Chinks in the Armour….

Chinks in the Armour….


I was focussed on one last night out before the weather turned down.. The Howgills were in my mind as I knew I needed to feed the moron and pack before I could go anywhere”

I dashed out of the shop at 5.30 and was soon heading for the palace. The traffic frustrated me as I drove towards Kendal…

Soon I was home with a hungry cat snaking around my legs.. I quickly fed the beast and hurried the packing. I have become really good at this! I knew the sunset was at 7.25pm so I didn’t have long. I had decided on Winder in the Howgills. I had work in the morning at 10am so I could get down, dash home, feed fatty and go to work, Plan!

I was soon in the motor and heading for the hills. The drive to Sedbergh was without problem and I was parked up and heading uo the bridleway before I knew it.. A mountain biker came hoofing down and passed with a quick hello!

I looked behind and the sun was sinking fast! I was dripping with sweat as I forced my reluctant legs up the strep grass. It’s a pleasant walk and the air was warm and pleasant,, I prayed for more breeze or I could be mauled by the midges when I reached the top!

Arant Haw
The Sentry!



The summit soon came into view and a crow sat sentry on the first trig. It was a stunner of an evening and I hurriedly unpacked; searching for the flattest spot. A fell runner appeared and we chatted as I sorted my stuff, at the same time faffing with the camera. He was off for an Indian.. MMMMMM, mu tummy grumbled loudly. I was having pasta carbonara tonight..I couldn’t wait!

Winder Trig.

I set the tripod up and waved goodbye to the runner, A couple more shots then I’d get dinner and a warm drink on; there was a real chill on the air and I’d already got all  my clothes on!

Set up!


Before realising I had no burner!
Last light.

I pulled out my food bag and opened the Jetboil. I looked down at the grass as I emptied the components onto the ground, the burner must be in the food bag right? My heart was already sinking.. wrong..the burner was in the cupboard at home…… I knelt there as the sun set finally feeling utterly crushed! Dinner was off..I relived the moment I had had pushed it further back on the shelf in the kitchen; knowing it was there in its little black velvet bag.


So, I had 2 choices, to go home or to stay. Well, there was no way I was leaving-even though I knew I could be in front of the fire within the hour with a full belly! Punishment was in order! I reached into the top pocket of my pack and pulled out a Picnic bar..That was dinner and breakfast right there.. I broke it into 3 and ate the first bit. I shivered as the wind blew gently on my face.

I decide best to get in the bag and stay warm.. I was crestfallen!! I poured my now very cold Merlot (that I couldn’t warm up!!!) into my cup and lay there feeling sorry for myself. I nibbled my second bit of Picnic, it was hard and crunchy, nobody like chocolate bars in this condition! They need to be at room temperature!! Rubbish, what an idiot! Chinks in the armour…The girl who is always prepared had forgotten the crucial piece of kit!


I had the sudden feeling I was being watched…I looked towards the trig and sure enough a black shape was moving behind it…What the hell is this shit I thought. It reappeared and disappeared a few heart raced as I went through imps, goblins etc… soon it was moving towards was jet black, time to get the torch on..I was greeted by a waggy black springer! Followed shortly by a guy bike packing over to The Calf! What a relief. We had a quick chat and he rode off into the gloom.

The stars peppered the sky now and moonrise was stunning. Despite being hungry I felt calmed by my environment. There was vague road noise from the M6 and I could just hear the odd sound from Sedbergh but all in all it was a good spot. I think next time I would go to Arant Haw but time didn’t allow on this occasion-and I would have been even more hungry!


The Moon!


I decided to sleep off my hunger..I wasn’t looking forward to morning. The forecast was for cloud so I knew I was in for a cold, damp start. I lay back and sighed. We live and learn everyday! That was my last thought.

Tired and hungry.

I woke at 6am having slept through pretty much solidly. The mist was shrouding everything. I wanted coffee and porridge! I hauled myself out. Everything was soaked with dew. I bundled it all up and stuffed it in my pack, there was no order to this process at all! Soon I was jogging down to the car, desperate for coffee and food. I’d been home in half an hour.

Dropping out of the mist.

So, ALWAYS check and double check is the moral to the story. It won’t happen again!!!!!!

13 thoughts on “Chinks in the Armour….

  1. After forgetting the gas on a wild camp above Llyn Crafnant and having to eat cold LWWFound meatballs, then that turns out to be a quite a luxury compared to your night out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not alone in having a permanently hungry moggie and forgetting things! A few years ago I invested in a tiny titanium esbit stove weighing 13g, snaffled a foil takeaway container to use as a windshield/ ground protector and a 16g hexi tablet. They live in my rucksack and I never take them out so I’ve always got an emergency cooker for 40g. Yes, I’ve forgotten my stove more than once!

    So I’ve solved the forgetting stoves problem but not the starving feline one.

    Never heard the word strep as applied to grass. What sort is it?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Elton,
        I rate hexi stoves. Quiet, reliable, convenient. On my blog you’ll find some posts about them. Esbit do one which folds flat but forms a triangular pot stand/windshield and can take a meths burner as well as the tabs.

        The one I posted the link about is really neat. Once the legs are in position it’s very strong. It can support my msr titan 850cc kettle full of water with ease. The length of the supports also allow to just boil water in a metal mug I have too if need be. So for trips I use the kettle but for day walks I just boil a brew in my cup.

        Hope that is useful



  3. Shit happens! We kick ourselves when said shit is our own fault and like you I would have wrestled with punishing myself. Unlike you, tough lady that you are, I’d have probably gone home! My belly comes first 😊 Maybr you should just get yourself a big plastic tub and put all of your gear in that so it’s all ready to just stuff in the pack. Write yourself out a checklist and stick it to the lid. That’s my method anyway after forgetting several things over the years 😀
    A good read and photos as always, Kate.

    Elton x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If I was that guy bikepacking, and known you had forgotten your burner, I would have stopped and at least offered to heat your food up for you. No chivalry… What’s the world coming too! Inspirational stuff again Kate. Power to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ha ha sis… For someone like me who has forgotten…water hmmm….overtrousers …and yes my boots. …and also crampons and axe…. On different occasions… You do ok ha ha…. At least you didn’t forget the wine!!! Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Kate, just stumbled across your blog and will probably stalk you for a while. I have recently gotten into bike packing and wild camping. From the look of your last adventure you didn’t use a tarp but just bivvy ‘d near to a trig point right? I am tempted to do same but have always camped under cover thus far, anything I need to know or consider before camping out in the open so to speak?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya. I stopped using a tarp ages ago. It does always depend on the weather. If you know you’re going to get rained on and it’s not too windy then having it packed is better than not. I try to avoid going out when it’s due to be rubbish as I don’t see the point! I only do one or two nights at a time because of my issues with my back. It’s too arduous to do more so I can usually get pretty accurate forecasts! Hope this helps 😉


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