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 have added thumbnails to all trip reports from 2007 which was when I started taking a digital camera. Ones before that are 35mm slides which need to be copied; I’d like to do them one day but it is well down my to-do list.
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.
2021 Update: My trips are over for good.
Not only did the coronavirus pandemic stop me making any plans for a trip in May 2020, but I suffered unexpected ill health too, which resulted in cancer surgery in June 2020. It took three full months for me to convalesce from that, after which I led a near-normal life but I was much weakened. Short day walks were still possible, but it was very clear that I would not be capable of carrying a heavy pack in the hills for even a few hours, let alone for three or four days.
In 2021 a secondary tumour was diagnosed and at the time of writing this I am back at home after further surgery and three weeks in hospital. I am sure I am going to recover from this with time, hopefully enough to be able to go hiking again, but there will be no more trips to north Wales. All I have left are the memories.
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 (most specifically ferns), the countryside, walking, travel, gardening 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.