It is not as though I haven't done this before as I have walked across Scotland on the TGO Challenge some fifteen times.
There are now just 32 days before Lord Elpus and I set out from Lochailort on the West coast of Scotland to walk in an easterly direction for two weeks, when we have to stop or drown in the North Sea. Ordinarily, at this point in each year, I am wondering how on earth I am going to manage. I will not have done anywhere near enough training to get fit for the walk, I will have absolutely no idea where all my gear is; it will be somewhere in the house, but will be scattered to the four corners and be in various states of unwashedness and disrepairedness.
I probably won't know what kit I will be taking with me or even if it will fit into the smaller and smaller rucksack that I seem to carry each year.
However, for a change, things seem to be going unusually smoothly!
Training walks have been planned and the plans have mostly been kept to. Little things that required to be ordered from outdoor emporia have indeed been ordered and have either been delivered or are in transit.
Bits of worn-out kit have been replaced with more modern, lighter versions and old favourite bits of kit refurbished and made as good as new. One such favourite bit of kit is Wanda, my Stephensons Warmlite 2C tent.
As mentioned previously, Wanda has had a bit of a spruce-up. She has had a good wash behind her ears, her seams have been straightened and sealed with magnificent, clear & gloopy seam sealer. She was then given a really good all-over shampoo with some Nikwax tent re-proofer. Her groundsheet (quite slippery sil-nylon) has been daubed liberally with seam sealer in little regular spots to give grip to my NeoAir mattress for the slopier campspots. She has a brand new MSR Blizzard 10" tent stake for her rear pegging point that I know she will simply adore.
But in a similar fashion to her keeper, Wanda's improvements have brought about a problem. She too seems to be growing a problem belly. With all these super-dooper improvements Wanda has put on a little bit of weight. She now tips the scales at a surprisingly corpulent 1404 grams. Okay, that is with all her stuff sacks, big fat new pegs and new improved resplendent water-tightness and grippiness.
But the new shirt (80 grams less than the old shirt), the new-found deodorant (78 grams saving over the old type) more than make up for Wanda's portly poundage. And of course, the new menu plan should save kilos of weight.
With a sigh of relief I can confidently predict that Wanda and I will continue to enjoy each other's company into our more padded years of backpacking.