Author Topic: How far ahead do you plan? 1 ,2 or 3 in advance?  (Read 1195 times)

madame cholet

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I do one ldw per year and look ahead to the next walk once I've walked the current one but have ideas for further plans.
How do others operate?
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Re: How far ahead do you plan? 1 ,2 or 3 in advance?
« Reply #1 on: 00:06:37, 13/08/18 »
I donít do ldw but I walk 2 to 3 times a week. In between I pass the time planning. I use various websites, digital maps and apps to discover possible trips. I have divided the areas I walk by region, e.g. Dartmoor, Exmoor, SWCP and so on. At any time I will usually have between 3 and 6 walks planned for each area, held as gps traces on file in Garmin Basecamp and on the OS mapping app as private files. Sometimes I concentrate on walking one area, linking walks together in a succession of trips but usually I let the weather and distance I feel like doing decide where I go next.
The evening before, I narrow down my choice to one route, recheck it, refine it if necessary, print of the map and outload the trace to my Garmin and the OS map on my phone. Once I have walked the route, if it has proved to be worthwhile, I replace the private route on the OS mapping app with a public trace of the completed route and copy it to and
So in my case I have plans 1, 2, 3 ........... When I decide which route to do next, my night before planning includes looking for snags and mentally noting escape routes so each plan has sub plans A, B, C within it.
Itís the Boy Scout in me, I like to be prepared.
Solvitur Ambulando


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Re: How far ahead do you plan? 1 ,2 or 3 in advance?
« Reply #2 on: 10:53:23, 13/08/18 »
I always have several routes in various stages of planning. I divide ldps into those requiring week or two to complete and those of five days and less. I'll typically do one long and two shorter paths a year. One or two nighters don't count as an ldp!

So far this year i've done the Thames path downstream of Hampton Court and the Pennine Bridleway. I hope to get stuck into the Macmillan Way in September. There's a local 150 mile circular That I'll like to do as well, probably as a couple of sections.
My planning consists of preparing strip maps if none exist and researching recognised campsites which I record in a spreadsheet - one sheet per ldp. I certainly spend longer compiling this information from a myriad of sources than I do walking the routes! This serves as a backup to any wild camping that I'm forced to do along the routes - typically once or twice a week.

The campsites will be plotted onto the stripmaps as well as Philips Navigator maps (100k:1) which serve if I'm forced well off route by weather or injury. The navigator sheets provide a clear overview of 1/2 day's walking and make it easy to plan expected , fallback and stretch targets for the following day.

I'll take a GPS if I'm not following an obvious navigational feature such as a river or the coast as a security blanket, but since I mainly navigate by the sun and reading the ground I generally regard it as dead weight!
« Last Edit: 11:06:46, 13/08/18 by Stube »


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Re: How far ahead do you plan? 1 ,2 or 3 in advance?
« Reply #3 on: 13:19:06, 13/08/18 »
I don't do LDWs but have done sections of many on day walks.  I have a lot of walks planned out and have plotted some on Viewranger. My aim is to plot more on it so that they're ready to go. In choosing which walk to do I'm influenced by what appeals to me most at the time, and also by weather and logistics.


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Re: How far ahead do you plan? 1 ,2 or 3 in advance?
« Reply #4 on: 13:51:23, 13/08/18 »
Since I retired (now in my 70s) I walk one long distance path a year, normally a National Trail but not always, lasting at least 2 weeks.  I write up the experience when I get home so that I can remember it when I reread them over the winter. 

I must admit for the last few years when I finish my walk I think that will be enough and I will retire gracefully.  However over the winter I get itchy feet (not really!) and I remember all the good things about the last and previous walks.  So I start planning using OS Maps from the local library and sites like this one to get more informative information and choose where to go e.g. like the report about the SUW on here recently.  I like to do a new route each year hence the only one I have walked more than once is the Pennine Way as I really enjoy the remoteness and the camaraderie in the evenings.

Apart from occasional trips to the Lake District I don't do any walks, I tried going out with a walking group but it just isn't me.  I don't do any training either just relying on my "natural" fitness.  Whilst the first couple of days are sometimes testing by day three I always feel that I have walked my body into "walking fitness" to walk on average about 16 miles a day although some days in excess of 20.  I don't push myself, I am just happy to amble along, by myself, enjoying being out in the fresh air and looking forward to the evening meal and a pint or two.

Gone a bit further than your query, sorry got carried away!


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Re: How far ahead do you plan? 1 ,2 or 3 in advance?
« Reply #5 on: 13:57:58, 13/08/18 »
Very similar to you. PW I've done twice and aim to do it every five years with others in between  O0
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Mick wmexile

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Re: How far ahead do you plan? 1 ,2 or 3 in advance?
« Reply #6 on: 15:05:24, 13/08/18 »
First ldw done two years ago, Pennine Way, my wife suggesting the previous year I should do something for my 65th birthday. The look on her face when I mentioned it. Thoroughly loved it, got the bug for doing more, so last year I done the Coast to Coast, done the West Highland Way two months ago, already got busy thinking for next years. At the moment it looks like I'll go for the Dartmoor/Exmoor Two Moors Way. Normally try and do 10/15 mile walk round Peak District each week, and just two weeks ago I done my first wild camp, enjoyed that also, don't think I'll do that on ldw though, I do like a few luxuries in life (b&bs and a comfy bed at night etc).
I never get lost, just don't always know where I am!

fit old bird

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Re: How far ahead do you plan? 1 ,2 or 3 in advance?
« Reply #7 on: 19:39:58, 14/08/18 »
Every time I do one, 110 - 150 miles, once 162, I say I won't do any more. A few months later I am itching to go again. I usually pick a start point, get the train out and walk back. The Humber Bridge is my finish point if I am north of the river, home near Scunthorpe if I am south of the river. Once I did it the other way round, start at the HB walked to Penrith, then train back. I once drove to my friends house in Cleveleys, got the train to Carlisle, and walked back to my car.

I used to do a lot of planning when I first started, but I do very little now. I get the maps, have a look for a possible route, vaguely work out a daily mileage on approx 20 a day, which gives me an idea of places where I might find a bed. I use B & B's, Youth Hostels, and hotels. I collect a few phone numbers of where I might get a bed for the night. If it doesn't work out I just ask someone when it's time to stop.

I'm doing something a bit different next month, driving to Orkney and staying with friends, stopping for a walk on the way, and walking on Orkney. Getting excited about that.


Sorry, you asked about how far ahead, missed that bit. I get an idea about a month before, then look at maps a week before.

« Last Edit: 19:47:48, 14/08/18 by fit old bird »


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Re: How far ahead do you plan? 1 ,2 or 3 in advance?
« Reply #8 on: 22:55:21, 14/08/18 »
I've just booked the transport for my big walk next July.... Though it is the TMB so getting booked up early saves a bit of money.

I guess I can be planning several walks at the same time, I'd be at different stages of planning in each walk


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Re: How far ahead do you plan? 1 ,2 or 3 in advance?
« Reply #9 on: 23:58:32, 20/08/18 »
I was musing on this very subject a couple of weeks ago. I'm starting the Cotswolds Way this Saturday and plan to do it in a nice relaxing 6 days. This will be my fourth National Trail in 4 years, and I've given less and less thought to planning each year. Granted this is one of the shorter long distance paths, but I've given the bare minimum of planning to it. I think the reason is that I recently moved to Bristol, which isn't very far from pretty much all the path, so in my mind if the worst comes to the worst I can pack it in and be a short stop from home. I've always completed my walks in the allotted time, but having a this at the back of my mind has helped to be cavalier about my approach.

No doubt I'll regret the lack of planning halfway in - report to follow.