Off to the Lakes: Joe’s fell-walker’s kit list

October 23, 2013


The transition between seasons never seems quite so stark as it does between summer and autumn. As we creep past mid-October it seems that in just a matter of days the leaves have turned and it’s time to light the fire in the evenings. It won’t be long before we’re waking up in the dark. For me though, nothing is more symbolic of autumn than the annual family excursion to the Lake District.

In recent years, Bethan and I have reignited a family holiday from the days where we had to be coaxed up Scafell Pike with the promise of a Mars bar (now it’s a pint in the pub)! In preparation, I’ve put together my hiking kit list (ok, wish list) to set the mood for our Lakeland adventure.

numbered Fell walker's kit list Decorator's Notebook

1) A good rucksack is an essential for your day-long fell walk but, let’s face it, Gore-tex doesn’t score well in the style stakes. This Cherchbi tweed pack is made from the wool of the often seen (and always smiling) Herdwick sheep, making it a far more appropriate choice.

2) A Thermos flask is vital to warm the cockles on those cold autumn mountain tops, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try investing in a Kelly Kettle. This ingenious device consists of an outer metallic water jacket which acts as a chimney for a small fire which is lit at the base. Because the water is spread so thinly around the fire it can boil enough for several mugs of tea in a few minutes using nothing more than a handful of dry twigs.

numbered Hiker's kit list Decorator's Notebook

3) All packed up, but where to go? You can’t beat a great walk as mapped out by the legend that is Alfred Wainwright who wrote a definitive 7 volume guide to the 214 fells of the Lake District. Such a Lakeland hero is he that he even has pubs named after him and a (less impressive!) MBE.

4) Walking will keep you warm but you’ll need some fuel to keep you going. Before setting out on one of our walks, I’ll always grab a bar of Kendal Mint Cake. Nothing tastes of the Lakes quite like a minty bar of solid sugar… apart from maybe some delicious Grasmere Gingerbread. The recipe’s secret but Jamie reckons he’s sussed it.

5) A whole week of walking is enough of a treat for Lottie, the faithful family hound, but if she’s really lucky maybe she’ll get something tasty from our friends at Houndsworthy too.

numbered collage walking essentials Decorator's Notebook

6) Serious walking types say to pack light, but I can always find room for my trusty DSLR camera. I’m not usually one for scenic photos but when I’m at the top of the mountain even I can’t resist a panorama! Windows Live Photo Gallery makes it easy to stitch photos together.

7) We’ve encountered everything from glorious sunshine to sleet, fog and snow in the Lakes in October. Be prepared: bring a hat.

8) If we’re lucky enough to get a bit of sun, there’s nothing like a hilltop picnic halfway through our walk to get us through to the end. And if we’re not so lucky, we could always use this rug as a blanket to huddle under!

9) Ahhhhhhhhh, home sweet home. Our honoury local for the week is the cosy Britannia Inn in Elterwater. Roaring fires, Herdwick lamb pie and a pint of Bluebird will most certainly be on the cards.

Want to come too? Follow DecoratorsNotes on Instagram to keep up with us while we’re away.