Picos 2011 The details
Elsewhere on this blog the contents of my rucksack are detailed. Out of all of the kit I brought very little wasn’t used: Sunglasses -my brimmed hat did the job fine. First aid kit -was only opened for the knee support bandages and (when I remembered) my antihistamines for hayfever -which never actually bothered me. The ‘spares and repairs’ bag was opened to get out the box of matches when my lighter died on me.
Navigation-wise the route cards I had prepared at home were a handy reference each day, also the making of them and the study of the map that they required got the route in pretty good detail into my head. -I’d never planned navigation to such detail before but I certainly will do again. On a day to day basis, I’d get the map out many times, check the compass a few times and look at a grid reference from the GPS once or twice. I made perhaps half a dozen GPS way points each day, in case of getting lost or needing to retrace my steps due to weather -mist was my major concern.
It was easy to see where slack navigation would have led me astray, after all I have been lost in the Picos before, but I’m older and wiser now! (maybe).
Carrying a 20+kg backpack through the Picos is hard work. My daily distances were short and the hours walked each day were between 2 (final day) and 10 hours. Going hut to hut would certainly make life easier but I would still want minimal bivi equipment, just in case.
I was very fortunate with the weather. Only one day had ‘bad weather’ -this wasn’t the case on previous trips. Mist rolls in frequently and rapidly.