There's a rover turned over on the flyer to Dover, over .................

LOL anyone remember that from voice procedure training??

Anyway I digress, this weekend myself and Tomo decided to clock up a few miles as part of our pre-classic training. The idea was simple (bit like me! What, who said that?) like all the best ideas are tab out, clock the miles with a full pack. Overnight somewhere and tab back.

As the photo journal below will show - that's what we did ............... so here's a few pictures

 One interesting aspect of the hike was the military history of the area, and this ranges from Knights Templar chapels through Napoleonic forts to World War 2 bunkers and coastal defences for the German invasion that never happened.

Kit wise I think I'm pretty squared away for the race but two things are still yet to be decided up - my pack and my foot wear - two of the most important things as the pack will be on my back all day and a uncomfortable or badly fitted pack will ruin a enjoyable hike and likewise my footwear, which is wrong can not only ruin a hike but cripple you too .......... for this hike I carried my Swedish army LK70

My footwear was the same as last time and like last time the lightweight hiking shoes left my feet sore - tender foot, was a term used to describe a European fur trader who, newly arrived in the interior of the colonies of British America, feet weren't harden to the wearing of moccasins. And I certainly feel their pain and the thin flexible soles of the light hiking shoes leave me foot in agony. So much so that I am now wondering whether to wear them in arctic Sweden, if after a two day hike they leave me hobbling for a day so what will be the result after five days?? Would I be wiser to just wear heavier but sturdier boots??

We shall see - that's part the reason we are doing these training hikes to trial our gear.

And finally ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Some morning after shots .................


Day tripping .........

Today I took some time out from the hassles of life for an all to brief trip to my new local woods - the idea was to get a fix of green but also to test a couple of new items.

The new items where a Swedish army 25 litre rucksack and the much talked about (on you tube anyway) Old Hickory Butcher knife.

Had a great day exploring my new local woods - found a few interesting fungi including a secluded little spot full of chanterelle's

Brewed up with a trusty old mucket ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and then on to the gear reviews ............

The old hickory butchers knife is a very popular item at the moment on you tube in particular so as I said in a previous article I thought I'd get one and see what the fuss was about.

Now as reported before the knife needs sharpening and a sheath before use so compared to say a Mora of a similar price this isn't a good start but how did it fair in use??

Well surprise, surprise, the first thing I did was butcher - well carve the sunday roast and yep as we would hope it carved the meat beautifully. That done now for the field test - batoning was good plenty of blade for the baton and the below pictures shows a piece of pussy willow being split.

Said piece of willow carved into feather sticks with ease so generally a big thumbs up for the knife so far!

Then I thought i'd light the feather sticks with a fire steel and the old hickory butcher knife - the blade caste a good shower of sparks from the steel but as I used it I noticed the scales on the knife coming apart?? When I checked this out I  the rivets used to mount the scales had come apart.

OK if your a knife nut its not the end of the world a bit of epoxy and the rivets could be stuck together again - and in a true emergency the full tang means the knife is still usable but that's not the point, after all I had only carved a beef, batoned one stick into quarters and carved 4 feather sticks and the knife literally fell apart the social media folks, some quiet well respected too, seem the sing the praises of this knife and yet my experiences where totally different, I am sure in the kitchen as a butcher knife it's a excellent tool but personally it's not a bushcrafting tool !!

Now disappointed as I AM with the butcher knife surely my Swedish army daysack wouldn't let me down .............I'm a big fan of the Swedish military kit, most items are well thought out and practical. The LK70 and 35 are my favourite sacks and I had hoped this 25litre model would compliment them.

Well the jury is out on this one - the sack is a well made, tough cookie - the volume is supposed to be 25 litre's but like all Scandinavian sacks the size seems larger and I would guess this one is easily 30 litres and possibly even 35 - but the thing that lets it down are the shoulder straps.

As you can see these are just inch wide webbing straps and not ideal for comfortable carriage - that said in use I soon got used to them although at the end of a long day my shoulders knew I had carried the sack. All that said I can still see a place for the sack in my gear as a emergency daysack due to its light weight I would happily carry it rolled up in my main sack to be used for short hikes with light gear but certainly not for longer day hikes with more gear than a flask, pack of sarnies and a waterproof jacket!

Overall a good day out and lessons learnt about some new kit items ,.............