For my regular blog readers who’ve read this far about this trip, thank you. I hope you had a good time and a good laugh. I understand that you may not care about an equipment list. But…it may help you if you’re planning some other hike. Either way, thanks for joining me on this journey.
If you’re saying to yourself, “I’d like to do that.” Then I’m telling you, it’s an amazing life experience. and worth all the work. Hopefully, this will help you plan. This is my revised list after I returned from the C2C. It is geared for hiking the trail in late July to early August. And no….I don’t work at REI or Amazon, but in case you don’t know the gear I’m talking about or where to get it, I put some suggested places to look it up).
- 1 pair zip leg pants
- 1 pair of pants that convert to capris ( i.e. Columbia Sportswear)
- 1 pair quick-dry shorts
- 2 moisture wicking short-sleeve tops
- 1 long-sleeve soft knit top (after hike)
- 1 long-sleeve upf, ventilated hike shirt.
- 3 pair moisture-wicking socks (Smartwool)
- 2 sports bras
- 2 pair 16-country underwear (i.e. Ex-Officio)
- 1 pajamas (or scrubs)
- 1 boots (broken in and water proof.) NOTE: I wore my faithful ankle-high leather Montrails. This is my second pair I’ve owned. I LOVE these boots and never regretted the weight. I preferred the support and sure footing on the long and grinding paths. I also outfit them with Super feet orthotics for even more support.
- 1 pair after-hike shoes (i.e. Keens)
- 1 pair after-hike thin socks.
- 1 bandana: I know a lot of people like buffs, but I’ve always found a bandana more useful, like tying on ice packs, tying gear to my pack, and flagging down other people.)
- Rain gear (jacket and pants)
- 1 pair of UV cyclist sleeves: easy to peel off of arms. They protect from the sun
- 1 pair of thermal cyclist sleeves: I wore these every morning until I warmed up. (REI)
- 1 pair gaiters: I carried them, but never used them. Probably if I were doing the C2C in May—I’d have have needed them more (or maybe on that very last bog hole).
- 1 thin fleece jacket (surprisingly, I needed this several times and was VERY glad I had it.)
- 1 fleece stocking hat
- 1st Aid kit (make your own in plastic bag)
- Ziploc bag of (Kleenix, bio-degrad TP, women’s pads, hand sanitizer)
- vitamins (I put daily dosage in tiny plastic jewelry ziplocs)
- ALLERGY medicine…DON’T IGNORE this item…you’ll be sorry. The pollen is FIERCE!
- Any prescriptions
- Duct tape. (Don’t leave home without it!!! You can buy 1” tiny cylinders at REI or make your own by wrapping tape around a 2” golf pencil
- Vaseline/Socks: NOTE: The best blister prevention is a good fitting pair of boots. But every long distance hike trip I’ve ever done, I’ve found coating my feet in Vaseline and covering with socks while I slept, kept skin soft, pliable, and resistant to other problems. I didn’t get any blisters on the C2C.
- Friction Block (by Bandaid) (for in-between toes—makes them slide)
- Fungal crèam (if this is a problem)
- Gold Bond powder– for heat rash which you get in the most interesting places.
- Corn cushions (to separate toes)
- Tiny Swiss knife that contains scissors for cutting duct tape and toenail care
ADDITIONAL LEG Stuff—optional aids
- 1 pair of compression leggings (Runner’s World) Not for hiking, but feels GREAT in after-hike recuperation
- Knee brace –band-type (In case knee starts swelling or aching—which inexplicably happened to several hikers)
- 1 small back pack (NOTE: Don’t crap out and use a piece of junk. I was very glad I carried my Ospery 35 liter daypack that has a lightweight frame. It saved my shoulders from a lot of pain. I suggest you wear your daypack around home for several days and see if it pulls on your shoulders.
- 1 waterproof pack cover (REI)
- Extra ziplock bags
- Broad-brimmed hat with chin strap (It’s windy on top of crags)
- Headlamp (I never used this, but it goes everywhere with me for those just-in-case scenarios.)
- Sunglasses (Used Once! Well, you have to give me points for optimism)
- 1.5 liter Platypus water bag and hose
- Journal/2 Pens (if you’re a writer. If you’re not a writer bring a book or sketch pad)
- Travel snacks (I brought too many. Buy them when you get there)
- Sewing kit: (Needle/thread/safety pins…yep I needed to make repairs TWICE)
- 3’x3’ square of Tyvek (If you can get your hands on a small piece of this waterproof moisture barrier that is used to wrap houses before putting the siding on…it’s GREAT. It packs flat and small, and you can whip it out to sit on no matter how wet or how much sheep doo is around).
- 1 pair trekking poles (NOTE: I always use poles when I hike. They take a lot of stress off my knees and hip flexors. On the C2C, they were invaluable in crossing bogs and streams, beating back thistles, helping me push uphill, and they kept me from a couple of nasty tumbles on slippery slopes.) Just don’t lay them down and forget them like I was always doing. God bless the folks who ran after me, waving my trekking poles!!
- Voltage adapter/ plug converter
- Phone/ ipod/i pad earbuds and cords
- NOTE: We brought a charger to field charge phones, but never used it. We never left the GPS app running. Only turned it on when needed. Then turned it off.
- Extra debit card: I created a new account for a preloaded debit card. That way if I lost it, the risk was minimal and nothing (autopay) was tied to the account that I’d have to change.
- Credit card with chips and 4-digit pin.
- Wallet to carry money (and all the coins you’re going to get.)
- Luggage carrier’s instructions
- Medical Insurance card
- Booking numbers for train tickets and hotels
- Gaia GPS Navigation App: This $20 app for iphone was very handy (2015). The GPS waypoints are available to download from the Trailblazer.com website. Of course, you won’t leave the app running all the time, but when the need arises, you can turn on the app. Let the satellites find you, and establish your position to the path. HINT: Practice with your GPS at home. Take a class. Several people we met had navigation devices, but weren’t sure how to use them—so they weren’t very helpful to them.
- Compass—I bet I pulled my compass out of my pocket at least 10-15 times a day to check direction and trails.
- Maps—we used Stedman’s maps. We also had Harvey strip maps, but only looked at them once. If you think you’re the type to go OFF TRAIL. I’d definitely recommend Ordinance Survey Maps.
As small as you can get it. Remember, you’ll be carrying this loaded suitcase UP and DOWN several flights of steep narrow, narrow staircases EACH MORNING and EACH NIGHT (after you’ve hiked all day). The luggage carriers put maximum weights on luggage, but you DON”T want to be hefting the maximum weights. Be nice to your back—it has to support you 192 miles.
Coast to Coast Path by Henry Stedman
U.K. Train: Planner
Manchester to St. Bees
What I Wish I’d Done Differently:
The most frequent regret after doing the C2C Trail is: “I wish I had taken longer.” I thought this meant that we should savor each day. Sit on benches. Visit with people. Not hurry our steps to get in each evening. We did that, but now I realize it also means SCHEDULE rest days. I said to myself, “Good grief…the fell runners do it in two days. We’re fairly fit. Fifteen days is PLENTY of time.”
And it IS plenty of time to walk. WALK. EVERYDAY. DAY AFTER DAY. But part of the experience is exploring. If we were to do it again, we’d schedule 2-3 rest days, so we could take more sidetrips and explore the wonderful areas. It would also help us return to the trail more invigorated. We’d probably take off to explore, Grasmere, Richmond, and possibly Grosmont (so we could ride the steam trains to Whitby and Pickering). We’d also break up that 21 mile haul between Osmotherly and Blakey by stopping at Claybank.
If you’re in the planning stages go to trip advisor, read the reviews, and take the frequent advice: SCHEDULE MORE TIME. If work keeps you from taking more days, then consider breaking up your trip. Do one half now and the other half later. (We hiked with some people who had done this.)
So our dream trek would be an 18 or 19 day adventure. That sounds like a long time. But
to walk across an entire country and drink it in…eighteen days is just the beginning.
May you have blue skies, smooth trails, and good companions wherever your next journey leads.
Thanks for reading.