Packing for a 2600 Mile Charity Walk

We’ve all packed for a holiday. It’s not that bad once you’ve done it a few times. Some create a checklist and tick items off as they go. Some start packing months in advance in anticipation of lying on that sun-drenched beach. Others wait until the last minute and simply empty their cupboard drawers into a suitcase. The thing is, we all tend to have an idea of the weather we are going to expect while we are away. It’s true, you cannot get it completely right but a jumper for those cold nights in a hot location or a few light items for that elusive sun in a cold part of the world is sometimes all it takes to ensure you’ll be mostly alright. On the other hand, packing for a 2600 mile charity walk is a mammoth task.

Clothes will need to cover a multitude of seasonal changes as we trek from north to south India, through seven states over five months. He has been told to expect desert heat, monsoon rains, high humidity and fog. In fact the only thing we’re unlikely to encounter is snow!

He will need appropriate walking clothes and multiples pairs of footwear, mostly covering up to protect us from the harsh sun. The problem is that we will also need to wear high visibility vests for safety and as some of you know, those aren’t exactly made of breathable material, more like a shell suit vest that turns you into a walking sauna. Not forgetting that he will also need smarter outfits for when he is invited to a fundraiser or reception although I think he will leave his tux at home.

Lightweight walking sticks will come in handy as will head torches but walking when it’s dark may prove too hairy as India’s roads are not for the faint hearted even in broad daylight.

Water bladders built into their own rucksacks with drinking tubes sound good but I fear the water would be hot enough for a cup of chai after only a few hours of walking.

One thing that is for certain. I will be making sure Bobby has an iPod with some great walking music. You cannot underestimate the power of good music to ease you in at the start of the day, keep your pace in the middle and help you wind down towards the evening. After all a marathon a day, every day, for five months can still be extremely lonely, even if you are walking through the second most populated country in the world.

Now where do we sleep?

I’ll have to save that one until next time.

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