Thursday, 20 July 2017

Hit The Ground Walking

3rd January 2017

Today was our first ‘boots walk’ of 2017 and the first #walk2017 track of View Ranger’s 250/500/1000/1500 challenge.
I have activated all of the challenges on my View Ranger profile, as I’ll be aiming for 250 boot miles with my small people, but may complete more. I belong to a few online groups and there seems to be great debate as to what walks should count towards these mile goals. This isn’t a debate I shall be entering. I walk for me, for my personal gain, and enter the challenges with only my own personal aims and achievements in mind. I will say though, that a walk to the end of the road and back is a big deal for some, and encouragement is a far nicer quality to bestow!
When walking with children, it’s good to have a Plan B in mind. A way to cut a route short should you need, or a reasonable place to stop and have a run around.
Today’s walk found us carrying a cold, and a strong willed toddler who can rapidly change her mind and decide she isn’t in the mood to continue (can you see where this is going?!).
We plotted out a route last night and were aiming for 10 km, in a loop formation parking at Mill Green just outside of Ingatestone, Essex. Our finished route tracked in at 7.2 km with an altitude gain of 316.9 feet. I have popped the link for today’s View Ranger track below.
The cold breeze hitting our faces as we crossed an open muddy field, just before the kids’ pre-programmed lunch time (everyone’s kids know when it’s 12 o’clock right?!), proved the final straw for the smallest little lamb and we’d walked right into toddler tantrum-ville…not our favourite place of irrationality.
As you can see on my track, we made a detour to a wooded area which was sheltered from the wind, and opened the picnic bag. Little lamb needed to stretch her legs, and refuel but that wasn’t enough to calm the tantrum. Added to a few previous nights sleep-loss, bought on by “the dream phase” of childhood, we had a toddler who’d gone from adventure-seeking mode to snotty, sobbing mess on our hands. Even Mummy pretending to be a pirate seeking treasure (a scenario acted out frequently whilst geocaching) couldn’t calm her, so Daddy pulled the map from his pocket and plotted the shortest route back to the car.
Cue sulky face from the biggest lamb, who had donned waterproof trousers and her micro fleece, on their maiden voyage having been purchased with her Christmas money. Mummy had squealed with delight when she’d made her request for them a few days after Christmas, and we’d braved the High Street sales together for her to try them on in Ultimate Outdoors. She had been itching to wear them for the last couple of days, and had chosen a pair exactly the same as Mummy’s (but a few sizes smaller!). She had even suggested walking in the rain on New Year’s Day to “try them out”!
Although now walking uphill along the road, the winding country lanes still had us walk pass stunning open fields with cosy looking farm houses on the horizon, the smell of log fires a delight to our noses (all except Daddy of course who, full of cold, wasn’t able to enjoy). Wintery woodland lined with holly bushes and shiny bright red berries engulfed the road on the final stretch to the car, which before long was in sight.
We began to offload the equipment and clothing, and snuggled the small people into the car. I’ll include a brief list of equipment taken with us below for anyone curious. Our general rule is to layer as much as possible because although it’s colder at the start and when we stop for lunch, walking can soon get very warm whatever the weather!
 Today’s stats
Mileage -4.47 miles / 7.2 km
Geocache – 1
Horses – 8
Rabbits – 1
Equipment Taken
  • Route Map
  • OS Area Map
  • GPS Device
  • Compass
  • Lunch!
  • Flask of coffee
  • First Aid Kit
  • Torch
  • Geocaching Tool Kit
  • Phone (with full charge) for emergency
  • Water
  • Paracord
  • Toddler Supplies Bag (Nappies, change of clothes etc)
  • Suitable Clothing (Waterproof jackets, fleeces, base layers, wellies, winter hats, gloves, scarfs/buffs, waterproof trousers, thick socks, sunglasses, and the biggest small took ear-muffs)

Today’s planned route was cut short, but still a very good start to the #walk2017 challenge! The journey home by car didn’t bring on naps from my smallest, but she was happy so we knew we’d made the right choice to abort the planned route.
Here are links to my Facebook PageTwitter and Instagram, and as always you can also contact me here. I’d love to hear about your start to #walk2017 should you be taking part! Or feel free just to say hi so that I know you’re there!
I’m off for a cup of tea and Bee Movie, snuggled under a blanket with my smalls!
Back soon!
S xox

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