Journey

The Journey Is Begun

Yesterday, we started walking.

Preparation has been a long journey all of its own, but everything is now in place, and afoot.

We look forward to meeting you, somewhere on the road ahead.

Kit Sent Home

Kit Sent Home

The Helly Hansen Pro-Wool Crew Neck Base-Layer Top.

Will ventured £25 toward this top, because he had worn merino wool blended with plastic before, and it can be a great combination for a garment.

He was struggling to find a merino base-layer that was under £30, when he spotted this offering, the Helly Hansen Pro-Wool crew base layer. We were in a hurry, eager to be dressed and walking, so happily the button was clicked, the garment bought, and then we only had to wait.

When the top came through the post, the initial reaction was troubling. The arms are covered in what Ginger laughingly called ‘Chevrons’, the distinctive Helly Hansen branding that they paint over everything. Well, aesthetics is but one consideration, and the green was nice and olivey.

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Travel – a reflective summary

Travel

Travel isn’t slow. Any shift of location challenges our assumptions and habits. Our central-seeming self is more responsive to physical location than we care to admit, for we are each an expression of our local environment, of the land we stand upon. A moving landscape makes for changing folk.

No, travel isn’t slow. But we do possess technologies that function to insulate us from travel’s quickenings. Only through these devices can we create slowness in travel, with time expanding outward from intentions of instantaneity.

In quick silvery modern machines, our cars and planes, we enact a drama of cartographic reduction, a disappearance of landscape, a sensory deprivation. The very air we breathe is monitored and controlled
by devices we mostly don’t understand. This sort of travel delivers only a simulacrum of journey, a departure all blinded by arrival. Although movement at seventy mph allows rapid physical movement,
it is yet incomplete:

“The soul”, goes the adage, “flies like a dove:
for short distances, at speeds of up to 20 mph”.

Still, it is strong goodness to find oneself stuck in a traffic jam, complaining about the other cars. Locked in the heavy metal box, far from here or there, confirms what is known in the heart: “this is the wrong way to get about”.

There is little slowness in walking. Each footstep leads to new vistas, new conjunctions of history, idea, land and self. A constant sense of rediscovery arises, and secret doors curl inward for exploration.

Walking is full-speed work, and requires a response to every nuance of changing weather and environment. With eyes only for destination, you will soon trip up, get wet, and want to go home.

Haraka Hyena Baraka – ‘Hurry up’ steals the blessing.

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Singsongs

We are here singing at the Faversham Hop Festival, at a gig in the Gulbenkian, Canterbury, supporting Chris Wood, and at a Christmas party.

These songs are being sung in times between walking, in our home territories.

What We Carry

For those interested in the bits of kit we use, here are some details. Pictures will follow.

Sleeping:

Down sleeping bag- We have all chosen to take with us a good quality down bag. The advantages of down over synthetic filling are that it will give much greater warmth to weight ratio and will also take up less space once packed. The disadvantage is that down tends to be rendered useless once it has become wet, on the other hand a synthetic bag will still offer some warmth when wet. Ginger has got a bag which is covered with a waterproof outer, made by Marmot. Ed has a P.H.D. sleeping bag, which is extremely lightweight and warm, and Will is experimenting with a Blacks High Street bag, which may or may not be the perfect bag.

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Field Testing and Sponsorship

Bad weather, when consistent, becomes manageable. Rain and wind need keep no-one indoors. With the right kit and clothing, and the knowledge of how to use them, anyone can walk and sleep outdoors, even in the British winter.

We use a wide range of clothing and equipment that is designed (or adapted) for outdoor living. We experiment widely with systems of outdoor-wear, and consult such websites as Outdoors Magic and Bushcraft UK, where equipment is extensively reviewed and tested.

But best of all, we like to try things ourselves. Because we use our garments and kit for long continual periods, we are able to form opinions on what works well for us, what feels good, and what endures.
Our key watchwords are: lighter; stronger; simpler; and more efficient.
This walk covers a huge range of British environments. The right equipment and clothing is crucial. If you want us to review, or test your equipment, we will give it fair usage, and provide an honest appraisal of its worth, in terms of our journey’s needs.

This is a perfect opportunity for extensive and difficult British field-testing; a thorny trial for equipment that wants to claim it is worth carrying. We are not gentle with what we carry. The weight in our backpacks must translate into functionality, warmth, and shelter. But if something works for us, it will probably be suitable for most other outdoor uses.

To arrange for an item of equipment to be reviewed/tested, please contact us HERE with KIT in the subject line. We regret that not every item will be suitable for us to test, but we do look forward to hearing any ideas you might have.

Many thanks.

A Short Documentary

This is a shorter edit of the documentary filmed by Molly King while we were in Cornwall.

The longer version of this film won an RTS Award and was shown on BBC South. To view the 15 minute version : Part 1 & Part 2

Pictures of us

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A Giant Flower

We have just aquired a new camera that can take good plant pictures, so we shall soon be able to document plants and trees through all the seasons to help with identification.

Until the first lot of plant pictures come, here is an enormous flower built by ed for Sunrise Celebration.

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