It all started a few weeks ago when some friends of the family told me they like to get out walking so I gave them a location to get and check out for themselves. A few weeks later I was asked if I would like to get out with them and I took them up on their offer and we went off to a favourite forest of mine in the South Downs.
When packing the night before I had a list in mind for ideas I spread out some day kits I’ve used before and chose what worked in the area last winter, lists like this really help when planning a trip with people you haven’t been out with before.
I chose to use the Viper Recon pack again as I’m still in the testing stage, this bag managed to swallow all my kit and still have room for a little more. I fit it out with a few Maxpedition pockets; medium and midi roly poly dump pouches, keyper and the small barnacle pouch. I also attached my molle Leatherman pouch for my surge tool and extras for it. I took my Anodised mKettle for boiling water and a frying pan for my breakfast, Breakfast was an idea taken from a fellow SB Forum member “PaulDeFitter” which contained eggs, sausage, onions and mushrooms these would all be fried in a pan together.
We arranged to meet at 7:15 in the morning and then drive over to pick other members up, we arrived at the forest early so set off walking from a car park that I don’t normally use, this was due to icy and snow covered car parks. We set off for the first landmark on the land which dates back to 1766 and the area has earned its place in English history during the invasion of the Danes back in 851AD. We walked past and took in the cold frosty air it was a chilling -9 and there was a slight breeze. We walked down a very slippery icy slope and then on to our first stop, on walking towards this we gathered some valuable kindling for a fire when we stopped.
We arrived and I set to making a fire, one slit some wood I had stashed from a trip before and the other started their Trangia cook sets up for brews to warm up. Once the fire was set I started on my breakfast, its an easy to do recipe I put my sausages, onions, mushrooms and some oil in one screw top container and cracked two eggs in another. These were stored in a bag in the top of my rucksack, which makes it all easy to grab and start cooking.
First I put the pan on the fire to start the warming up process then pour out the oil into the pan, tip the sausage, onions and mushrooms in the pan and brown off, when they are nearly done I shook the egg to mix the white with the yolk and put that in the pan give it a stir and hey presto good food in minutes! A quick brew and we cleared and packed away everything and set off on our walk.
The snow in the area was quite deep in places even up to two feet in the drifts this made walking in it hard going, we walked for a few hours round the forest and crossed paths a few times but had some great finds on the way. I showed them some tracks in the snow indentified what they were and where they were going, identified the trees in the area as we were walking and took in some real good fresh cold air!