Three Points of the Compass has just returned from backpacking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path. Two September weeks in Wales threw at me varied weather conditions- from strong wind and horizontal rain, to hot sunny days and cold nights. This is a post-hike look at the lightweight backpacking gear I carried.
Following a couple of upgrades, the third generation of RovyVon Aurora A5 glow-in-the-dark (GITD) keychain flashlight is now (probably) the best ‘keychain’ hand-held light available to backpackers. It has now replaced my Nitecore NU25 headlamp on trail
My final days on the Pennine Bridleway. The walking steadily improved but the rain continued to laugh at the concept of summer. However, I had Kirkby Stephen in my sights, and nothing was going to stop me
The 205 mile long Pennine Bridleway has two included loops. The first is the 47 mile Mary Towneley Loop that I completed on my way up from Middleton Top. The second is the ten mile Settle Loop. My plan was to traipse round it in a few hours and call the remainder a day off in Settle. But first I had the aftermath of a night of torrential rain to contend with.
My Pennine Bridleway continued. I had walked the 72 miles from Middleton Top in Derbyshire to the Mary Towneley Loop. Having walked all of that 47 mile loop, I was now continuing to trail's end in Cumbria. But before then, I had to get to Settle for yet another optional loop.
Three Points of the Compass walked the 205 mile Pennine Bridleway during the summer of 2022. Hot weather had given way to frequent days of rain. I had already walked some seventy miles from the start of the trail at Middleton Top. I now had the forty-seven mile Mary Towneley Loop to complete before I could continue my trail northward.
The Pennine Bridleway doesn't get a lot of attention from backpackers. Cyclists will tackle much of it over a couple of days, horse-riders will go out for a day's hack along parts of it, however few people walk the complete path. Three Points of the Compass ventured out in the summer of 2022 to walk the 205 mile National Trail from south to north.
Three Points of the Compass has tried various combination sets of pegs (OK, stakes to our friends across the pond) with my various tents over the years. I suspect many of us have. There is no one-size-fits-all peg, though some come damn close to being perfect. Some ground or soil types or weather conditions such as wind or snow lend themselves better to more specialised pegs.
Backpacking the Southern Upland Way recently, I reached out one evening to close and tighten the vestibule doors- twang! One of the hooks had broken. I tied it shut for the remainder of that hike and simply used the other side of the shelter. Back home, I found thirty seconds to replace it with one of those sent to me by Zpacks
The Alox Pioneer knives from Victorinox are good looking with well made robust tools. These two-layer options from the 'medium-pocket knives' range differ from each other only slightly and either may provide exactly the tool set required.
I was past the half-way point of the Southern Upland Way and had the east coast of Scotland (almost) in my sights. The bigger climbs were now behind me and the paths became easier underfoot. While there was rain ahead, I cared not as I was just about recovered from illness and enjoying the trail immensely.
Some backpackers prefer a wide burner head on their gas stoves. This feature can add both weight and bulk to a cook kit, but not always. Two canister top options from Fire Maple have proven themselves as reliable performers over the years, one is light and expensive, the other is heavier and cheaper, the choice is yours.