Accommodation on the Cambrian Way
The number of places to stay on the Cambrian Way is limited especially with the demise of some of the hostels. In some locations and will cause problems for those people not camping, though as people like George Tod show you don't need to backpack. By problems, I don't mean being benighted on a desolate hill, but of having a pretty inflexible schedule that will need a bit of planning. It also means some thought on the Rhinogs Problem, with a significant deviation for accommodation. One thing you notice from the YHA website is how many of the hostels on the route are booked out solid well in advance, see Kings for example.
Has the plus of a more flexible schedule and cost (cheaper) but of course the significant disadvantage of a heavier load. With the camping there again of course a number of options:
- Go really lightweight:
- Go medium weight getting is some comfort
- Go 'proper camping' but with associated cost.
This would involve using a lightweight sleeping bag, bivi bag or shelter maybe without cooking equipment. For this you'll need:
- sleeping bag
- sleeping bag inner
- sleeping mat
- bivi bag / trekking pole shelter
I'd looked at the shelter / trekking pole option and was considering using trekking poles for the first time (being over 50 I think I can look okay with them). It's appealing for it's lightweight but whilst there are lots of nice pictures of sunny walking in the US and southern Europe, though not sure about a wet and windy night on a bleak mynnyd in Mid Wales. Some experimentation is needed with a bivvy sheet (I have a couple of good, light ex-Army ones) and the trekking poles. There are some good rigging guides.
May not take a stove for this type of trip, given more accommodation and therefore hot food and drink. It would a couple of days without. I do have a lightweight Trangia and would take a single pot for cooking and eating from and this would be only vessel of its type.
As above but I'd take a 1-person tent and have the loan of an MSR Hubba NSX, which at 1.4kg including bag etc makes it more light than medium. I might also take the stove as more camping nights would be likely. There is also then the question to taking more food and fuel for the stove.
It will probably add 1.2 to 1.5kg to the overall load (given you'd carry the bivi sheet in the lightest option).
I've a Rab 200 Down sleeping bag, but given the weather for May (especially this year where it's getting below zero at night) it may not be warm enough. It's great for weight and space and potentially need to test it out in the garden. Silk liner will help, as with probably wearing all your clothes.
Not really an option if you are travelling yourself, with a sturdier tent and better stove, but as a group would make much more sense. The main drawback is carrying over 10-12 kilos in weight. The aim for the trip is to get it below 9 kilos.
Looking at a likely schedule for accommodation it might be that I'd only need to camp for 2 or 3 nights at a push. The biggest issue would be the schedule I would have, and then have to stick to. Not such a fan of this, but if it means I can keep up the pace and avoid carrying so much stuff makes a lot of sense.