RAB Mountain Marathon Overnight Camp

The campsite by Mountain Marathon standards was luxury (incidentally suposedly the same campsite that the 7/7 London bombers did their 'training') - toilets, nice field, showers and rather bizarrely a burger van which most people took advantage of. I didnt have much money with me but thankfully Steve had a fiver on him so we had a bacon butty with a hot drink. Up until this point I was shattered - badly dehydrated, very low blood sugar levels and was beginning to feel extremely cold. I ate a nutri-grain bar plus had an energy gel which restored the balance a bit and put on all the clothes that I was carrying. The problem was drinking the tap water which was very cold, so too much gave me the chills but at the same time I needed to rehydrate.
Eventually we found the energy to put the tent up and sort out sleeping kit. What cheered me up was watching Steve with his new balloon bed taking ages to get the balloons pumped up. We then sorted out the stove and began cooking our evening meal which was in essence a type of pot noodle. Instead of taking gas this time we opted for something different - a pepsi stove which is, yes you guessed it a pepsi can cut down with some holes round the side and burns meths. Surprisingly it was a resounding success and only weighed 10 grams and the fuel was way lighter too. As the water was about to be boiled I tried the SIS Rego drink, which frankly I didnt like that much so only had half. I'll have to try one of the other flavours though before I totally give up on the idea.

Above: Steve, team and tent mate.

Me feeling a lot better after dinner!

After the noodles we couldnt eat any more so went straight to dessert which was custard with chocolate coins! I thought it was an inspired choice!

Although my legs were still completely shot I was beginning to feel a lot better now that I had eaten a good meal. I was still concerned about my dehydration as at 7pm I still hadnt been to the toilet since 9.45am earlier in the day. A few drinks of coffee and a cup a soup eventually gave me the urge, but I felt it was a constant battle to drink enough water right up to the next morning. As with the rest of the weekend it stayed dry throughout the evening so was able to sit outside of the tent for most of the time.

At about 8pm it was pitch black so we returned to the tent before having an early night. I did try out a couple of new bits of kit - the Petzl e+lite head torch weighing something like 30grams including batteries. I thought the light was pretty good - ok so you cant navigate with it, but other than that a superb bit of kit. I had also bought a new sleeping bag - the RAB Quantum Top Bag Special which weighs a miniscule 340g (actual weight, advertised as 300g!). Its basically a sleeping bag with down insulation on the top side only - as down does not insulate on the back when squashed. I fell asleep nice and toasty until about 1am feeling fairly cold. At about 5am I realised that somehow the sleeping mat I had inside the sleeping bag to ensure it didnt move was on top of me - as a result I had no down insulation what so ever! I think the problem (apart from me turning over so many times!) was that the mat (aluminium foil with about 2mm of foam)was not thick enough to keep the bag steady. I think its still a good bag, but doubt I'll risk it in a months time for the OMM when it is likely to be colder. Only other thing to note was that one of Steve's balloons popped extremely loudly as he was about to lie down in his sleeping bag which put me into tears of hysterical laughter (with hindsight it wasnt that funny).

It was then just a case of waking up at 6.45am to be ready for the day 2 start...


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