Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Problems, problems, problems...!

Nothing's ever straight forward is it?!

I've received the mapping software from a friend....I go to install it onto my computer and it only partly installs. After loads of playing about I try to uninstall it and start again....but it won't uninstall......

I also receive my new smartphone - a Samsung Omnia, so I can use it as a GPS unit, a camera, a phone (of course!) plus internet and email - for updating this blog etc.....but guess what....I can't get emails sorted - I can receive but not send them (I get an error 530 Authentication required, even though the settings all seem correct.) And the GPS doesn't want to play!


The challenge has already begun!!!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

More GPS, solar chargers and also boots!

Well, my maps arrived yesterday....all 60 of them! £300 worth!!! Oh my goodness!! I'm now looking for a highlighter pen so I can get my planned route down on them - that should keep me busy for a while!

I'm STILL trying to get my head around the GPS options. I thought I had it sorted - I decided to get a "Smartphone" that would have GPS, camera, internet and phone all in one - a major plus when it comes to keeping the weight of my backpack down. Then all I would have to do is download the mapping software from my PC onto it. (Many thanks to a new friend of mine who has been incredibly generous and leant me his dvd). The problem that's just occured to me is the great British weather! If it's anything like last summer (rain rain rain) then I'm going to be in trouble - plus the battery life of these smartphones seems to be crap when GPS is used. Maybe I ought to get a dedicated GPS unit that is weatherproof. Hhhhmmmm. Bugger.

Re-charging also seems a tad tricky as the solar powered re-charging unit I had in mind seems a bit of a let down as far as reviews go - I'll keep you posted on that one as I look into that a little more later.

I'm looking into new boots also my current pair (LOWA) have been excellent but they don't have many miles left in them which is very sad - they have been fab boots. I have Superfeet insoles (green) in them also which I highly recommend - I'll definitely be getting another set of those. Reviews seem to be good for the new Brasher lightweight boot so I may have a look at thoses - my last pair of leather Brashers were excellent, although a tad heavy, so these new lightweight textile hiking boots are worth a look.

Lot's of food for thought!

There are a some people I would like to thank for their advise...

A HUGE thankyou go to Daryl May who is an amazing person. He came over from America and completed a Lands End to John O'Groats hike in 2007, and then returned in 2008 to hike from John O'Groats to Lands End (see Daryl has given me so much helpful advise on GPS and has restored my faith in human nature!

Thanks also to Colette Astorgue, who completed the walk herself this year - Collette has been really helpful with her advise on campsites and the problem of charging mobile phones.

Mark Moxon ( deserves a thank you also for his advise on mapping software - and also for putting me in touch with daryl! Also what a useful website Mark has!

Also thanks to Geoff from for more GPS advise!

Saturday, 1 November 2008

1st November 08

Well I've just created this page - so this is the start of the journey!

I'm currently researching GPS (I just know I'm going to get lost!) and mapping software and I'm now completely muddled. I'm going to start ordering OS Explorer maps to set my route, but WOW do I need a lot! Around 55 in total!

This is not going to be cheap!

I've found a very lightweight one man tent I like (Terra Nova Laser Competition), but I'll wait until the January sales to buy it in order to try and save a few pennies. In theory I should carry a maximum of around 20% of my body weight, but keeping my pack below 10 kg is going to be a challenge in itself!

Patch is crashed out on the sofa without a care in the world. Lucky!