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The Tale of Two Kings

By Phil on 2014.08.03 In General

Well today I did my final practice walk before I head off for the Fjällräven Classic on Friday. I left today’s walk choice up to Jason as he wanted to get some practice in for our Toubkal Two Valley Morocco trek in October, as did Joe.

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So we headed off to Northumberland and Thrunton Woods for a 18km hike. This was my final chance to do a hike with a fully loaded rucksack weighing around 18kg, which is what I will be carrying for the Fjällräven Classic, so I packed every single item that I will be taking with me, including tent, stove and sleeping bag, though obviously I had no intention of using any of these on this hike, but with our track record of getting lost, you just never know.

After getting slightly lost on the drive to the start point, we finally arrived at the forest car park. There were a number of walking routes from this point, so Jason had picked the longest for us, which meant following the Red Arrow Waymarks. Great! Waymarks! “We probably won’t need map, GPS or guide book then.” Yeah right!

We started off really well as we headed through the pine tree forest. It was stunning. I couldn’t believe this walk was so close to where we lived. Not a sheep or cow field in sight and I now know where to come for my Christmas tree in December. I’m sure they won’t miss one!

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We could only follow the Red Arrow Waymarks to a certain point before we had to leave the route and go off-piste. Great. Means we had to use map, GPS and guide book. Well as usual those worked for a little while, but we eventually realised we had taken wrong path, so we put our faith in technology and headed back 2km until we found the path we missed. We decided this would be a good spot and time for lunch stop.

In recent months I have been trying various outdoor ready to eat hot or cold meals, and have to say I have been very impressed with all I have had so far. Apart from maybe the Lancashire hotpot Manon and me had up Scafell doing her visit from Holland in May, that was pretty awful, but didn’t help I had left the oxygen absorbing sachet inside the meal as I ate it. Anyway today was my first chance and trying the Beyond the Beaten Track self-heating meals, Meatballs and Pasta in Tomato sauce. All you need to do is simply place the sealed meal in with the heater, add a small amount of water, and a chemical reaction produces heat to warm through your dinner! Easy. I followed the instructions while Jason and Joe tucked into their homemade sandwiches. After I placed the water in the self-heating pouch I placed it on the ground as instructed. Within a few minutes the bag started self-inflating with steam coming out from one end. I thought it was going to take off and explode as I ran off in opposite direction, not wanting to be pebble dashed in pasta and meatballs if it was to explode. They never mentioned that on the packet. Anyway after a few seconds it stopped expanding, as I slowly made my back to my food as if it was a firework which hadn’t gone off. After 10 minutes it was piping hot and ready to eat and as previous meals, it was very tasty. I’m glad we will be using different ready meals on the Classic though, as I don’t think I could go through that experience every meal time, unsure if it is going to explode in your face.

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We then headed uphill to some crags and stunning views towards the Cheviot Hills. I still couldn’t believe this hike was so close to where we lived and that we had never done this one before. This has certainly become out number 1 North East walk. We headed along the ridge of crags where I started noticing some different Waymark signs which was called “The Kings Way”, which I thought was quite ironic seeing as this time next week I will be walking the Fjällräven Classic with my Fjällräven Polar team mates along the classic hiking trail Kungsleden “The King’s Trail”.

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Although it was a great hike, the amount of flies around was unreal. First of all we thought they were just after Joe, as he was a little hungover from last night and maybe they wanted some of the alcohol which was sweating out of his body, but then they turned on me also. For some reason they left Jason alone. Maybe they don’t like vegetarians. It was like Lord of the Flies as they bothered us constantly throughout the walk.

Overall it was a great hike and good to meet up with Jason and Joe, as it has been a while since the three walking Kings have been together and look forward to future hikes as we build up to Morocco in October.

Roll on the Fjällräven Classic on Friday!

Today’s walk details can be found here

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Welcome

Welcome to my blog about hiking, trekking, Fjällräven Polar 2014, in fact anything where you require boots and the outdoors.

My name is Phil, and following my outdoor epiphany which started in the summer of 2012 I’m now hooked on everything outdoors. So far my biggest treks have included the 250km Cathar Way, the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc and best of all, winning 1st place to take part in the Fjällräven Polar in April 2014.

I plan to use this blog to write about all my adventures, which will include my personal goal of becoming a Munroist (completing all 282 Scottish Munro mountains), summer treks, weekends in the Lakes and many more.

I like to try and make my blog posts humorous so I hope you enjoy reading and that I can put a smile on people’s faces while showing you some amazing places.

If you have any questions about the blog or the places I'm writing about, don't hesitate to contact me on: phil@philyourboots.com

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