2012 – a review


Taking up the theme of reviewing the past year that other people have done recently I thought I would join the fray. I will save reviewing my 2012 “to do” list until tomorrow

Campfire at Middle Ninfa

To be be frank, I haven’t done as much walking or camping as I would have ideally liked to do this year due to a few reasons. In the past 12 months I have changed job 3 times (in the same company though) which is great in a development way but lousy in terms of getting things settled down. Major league travel has also become part of the furniture in my job and so family time is important when I am at home. My wife’s cycling turned up a notch too this year which is really pleasing as she has developed into a serious cycler over the past 3 years. It’s only fair to split time out and about between us, she’s had to put up with me disappearing into the hills enough! Lastly we had Barney in September which ultimately will enrich walking and camping but for now has meant smaller gentler walks.


On the gear front I have done remarkably well only getting a few big items and even then paying for them with redundant kit sales. Shoes have proved a thorny issue this year having seen the demise of my Montrail CTC’s but I reckon I may have sorted that now. I tried poles this year for the first time properly and although still not completly a convert can see the benefits and certainly help with keeping the trailstar up! Best gear purchase of the year has got to be the £10 cargo pants from Tesco’s which for general purpose walking cant be beaten (they fit me and they dont chafe !!!)

The descent into Redbrook

With regards to actual walking and camping, although the year has been frugal when I have managed it I have had superb trips. The three that stand out are the walking trip to North Wales, family camping in Cornwall and my last minute overnighter in the Black Mountains. The first was possibly one of the best trips I have ever made and in superb company. The second was a golden family holiday that was again one of the best we have ever had. The last was a quick, unplanned but supremely uplifting little jaunt that kept me smiling for ages. I cant always go out and about whenever I want but as long as when I do they are great experiences thats all I hope for.

Rhossili beach

I was going to make a list of what hills and mountains I walked on this year but in the end I didnt bother. All that matters is that I enjoyed them. Next year I really hope for a little bit more walking and camping but will see what comes my way. For now, Barney is still in training and so am I!

Porthleven Harbour

Highlight of the year for me was my fitness, health and weight. After being warned by my doctor for having high cholesterol and being overweight, I decided to do something about it. To date I have lost 29lbs from around August onwards. My cholesterol has dropped and I am a lot fitter. I am walking around 4-5 miles a day on average which combined with the diet means I am in better shape than I have been for quite a while. The last time I was this weight was when I was 30! Anyway, not long to go to hit my target weight of 10stones 10lbs and then it will be all about maintaining it. We’ll see how that one goes next year 🙂

King of the Mountain

I am still pondering my to do list for 2013 and will scribble a few things down in the next day or two. Off the top of my head, there is one main one so far; enjoy every minute…..


About Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

I am a keen hiker, camper, cyclist and general all round gear addict..... I also manage to be a professional brewer in my non-spare time :->
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