Preparation for the West Highland Way and a change of plans

Well, things have changed a fair bit recently, in terms of the planning for theWest Highland Way. Currently, we’ve less than two weeks to go, and we’ve had to make a difficult decision.

We will be walking theWest Highland Wayas planned. Accommodation has been booked, train tickets purchased, etc. We’re good to go.

However, there is one slight change of plans. For health reasons, we’ve decided that we’re going to use one of the baggage transfer services. It’s not something either of us particularly wanted to do, but sadly, necessity dictates.

I think the two previous hiking weekends were a bit of a wake up for us. When walking the first two stages of theRob Roy Way, Janie really struggled with the weight of the pack. I also had a bit of back pain the following week.

Then, 2 weeks later, we had a weekend at the Glen Affric Youth Hostel. This one was a shorter walk, with lighter loads (though we still needed to carry food, sleeping bags, etc for the weekend), and again, Janie had real problems with this.

It was at this stage that we realised that the West highland Way was simply not going to be possible with the full weight of the pack.

So, we’ve decided to use the courier service. We’re having 1 rucksack taken by the courier, at £40 for the week. During the actual hike, I’ll be using a 40l rucksack and Janie will be using a 20l rucksack.

As I still feel a bit like it’s cheating to go without the full weight, I’ll still be packing a fair bit into the 40l rucksack. The plan is that I’ll carry the meal kit, the stove, food for both of us for the day, as well as all my waterproofs, complete change of clothes, etc.

Janie will simply carry her waterproofs, drinking water and general bits and bobs.

The way I see it is that by carrying the stove and food for the day, I feel like I’m at least carrying part of the load (and making sure the rucksack we send through the courier doesn’t breach the 20kg limit per bag!), and if we decide to take our time, stop along the way and have a meal, that option is open to us. Best of both worlds, really.

So, we’ve now got less than two weeks to go until the walk itself, and the plan is to have most of the packing done this weekend – as it’s probably the last time we’ll be seeing each other until the morning of the walk itself. Having to co-ordinate to pack (and unpack every day!) a single rucksack for two people could definitely be a bit of a pain, but if it means that we’re both able to complete theWest Highland Way, it’s got to be worth it!

Just a reminder – you can sponsor either of us on the walk by clicking on the links to the right. Any donations will be gratefully received by the respective charities.

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