I’ve been out and about quite a bit (for me) in 2015. This has quite a lot to do with the goals I set myself at the start of the year:
- Spend more on walking and less on gear: Sort of Achieved – a shaky start as the end of year sales usually sees me acquire a few things, but I managed to sell on a few bits of unwanted gear and by the summer, I was buying practically nothing other than consumables. I reckon that taking the year as a whole, I probably did spend more on the trips when I factor in train fares, petrol and some accommodation and pub costs.
- Sleep out in every month: Achieved (see this separate post). Just.
- Finish the Wainwrights: Achieved. I ticked off the last one (Haystacks) in April, and now have a complete round with using a car under my belt. I’m now working on the handful of fells I haven’t yet visited solo, and on revisiting the ones I bagged before I started using Social Hiking. 110 of these to go.
- Complete a local long distance path: Achieved. The Wealdway was my path of choice. I’ve set myself a similar goal for 2016.
- Do more historically themed walks: This one sort of withered and died as I drifted back to work. But I did do a couple of walks based around visiting London’s statues – Artists and Scientists. These walks work best when I’m not working, so they’re on the back burner for my next long break.
- Painting – building this into more walks: Not as successful as I’d hoped. I did a bit on the SWCP, I took my stuff to Canada and that was about it. However, allied with this goal I also had a non-walking one of painting all of the birthday etc cards given out this year. I managed that and for the second year running, the calendars I give to family at Christmas featured painted images.
- Dartmoor: Achieved. The goal was to spend as much time as I could visiting Dartmoor’s tors. I went 5 times (and 6 if you count the visit I’ll be on when most people read this).
- Walk 3.65 million steps (ie average 10,000 per day): Achieved, passing this milestone on 21 November. I still had too many days with very few steps at all, and that’s something that needs to be rectified for 2016.
So here are a few pictures showing what I got up to during the year:
January – February
The year started (as it is finishing) on Dartmoor, with a meet-up with Paul (@paulgbuck). Unfortunately, I managed to break him on the very first afternoon, so the rest of the trip was solo. Some memorable walks were had:
Blog Posts: New Year, New Dartmoor
- Part 1: Back on the Moor
- Part 2: Turned out nice again
- Part 3: Bogs and Fogs
- Part 4: Brass Monkeys
- Part 5: Some Sun at Last
- Part 6: The Camp
A brief interlude with the first of the Statue Walks, starting with the Artists:
Before, heading back to Dartmoor at the end of the month. By now it had snowed though…
The trip started with a meet up with the Dartmoor Posse, before I again found myself enjoying the moor solo with a 2 day backpack in the north, and one of the year’s most memorable camps in the snow on Wild Tor. Blog posts:
- Part 1: Paradise Road
- Part 2: The Quest for Vag and a Coffin
- Part 3: A Tale of Two Hessaries
- Part 4: A North-Eastern Backpack
February continued with the second statues walk – the scientists:
And then I got stuck into the Wealdway, starting with the first section from Gravesend to Tonbridge (Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud):
March – April
I headed to the Lakes to pick off a few of my remaining Wainwrights:
The second part of the Wealdway from Tonbridge to Uckfield followed. I managed to break my cheap HiGear Soloista tent and realised that I’m too long for it.
First up. I headed with family and friends for a week in Devon, so inevitably there were a few walks on Dartmoor:
Then, with the impending start of what is turning out to be quite a long contract, I grabbed the opportunity for a last Lakes trip, the goal being to see if I could finish the Wainwrights:
Blog Posts: West is Best:
- Part 1: A Little Bit of Misadventure
- Part 2: Fogs, Fences and Forests
- Part 3: More Jam Than Hartleys
- Part 4: The Valley of Slugishness
- Part 5: And Then There Were None
Somehow I managed to grab one of the bank holiday weekends for a quick trip to Dartmoor:
June is usually a problematic month for walking owing to the number of birthdays in the family. I did manage to get a week on the South West Coast Path with my Dad:
Blog Posts: The Far End of Cornwall
I then snuck a local wild camp with my son on the North Downs: A Camp in Slug Meadow.
First I met up with Stuart (@LoneWalkerUK) for an overnight walk in the Radnor Forest:
Then the family headed to the Fieldhead campsite in Edale for a couple of nights and a walk on Kinder:
The second half of August was dominated by a cruise to Canada, but before that I did manage to get out and knock off another chunk of Wealdway:
Just before I went on holiday, the replacement for the broken HiGear Soloista turned up, so one of the first things I did on return from hols was take the Snugpak Ionosphere out for a local camp on Pheasant Down:
Keen to rebuild some walking momentum, I headed for Dartmoor to try to fit a trip into a normal weekend, using the sleeper:
Somehow, I also managed to fit in a trip to the Lakes as well. This gave me two of the camps of the year – firstly on High Raise with Cath (@wellycath):
…and secondly after Cath had gone home, on Red Screes for the lunar eclipse:
October started with Stuart passing through my way, so we took the opportunity for a bit of a walk on the North Downs and a camp in “Screech Wood“:
Later in the month, and realising how successful the weekend trip to Dartmoor had been, I tried the same with the Lakes:
With winter lethargy starting to set in, I headed out to finish the Wealdway, walking from Berwick to Eastbourne, with a camp on the way down:
A very slow month. Wet and windy weather to the north and west has meant no outings to the hills, and I’ve struggled to raise the motivation to get out locally. However, needing a final wild camp to meet my goal on one a month, I arranged a meet-up with Col (@colinastbury) for a camp in a secret location in south Essex.
Finally, on the last day of the year I headed down to Dartmoor for a few days – ending the year as I started it.