Update – About Me

I have updated the about me page, which is reproduced below. I hope this will be of interest to younger readers as it contains some details of what equipment I used to have some 38 years ago !!

I have been camping since the age of four, some 45 years ago and backpacking from the age of eleven. Although I did have a period of time with young children and building up my business where this rather took a back seat.

I have backpacked and day walked many parts of the UK and my longest trip being a two week backpack in the Swiss alps in the early 1980’s.  When I first started backpacking at the tender age of 11, the gear I used was very different, with waterproofed cotton walking smocks and canvas backpacks with leather shoulder straps. Later moving on to the “Cobmaster” style packs with a large aluminum frame outside of a nylon sack. Cotton tents, especially the Blacks Good Companion and Force Ten tents were the order of the day and were split between three people because of the weight.

The gear I now use and review is a far cry from those days and makes you appreciate the lightweight of today’s offerings.

I started back walking seriously again in 2007 and blogging 14 months ago (July 2010).  I try to get out as much as possible, but unfortunately never as much as I would like !

All the best


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19 Responses to Update – About Me

  1. MixedUpMessedUp says:

    Nice background info Mark. It would be interesting to see a weight comparison to see how much things have changed. The technology has certainly improved things dramatically.

  2. Martin Rye says:

    I recall the days of no Gore-Tex and using Doc martin boots on walks in the Peaks. Damp and fun all the way. Wool shirts as well. S*%@ kit but fun times as a kid. Nice one Mark.

  3. Chris Grogan says:

    My first rucksack was orange nylon with an external metal frame. It came in one size fits all and was so big it banged on the back of my legs as I walked. Happy days.

  4. Bill Wilkins says:

    I recall starting a small business called ultimate equipment in an old Victorian Schoolhouse in Warkworth near Alnwick in Northumberland and making tents, using a strange sample of fabric with a ptfe membrane to make cagoules that we took to Glencoe to test climbing claighaig gully in the pouring rain. I seem to remember it later became known as Gore-Tex.
    ultimate bill

  5. backpackingbongos says:

    I updated your ‘about me’ page in my head when I met you on the Bloggers meet!

  6. charles says:

    Brings memories flooding back. My first backpacking trip was to the Channel Islands with some Scouts. I shared an old Blacks tent with a school friend. He was new to the world of camping , and when some of us were away in town, he decided to refuel the main camp cooker from the meths jerrycan, which had a long spout. On our return we learnt that he had indeed , refueled the stove –
    but failed to extinguish the stove first ! .All the meths of course ignited , and travelled up the stream into the can , which promptly blew up causing serious burns. He spent the remainder of the trip in hospital , thus introducing me into the joys of solo camping.
    I think the guys of one of the tents were made of thin hemp rope. Things (thankfully ) have moved
    ona great deal since then.

  7. surfnslide says:

    Ah the memories – also been through the external frame and canvas rucksack phase. My first hiking experience was as an 11-year old going up Mynedd Troed in the Black Mountains in the rain but my true formative years was at University in the 80’s when I really got the bug. Perhaps a “favourite piece of old gear” post would be in order. Mine was a Karrimor Hot Earth Rucksack from the 80’s. Went back for several “lifetime guarantee” repairs before it finally fell to bits after about 15 years intensive use. They don’t make em like that anymore

  8. backpackbrewer says:

    I remember doing the DoE in my teens and can vividly recall the heavy backpacks then. Curse those DoE instructors they were evil people! I had an external framed rucksack (remember those?!), two of everything, a trangia, a two season synthetic bag, an orange polybag, a spaceblanket but odly enough a very lightweight tent (well it was in the early 80’s!) being only 2kg….ah happy days 🙂

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