About

Welcome to my site! Here you will find accounts of all the backpacking trips with wild camping I have done in Snowdonia, a gear list, a book list and other information.

My trip reports tell not only of my appreciation of North Wales and its mountains, but also of my trials and tribulations during my self-taught apprenticeship in the wilds.

This is not intended to be a site that contains lists of routes with directions, there are a number of other sites that do that; it does not contain many pictures either, something else that is more than adequately catered for on other sites (though I do hope to add photos in due course). In fact it wasn’t until 2000 that I started taking a 35mm compact camera on my walks, and I only replaced it with with a digital one in 2007.

Never having been acquainted with anyone else who goes backpacking, everything I do was learned initially from books and magazines, followed by experience. I live more than 200 miles away from Snowdonia, so I am not one of the lucky people who can slip out at weekends for a bit of practice in the hills. Nor am I any sort of super-fit type; I have good stamina but I have always been slightly weaker compared to my contemporaries, and I don’t mind admitting I am scared of heights!

Perhaps the contents of Snowdonia Backpacking will inform you, pass on some of my hard-gained know-how and maybe entertain you, but my main hope is that it will fill you with enthusiasm and inspiration, in much the same way as the books I read did for me when I started.

Latest:

March 2020: Regrettably I will not be making a trip in May due to the coronavirus crisis.

May 2020: Even without lockdown, I still wouldn’t have gone this month due to ill health. As I write this, I am going into hospital soon for cancer surgery which I have been told will take a year to heal, and I don’t like to think what the effect of picking up and putting on a heavy rucksack will be for a long time after that. In the meantime old age has been gaining on me; for the last couple of years I have been wondering how many more trips I would be able to manage. Couple that with the length of time before I am better again (but possibly weaker) and it looks as though my wild camping days are over.

Some Background Information:

Although born in a north Wales coastal town, I am not of Welsh blood; it was a result of of wartime evacuation, and I only lived there till my fifth birthday, when my family moved to the outer London suburbs of Middlesex, where I have remained as the area is good for work, transport and facilities which I would miss if I lived anywhere else in the UK.

Married since the end of the 1960s, I have two grown up sons, and I was a precision engineer before becoming a field service engineer in 1975, until I had to retire prematurely in 2003. My interests are natural history (ferns above all else), gardening, the countryside, walking, travel, and out-of-print books.

I am a very independent person, and although sociable I am also quite happy with my own company, consequently going on long walks and backpacking are things I prefer to do on my own. My wife? She is a sun worshipper; her own holidays, as well as the ones we share together, are exclusively to hot countries, so it is understandable that she always declines to accompany me to Wales!

Some more background is included in my 1981 Prologue & 1st Trip which is in The Walks page.

4 responses

  1. Raymond Nosek | Reply

    It’s been on my bucket list for decades to backpack, and getting out into the wilderness

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  2. I am very sorry to hear about your illness. I have enjoyed reading about your many trips. I had surgery to remove part of my bowel (bowel cancer) in January 2016. Although it did take about a year to recover fully, I was still able to cycle and managed to walk up Cnicht about 5 months post operation. So don’t give up yet!

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    1. Thanks Ian. That’s very encouraging, but maybe you’re younger than me? I’m reluctant to make my age public, but it can be worked out from my early trip reports. The fact is I was already reaching my limit *before* my illness, and by the time I’m over it (they say a year before back to normal) I really do think it will be too late to start again. Right now it’s four weeks since my operation, I’ve lost a stone (6.3kg) in weight, I have pain, bowel and waterworks problems, and soon there will be six months of chemotherapy. I have had a few slow plods around the block with walking poles but this morning I made it to the pharmacy and back, normally about seven minutes walk but it was quite an expedition for me.

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      1. I am 65. Everyone is different and recovers at different rates. I lost 10kg while I was I hospital because I couldn’t eat anything for about 8 days. I don’t know what chemotherapy you are having, but they will give you a huge list of all the possible side effects. With any luck, only a few will happen to you or turn out not to be really bad. In my case I felt quite sick in the first week after a treatment cycle. However, I wasn’t actually sick and I stopped taking the anti-sickness drugs, which had more side effects than just feeling a bit sick!

        Walking is a good way to build up your strength and resistance. It took me a few weeks to walk more than about half a mile. Being fit and used to walking a decent distance pre-op definitely helps your recovery.

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