Gearing Up For the Via Francigena

Gearing Up For the Via Francigena

When we began planning for our Via Francigena (VF) trek, we reviewed our packing list for the Thames Path (TP) walk as well as our post-Path notes. We wanted to get an idea of what we needed and used on our previous trek.. and what we didn’t need or use. There are some big differences between the two walks. The biggest difference? The TP took a month to walk and we’ll be on the road for nearly four months walking the VF.

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Blue View – Geriatric Backpacking – Part 2

Blue View – Geriatric Backpacking – Part 2

If you read last week's Blue View, you may remember that we were planning to spend a night or two sleeping on the ground to see whether our old geriatric bones could still manage it. Would we have to endure a very long night of throbbing hips, backs and shoulders? Would we ever again be able to get into an upright position? Would the campground host, investigating the bad smell emanating from our tent, find our bloated, rattlesnake-bitten remains? Since then, we did spend a couple of nights camped at nearby Lake Mead, and I'm happy to report that …

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Blue View – Geriatric Backpacking

Blue View – Geriatric Backpacking

The Thames Path was sort of a trial run to see whether we could still hike reasonable distances each day for days or weeks at a time, while carrying full packs. Although it wasn't without a few blisters and there were the occasional 'Ibuprofen nights' we had a glorious time, and there was nothing that dissuaded us from trying something more ambitious.

Most of the world’s greatest hikes aren’t this luxurious, however, which begs the question as to whether we're now way too old to sleep on the ground, utilizing only the lightweight backpacking gear we can carry. Will we spend a very long night with throbbing backs, hips and shoulders, then be too 'stove-up' in the morning to get into an upright position or tie our own shoes? Will I be too cranky to live with? Time to find out.

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