of your objectives.  Use Naismith's rule to come up with a sensible daily mileage.  Know where you'll be stopping for the night (and that it is indeed a suitable place). 
Have some 'escape routes' planned for if something goes wrong, and you simply need to get back to civilisation asap (even if that's in the wrong valley - you can always get a bus/taxi/lift). 
Use all of this to make a route card, and leave it with someone you trust.  Check in with them when you've finished, or if you abort or change your plans.  You must do this.
 
This is all true if you're hillwalking on your own anyway, whether or not you're actually backpacking.
 
Start a journal/walking diary (start it now).  How was your daily mileage?  What gear worked?  What didn't?  What bad choices did you make (in any regard)?  What could you have done/planned better?  What did you get right? 
Put the none-technical stuff in too - what were the most enjoyable aspects of your walk (and the least), what nature did you see?  Other thoughts.  Keep it all as brief notes you can read back easily later.
You'll find doing this really amplifies even the simplest wander into an experience you can learn from.
You can easily assess your gear choices, as well as simply what you enjoy the most when you're out.
 
Have fun!
solvitur ambulando