TGO Challenge 2012 Preparation – Only 120 days to go!

I can’t believe it has been a month since my first post about my TGOC preparation! It is about time for an update. I titled this post ‘Only 120 days to go’ because there were 120s to go when I started writing it. Now, as I write this, it is down to 118 days but I’ll leave the title – it is a nice round number.

My partner asked me the other day if I found the thought of doing the Challenge daunting. I realised then that I didn’t. I did initially, a few months ago, but that has given way entirely to excitement. It is certainly going to be a challenge, both physically and mentally, and that is something I am looking forward to, but daunting it is not.

TGOC preparation has now become part of my life (and my family’s, oops! :). It slots in at any moment without me realising it. I have continued to read many blogs and trip reports of previous Challenges and of backpacking and walking in general. I have bought some new gear. I have chatted a lot on twitter which is not directly related to TGOC preparation but having recently made a whole new bunch of twitter friends I am entering into discussion and more easily following and learning about what is going on in the backpacking (and particularly lightweight backpacking) world.

Route
I have not made a lot of progress in actually having something to show for my route planning efforts. This is partly due to Christmas, where I have not had so much time, and to other things that I am involved with that have been taking some of my small amount of spare time. However, I have been constantly researching where I would like to walk and I have now got even more roughed out routes with even more possible permutations! One of the hardest things to do is to just pick one of the start points (I read this in someones blog too and apologies but I cannot find the url), something that needs to be done soon for me now and then the rest of the route will more easily fall into place. Some decisions will be made soon

Gear
I am kind of using the Challenge as an excuse to buy new gear but really I have had an interest in lightweight backpacking for sometime and it is nice to be back into looking at gear and what is available. I have just purchased a 900ml Evernew and 400ml Mug from BPL (very good service and super fast delivery). I have yet to get my hands on them as I had them delivered to my folks house and I have not been round to collect them but I should get them later today. I am excited about that, something my partner cannot understand :) I also purchased some of that super light windshield and some pot cosy material.

My current gear list gives me a base weight of just over 7Kg at the moment. I have a few more things to add to it I but I am quite happy with the weight at the moment. I have just read a review of a lightweight titanium gas stove at Going Lighter and it looks very interesting. Do I want to spen £30 to save 20g though? .. probably not, but you never know, and besides, I have not settled on my cook system yet but gas is looking favourable.

Fitness
I have been doing quite a bit of walking and leg strengthening. One of biggest challenges is going to be looking after my knees because I have always had problems, but I’m trying to do a variety of exercises that will help and I am also doing a lot of stretching. I need to get started on some yoga too which I think is really going to help. I’m some way off being able to walk of one day on the Challenge with a full pack at the moment but I’m confident that I will be fit enough for the Challenge. I was planning on walking in North Wales, with a wild camp, but I have yanked my knee a bit and will settle for a longer flat walk nearer home

Blog posts in this series:

  1. TGO Challenge 2012 Preparation – Part 1
  2. TGO Challenge 2012 Preparation – Only 120 days to go!
  3. TGO Challenge 2012 Preparation – Dornie start it is then!

4 thoughts on “TGO Challenge 2012 Preparation – Only 120 days to go!

  1. I love reading of first-timers preparations from the Challenge. The enthusiasm is contagious. Even though I have a few Challenges under my belt there is still that frisson of excitement as the start date draws closer.

    I wouldn’t worry about 20g here or there – it sounds like the bulk of your load reduction is done. As you point out, it’s more important to have that basic level of fitness and for all the soft tissue stuff – ligaments and muscles – prepared for slogging through mile after mile of Scottish bogs. :-)

    Forget exercise regimes – walking with a pack is the best preparation for walking with a pack. That get the required level of fitness without resorting to the gym etc.

    Good luck with your prep – and get your route finished! I hope we bump into each other somewhere along the way.

  2. Bryan – you could be me! I think I will just copy and paste your text into my blog posts from now on. ;-)
    Well, all apart from the route that is – mine’s been there in the large part for the past year. I am tweaking it with input from the various challenge folk I’ve ‘bumped into’ on t’internet over the past year or so.

    Great reading words from a like-minded newbie.

    Keep it coming!

  3. Thanks for your comments,

    @alan it is the case that my pack is getting heavier rather than lighter, my gear list started with my summer tarping list. It is important to keep an eye on the weight of everything that goes into my pack because you’ll soon be adding an extra pound or so if you are not careful, everything has to earn it’s place.

    @Carl I should be able to get on with my route this week hopefull, got to get it nailed now. Are you near the top of the list yet?

    • Hi Bryan,

      As Alan says, it is a real buzz planning and thinking about the TGOC. It’s still a buzz thinking about it, even though I have had my route vetted.
      It is also good to read blogs by folk who are going to be new to the TGOC. Keep up the posts.

      I’m trying desparately hard to avoid buying new gear! That Cuben Trailstar will have to wait until my silnylon one falls to pieces!

      BTW (my Blog, temporarily, won’t let me reply to comments) on both of my Challenges so far, midges have been absent, so no worries with the Trailstar.

      Have fun in planning your route and with your preparation. May bump into you on route or in Montrose.

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