100 miles (well 105.8 actually !) – part 1 – Packing

Before I start I will say that I’m going to split this in to a few parts so it isn’t quite so long to read….

I did it ! On 21st May I set out to walk the full length of the South Downs Way and I finished on the 24th May. The journey had it’s ups and downs and I learnt a lot about myself on the way. It is fair to say that I had put a LOT of planning in to this to make sure that it went as smoothly as possible including practice nights out and long training walks. If you haven’t read any of my other posts I did this walk with my dog Millie, a 5 yr old Cockapoo and she was amazing. Not only was she good company but a good guard dog as well (sometimes. bit too good but more on that later !).

So, where do I start… I guess I’ll start with my packing list so you can see what I thought I’d need for the week (I planned on it taking 5-6 days) I’ve split this in to sections to make it a bit easier.

Shelter & Sleeping

Tent – Vango Zenith 100
Sleeping Mat – Mountain Equipment Helium 3.8
Sleeping Bag – OMM Mountain Raid 1.6
Sleeping Bag Liner – Sea to Summit Reactor Thermolite Liner
Pillow – Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight Pillow


Jet Boil Cooker
Spare Gas
Turboflame lighter
Igniter – the click sort that doesn’t need gas
Spork – Sea to Summit plastic one
Mug – Enamel (the wrong choice but more of that later !)

Wash Kit & Hygiene

Toothpaste (small travel size)
Deodorant – roll on as above
Antibacterial wipes
Biodegradable toilet roll and trowel (Sea to Summit)
SPF50 moisturiser (travel size)


Socks x4
Knickers x4
Merino wool base layer
Trousers (zip off bottoms so they can be shorts as well)
Thermal bottoms for sleeping
Warm top for sleeping
Warm Jacket – Mountain Warehouse Down Jacket – This doubled up as Millies bed at night
Waterproof jacket – OMM
Waterproof trousers


Maps for the route
Glasses & sunglasses
Ipod shuffle
10m Paracord
Leatherman multi tool
First Aid Kit (containing everything Both Millie and I may need inc tick removal tool !)
Survival bag
Cash & credit card
Water Filter – Sawyer mini filter
Head torch
Battery pack & charging cables for head torch, phone & watch
Mobile phone

Millies Kit

Food. – dried dog food 1.5 times the amount she would normally eat for each day
Towel – microfibre light weight one
Dog Poo Bags


Coffee – dried instant version
Herbal Tea Bags
Instant Hot Chocolate x 4
Cup a Soup x 4
Breakfast mix x 5 – See earlier post on the “testing”
Evening Meals x 5 – Freeze dried from Extreme Adventure
Lunch x 4 – Dried Couscous, miso soup sachets and no drain tuna tins
Water bottles 4 x 500ml
Snacks – Jelly babies, Minstrels, Trail Mix

All of this fitted in to my Osprey Ariel 65 backpack…… and I will say that there is very little that I didn’t actually use during the week. The clothing packed was in addition to the clothes I was wearing on the first day when I started :


Brooks Fiona Running Bra
Knickers (M&S I think !)
Merino Wool walking socks
AEE Fan Dance t-shirt (technical sort)
Trekitt AKU boots

I decide to carry all the food I would need with me because I wasn’t sure what I would find on the way and you actually don’t go through that many villages directly on the route. I could have detoured off it but that would normally mean walking down a big hill that you then need to walk up again and for me part of the challenge was to know that I could be totally self sufficient and if something went wrong then I would have enough food with me (a bit more on that later !)

In total my backpack weighed in at 38lbs…. and to put that in perspective I weigh 131lbs…


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