Your daily round-up of adventure content 😃
and if you missed our ‘In Review’ feature you can catch it here!
Spending prolonged amounts of time with a small group of people can have its challenges – especially when the pretext is that you’re all good friends. Unlike in the workplace, where you’re free to dislike one, two, or all of your colleagues. There’s a lot at stake here – not only years of friendship potentially undone within a weekend of camping; but it’s in your interest to maintain that friendship – it could be the difference between launching a rescue attempt to save your sorry ass – or them enjoying some extra tent space and the additional food supplies!
So here’s some tips to not only keep your friends – but ensure you’re not abandoned hill-side by your team.
1. Don’t be annoying for the sake of being funny – okay so obviously there’s just some moments during a 12 hour drive, or 3 hour flight where someones going to be fast asleep with mouth wide open; these moments should be enjoyed by all [click here for evidence] but just know when a jokes a joke, and when you’re being an absolute…twit?
2. Just be cool – I mean being cool is in direct opposition to being a Dork, so I guess we would struggle with this one; but essentially just keeping an eye out for everyone; well, in our case Remy – as you can see (left), when he’s not asleep he can look sad. Maybe he is sad. We didn’t think to ask. Poor Remy.
3. Know yourself – If you know you’re prone to getting hangry (in our case this is Mike), keep yourself fed! Otherwise you’re not only going be spending alot of time feeling grouchy, but also your team will think you’re being an idiot. So really this is just being aware of what annoys you, and basically making sure you’re not putting yourself into situations where you’re going to turn irrational and irritable – applicable to smokers, coffee addicts, and the sleep-needy.
4. Know your mates – so we’ve learned through experience, that Dave really hates The Adam and Joe Show podcasts. We learned this by exposing him to them for around 7 straight hours on the way home from a weekend hiking in Scotland. We don’t listen to Adam and Joe Show podcasts now…because we’re nice like that, sorry Adam and Joe.
5. Space. We all need some Space – this is true, we all need some space, but y’know what – you’re not gonna get any, especially in a small hatchback stuffed with 4 guys, hiking gear and camping equipment! So what needs to happen here is for you to let-go of your personal space needs – reduce your personal boundaries and just deal with it. The important thing to remember is that it’s not the other persons fault that they’re in your space. So don’t get moody with them!
There’s loads more I’m sure; take our poll so we can finally decide, name, and shame!
We recently completed The Orwell 25; so recently in fact that as I write this my legs are still in recovery mode. All in all it was a brilliant experience and although we have been up and down a number of mountains; this was by far our longest hike – and one I definitely underestimated!
We also raised over £100 for The Bus Shelter Ipswich – so thank you very much to all who donated.
We set off from a packed HQ at 07:45 after picking up our checkpoint cards, and briefly consulting the map provided…although we figured following the crowd would be an easy option! After a short 10 minutes or so we were heading under the Orwell Bridge, something you only ever usually see from the perspective of being on it, so this was pretty cool in its self…this was the perfect opportunity for Mike to unpack the drone for its Dorks On a Hill debut!
It didn’t take long after passing under the bridge to find ourselves walking ankle deep in the sludge and mud of the Orwell foreshore; to be honest this was both awesome and a soul destroyer as the wildness of it was a welcome surprise, as for some reason I had thought that this would be quite a ‘watered down’ challenge…it was soul destroying as I knew my feet, now wet, would not be my biggest fans at the end of the day!
We soon found ourselves at the first checkpoint and already alarm bells were ringing in my mind of “Adam…this is going to take a considerable chunk of the day”…I was right hahaha…
If I’m honest; the first half was generally enjoyable: Type 1 Fun – “things that are fun at the time you’re doing it”
The second half turns into Type 2 Fun – “not fun at the time, but alot of fun to talk about afterward!” (this is the best type of course)
I had some real lows especially in the 3rd quater – mentally and physically! The turning point came at the third from last check point – where what we had planned as a substantial rest and stretch session turned into a 2 minute leg stretch due to the sweeper being on our tails!! (We’ll blame it on shooting drone footage)
But from that moment I knew I just had to swallow some painkillers, and get on with it
From the point I had made a mental shift; I don’t want to say that things became easier, but I guess things became necessary! At this point we were definitely having Type 2 fun. for sure.
After this we decided to not rest at any of the remaining checkpoints to keep the rhythm going; which is exactly what we did. Eventually we made it back to HQ, greeted by a few brilliant volunteers, giving us a cheer, which although was a small gesture, they must have been doing that all day, so they had completed a marathon day of their own!!
I’m tempted to say that this was the first of many endurance challenges, and I’m very aware that this is hardly considered endurance for many, but in comparison to the summits we’ve made over the past few years, this seemed a brilliant challenge.
So, what now?
New Hiking Shoes
Always pack clean socks
More Drone Footage
Huge thanks again for the donations, a huge thanks to The Rotary Club for organising, and a huge thanks to our incredible and supportive families!
Select a hike a little shorter than the distance you can normally walk on a level or paved surface. To estimate the time required to hike the trail, figure a pace of roughly 2-miles per hour. Next, review the elevation changes and add an hour to your estimated hiking time for every 1000 feet of gain. After you’ve been out once or twice, you’ll have a sense for what distance and elevation changes work well for you.
Once you have selected a trail, obtain a map of the area and review reports and data. There are some excellent online resources available. Find out if the trail is a loop, or if you’ll have to backtrack or spot a second car. Take note of any intersecting trails where you could potentially make a wrong turn. I also like to look for a good lunch spot such as a lake or peak with a view.
Leading up to your hike, and again a few hours before, check the weather. This will give you valuable information on how to dress and what to pack. If the weather is forecast to be awful, it will give you the chance to change plans instead of getting surprised on the trail.
It’s important that someone not on the hike knows the itinerary and what time to worry and call for help. Note I didn’t say, “when you expect to be done.” The “worry time” may be several hours later than your planned finish to allow for slow hiking, amazing views, or perhaps a sore ankle causing a delay.
Another option is to carry an emergency device such as the SPOT tracker, which allows you to summon emergency assistance by satellite. One caveat, devices like the SPOT are not an excuse to shirk responsibility for your own personal safety – they are a backup.
The 10 essentials have gradually shifted from a list of items to a list of systems. These are the systems you should pack to stay safe in the outdoors, including facing a potential overnight. Depending on the length and remoteness of your hike, expand or minimize each system. For example, on a short summer hike near services, a compact emergency blanket should be fine. However, a remote winter hike would require something more extensive. Here are the 10 essential systems:
Ten Essential Systems
This list may look daunting, but once you tailor it to your hike, it won’t be so bad. Many of these things are what you’d pack for a picnic.
Painful feet can ruin a hike. Invest in quality hiking shoes and socks. This doesn’t mean heavy leather boots, there are a lot of “light hikers” available that require little break-in compared to the old hiking boots I started with. Also, don’t skimp on socks and for goodness sake….no cotton! Wool or synthetic socks are the way to go. Also pack blister dressings just in case.
Once your feet are taken care of, dressing right is key to comfort on your hike. Skip cotton anything, it gets damp and stays that way leaving you feeling clammy and causing chafing. Instead go for synthetics. To easily adjust for your temperature and the weather, wear layers that you can add or shed as needed. Lastly, pack an extra warm layer beyond what you think you’ll need, preferably something that will block wind too.
Okay, now that I’ve told you to pack all of this stuff, I’m going to tell you to keep you pack light. This means opting for the lightest of each item. For example, a travel size tube of sunscreen instead of the NoAd 16-ounce tube you found on sale.
When you first get on the trail, you may feel like powering forward like a hero. However, you’ll be a zero by the end of the day if you don’t pace yourself. Instead, pick a pace you can maintain all day. It might feel a little awkward at first, but after a few miles, especially uphill, you’ll be glad you saved your energy.
The beautiful trails we love will only stay beautiful if we care for them. Take time to read the Leave No Trace Seven Principals and follow them. It’s up to every outdoor enthusiast to take care of our natural spaces.
Our plans are now pinned down for the summer season and man we’re pumped for it! Everything between now and August will be leading up to our summit attempt of the immense Mt.Toubkal , the highest point of North Africa.
This will no doubt be our most challenging adventure to date and we cant wait to share the experience with you all.
Between now and then however we have loads of awesome things lined up…not least the Orwell 25 Mile Challenge next month!
Stay tuned for more regular updates…
Peak: Cadair Idris
Summit: 2930 ft
Weather: Dry, 5-10°
0400 – 0500
Yeah, up at 4am – leaving Ipswich at 5am once everyones managed to ram their kit in the car.
0500 – 0800
First half of the journey complete and we’ve stopped for a morning espresso and subway breakfast…Dave also managed to spit coconut all over a passer by. 😐
0800 – 1000
With some we early navigation issues hahah were somewhere in the Welsh countryside – definitely heading in the right direction. Maybe.
1000 – 1130
Last minute supplies from the local EuroSpar and the peak is in our sights, just the small matter of working out where to park up.
And were off! After a swift change of boots, Dave discovering his backpack was sat on his bed back in Suffolk, and a few discussions about babybels, we were off to summit peak number five!
A truly beautiful summit, and accessible for people of all experiences and fitness. With a load of paths to choose from, definitely a peak any beginner to go for – and you’ll achieve that “off the beaten track” vibe a good few times which is pretty much impossible on its more popular neighbour Snowdon.
After a leisurely hike down, stopping to chat with local sheep etc, were back down at the car and set to find two things. A place to sleep and a place to eat.
1700 – 1830
So the easy part is over and our tents are pitched, is it just me or are all campsite owners drunk. Always. We spotted some decent looking pubs on the way through so now head off into town for some post-hike grub.
1830 – 2000
Okay. Turns out were not welcome in this town. No one wants us in their pub…all we want is some food! So we end up getting a pizza from the only kebab shop in town and eating it standing up out on the street. In the cold. Great.
2000 – 2200
So by now weve found a pub which seemed a little more welcoming than the previous ones, however I did kinda feel that at any given moment we would be told “EH YOU BOYS. THATS GARETHS SEAT THAT IS. MOVE ON WILL YE”
Were a few drinks in and Remy is obviously asleep, that is, until a 10 man strong stag-do pub crawl joins us and well…things got weird.
2230 – 1000
After things went strange, we thought it best to head back to camp, taking a slight detour to retrieve the left over pizza from earlier on…and so we bedded down for a cold horrible uncomfortable night. Feeling bright and breezy at 10am.
1100 – 1700
Bish bash bosh. That’s how it’s done. Back home in time for tea.
Cadair Idris – you were awesome.
It was back in 2014 when I received the news that my Grandfather had been given a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Not really knowing what to do to help out; I thought it might be a nice gesture at least, to raise some money for Parkinons UK. For no reason in particular I thought, Snowdon!
A couple of conversations later and I had convinced three of my good friends; David, Mike, and Remy to come and join me on the challenge.
We received such awesome support and in the end raised over £2000 in just that one event. Little did we know what Snowdon had in store; and how it was going to be the spark which ignited a passion for all of us.
It was a combination of the mind-blowing views, incredible weather conditions and the general excitement of being out in the great outdoors which captured our imaginations; something which still to this day keeps driving us (although the weather conditions are not always so perfect; as we found out in the Peak District, and Fort William!)
Since that day in sunny Wales, we have reached the summit of 4 mountains; in 4 countries no less:
Our next step is the National 3 Peaks Challenge which we will be completing later this year – and between now and then…well who knows!
So that’s the story of Dorks On A Hill; and we would love you to join us as our story continues – remember to subscribe to our blog and take a look at our Instagram page to get all out best snaps from around the world @dorksonahill
Ben Nevis; for a group of amature walkers this was the first peak we had planned which we all felt a little anxious about. Snowdon was a tourist attraction, Scafell was a cardio killer, but Nevis…this, in the UK at least, is the big kahuna, the highest place on our modest islands.
It was the end of Summer 2015 and we had heard that snow was still at the summit…snow. Like many Brits, hearing that we might encounter snow instantly filled me with that childish excitement / dread / and even that small hope that school would be closed.
Not only was it the tallest and most challenging; it was also the fist time we has needed to take a whole weekend to complete a hike. After the very dull 12hour drive; for which Remy slept for a good 11.5 hours we set up camp and got aquainted with the local mosquitos. (we discovered the following morning that we had pitched up directly next to the ‘exo-mosquito 5000’ – the machine that lures them all in to the UV light of doom). It was raining…naturally…
Another flaw in our plan to camp out; was that in order to be warm and not bored in darkness was to be; rather unfortunately… in a pub.Where we were treated to some true Scottish hospitality, drunk far too much rum, and had many conversations with locals about…well, I have no idea.
So the morning came…and the morning went, and after a hearty full English, sorry I mean Scottish, we were set!
…it was cold…it was long…it was windy…and at times it mad me sad…and that was that!
The combination of the weather conditions and Benny itself; made this the most gruelling hike we had taken on to date. Truly, it was incredible; and Fort William has to be one of the most beautiful places in the UK. Looking forward to heading back up; the next time will be to kick off our National 3 Peaks Challenge – Benny…we’re coming for you!
Get the rum ready!
To check out how we got on please take a look at our vlog by clicking the image below!