The Liebster Award

I’d like to thank Gina (@CumbrianBlondie) for nominating me via her blog – The Adventures of Cumbrian Blondie.

The Liebster Award was originally an idea to spread by word of mouth (or should that be word of type?) blogs with relatively low readerships – not because they’re crap, but more because people might not have come across them yet. It is a bit like a chain letter, in that each nominee then nominates 5-11 more people, and as such I wouldn’t normally play the game on principle (I’m like that), but as the outcome is sharing with others some of the great writing you know about and the downside of not doing it is bad karma, I thought I’d make an exception.

Gina’s questions:

1. Favourite walk?

It’s alright for you Gina, you live somewhere hilly, but spare a thought for those of us who live at the other end of the country from hills – the walks I most enjoy (hilly ones) aren’t those I necessarily do the most often because of the travel, and in some cases I may only have done them once. So I’m going to give two answers. My favourite hilly walk would be anything in the southern fells of the Lake District, and I’d struggle to narrow it down to one particular one. My favourite more local walk is on the North Downs – I have various circuits starting from Gravesend and the surrounding villages that head out onto the escarpment, using the Weald Way and North Downs Way paths. The walk’s never quite the same route twice as I usually tweak it each time.

Mysterious morning in the woods
Mysterious morning in the woods

2. Most treasured piece of kit?

Not an easy choice, as there are a few items of kit that are contenders. But it really comes down to a choice between my Tarptent Scarp 1, which is quite simply the best performing and best value for money piece of kit I’ve ever owned and in my tent is my favourite place of all; and my Trangia. I was introduced to the Trangia in the Scouts nearly 30 years ago, and it’s not changed much. When I looked for a stove a few years back, I didn’t give it a second thought and just bought a Trangia. I’ve never hankered after a gas stove, even though boil times are so much faster, as the flexibility of the Trangia suits my needs much better. It’s utterly bombproof as a friend found out when her gas stove failed on a recent trip. I use it as a modular system – anything from just the burner right up to the full shebang. It’s the only item in my pack that I don’t care about the weight of – the only choices I have to make are which bits to use each time. At the moment I’m mainly using the burner with the Trangia Triangle and whatever the appropriate set of pots is for the walk or trip I’m on.

A treasured piece of kit
A treasured piece of kit

3. Favourite mountain food?

A packet of digestive biscuits. Yes really.  They’re hugely calorific for their weight, can be a snack on the walk, a substitute for camp dinner when I can’t be bothered, can be crushed up to make porridge more interesting. The list goes on.

4. Most challenging walk?

On paper, probably the hardest single day’s walk I’ve ever done is the 10-in-10 which I did a couple of weeks ago. That was 16 miles and 6,000ft of ascent over hard terrain. But having done a 25 mile local walk for training the week before (which was the furthest single day’s walk ever), it didn’t feel so bad as some shorter and easier walks I’ve done. I think this just shows that you can find a challenging walk anywhere.

5. Best place you’ve camped?

I’ve camped in some great places (and some not so great), but it’s not just the place that makes a camp special. Sunset/sunrise also play a part, and one’s state of mind at the time of the camp. So I’m taking this question to mean my best camp. I’d have to say this is a winter camp I did on Little Carrs last year. I arrived just as a blurry orange sunset was doing its stuff over lower Eskdale. It was severely cold, and there was about a foot of snow overnight, but it was my first winter wild camp and I loved every minute.

Camp 1 on Little Carrs
Camp 1 on Little Carrs

6. Where in your opinion is the best mountain view?

My current favourite view is the Langdale Pikes from High House Tarn on Glaramara.

Langdale Pikes from Lincomb Tarns
Langdale Pikes from Lincomb Tarns

7. Pole or not to pole?

Pole. My Pacerpoles could have been a contender for most treasured piece of kit. Now I’m getting older I can feel the strain on my knees more, so poles are useful. But actually it’s on the flat that I find they help most – in maintaining a steady decent pace. At least one time, my Pacerpoles have helped me catch the last bus that I’d have missed without them.

8. How important is having 3G on a mountain to tweet update?

Not critical. It’s nice to at least get an occasional signal to update things, but I still consider it a luxury over the more basic need of letting people know I’m ok, which my Spot device takes care of even without a 3G signal. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy having a 3G signal in my tent on a wild camp. But the downside of that is the battery drain on the phone, so in practice it’s a delicate balance.

9. What’s your perfect tipple for walkers reward?

Usually at the end of a walk, I’m hot and want something refreshing, so it’s usually cider. As long as it’s not Magners or Strongbow, I’m not that fussed. I do like a nice dark ale too, but only after I’ve quenched the initial thirst. Finding that Booths in the Lakes sells my favourite beer (Innis & Gunn Rum Finish) recently was a revelation though.

10. Why do you like the great outdoors?

Because there’s very few people there. Not to say I’m anti-social, but I work in London, and being somewhere where there aren’t hordes of people is what I most look forward to about getting to the hills.

11. What’s your next adventure?

I’m heading off this week to resume my Cambrian Way adventure, that I had to pause last year. I’m going to complete the remainder over a couple of trips over the summer. The plan is to wild camp most of the time, but with a couple of strategically placed hostels for a clean-up and decent meal during the trips.

My nominations

I’m going to do five nominations. In the spirit of the rules, I’ve gone for my favourite blogs that have a small number of followers or are sufficiently quirky that people may not have come across them so far. And not included those I’ve already seen nominated.

Cath (@wellycath) – Wellycath’s Walks. Cath started blogging late last year to coincide with her first proper walking trip to the Lakes.

Martin (@martinxo) – Adventures Close to Home. This is where I go for inspiration when desperate to get out for an adventure of some kind, but am trapped near home, rather than the hills. His post about sticks that are lying around on the ground (STALAGs) is one of my all-time favourites and an absolute classic.

100 Wild Huts – although it seems to have gone quiet for a while, this is another favourite. Dedicated solely to the challenge of building 100 survival shelters on any piece of ground with enough natural resources for the build, and then sleeping out in it. I’m including this because it’s brilliant, but without much hope that the writer will see this nomination.

Mike Knipe (@KnipeMike) – Northern Pies – I just love the humour in this blog.

Pete Hill (@PeteHill7) – GB Coast Walk 2014. Pete is currently doing a complete circuit of the GB coastline in aid of National MS Therapy Centres and the Spinal Injuries Association. Having started in Southampton in February, he’s now heading up the west coast of Scotland. I love reading about epic walks, would love to do one myself one day, but at the same time being pretty sure I don’t have what it takes. Pete does though.

My questions:

1. Favourite walk or hill?

2. Most treasured piece of kit?

3. Favourite mountain food?

4. Walking ambition ?

5. Best place you’ve camped?

6. Favourite book about the outdoors?

7. Funniest moment in the outdoors?

8. Who in the outdoors/adventure world do you most look up to?

9. What’s your perfect post-walk tipple?

10. Why do you like the great outdoors?

11. What’s your next adventure?

The Rules

Just like Gina, there’s been a bit of rule-bending on my part.

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

1. thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.

2. display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)

3. answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.

4. provide 11 random facts about yourself.

5. nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)

6. create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.

7. list these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:

8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!)

One thought on “The Liebster Award

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