The High's & Low's of 2012 and on to 2013
So, it's 2013 already - Happy New Year to everyone, I hope you've enjoyed reading my about my walks, reviews and ramblings over 2012.
Before writing up the remainder of the walks and adventures from Canada (September 2012) and the recent trip to the Lake District I thought that it would be a good idea to have a quick look back over 2012, a re-cap if you will, and plans for 2013....
Highs and lows of 2012
According Social Hiking to walked 113 km, climbed 5,090 metres and bagged 16 peaks - and this was only in the last few months after "finding" Social Hiking through some of my follows on Twitter; some routes were uploaded from my Garmin GPS Map 62S and some recorded via the ViewRanger App on my Galaxy S3 (The S3 and ViewRanger App is great for recording the route but I wouldn't rely on this for navigation - it stayed in my bag, in a stuff-sack, during the walks as it's much easier to record and upload from a smartphone).
Clothing & Kit
I also spent a lot of time wearing and using my favourite pieces of walking clothing and kit and, over the coming months, I'll be compiling a list of my top gear for this blog which I hope will prove useful.
As mentioned earlier I've walked a fair bit over the last year (2012), in lots of different places, with different people and in a variety of different weather conditions.
This year (2013) I'm going to be doing a lot more of the same (I hope!) and will be adding as many of them to this blog, in as much detail, as possible for everyone to read about and comment on.
A few major ones if I'm honest and ones that, hopefully, I will learn from and not repeat;
- Always, always check to make sure you have the right map!
- Don't get complacent with navigation - hill fog/clag call it what you will but it can ruin any day's walking if you don't pay attention and keep checking your bearings and location
- Take a head-torch - no matter what or when you're going out walking you never know what may happen during the walk and darkness without a torch can make life one hell of a lot more difficult
- Just go for it! For me this applies to so many things that I've experienced over 2012 and hope to do in 2013 but more than anything it's about taking a chance and having a go at it and not talking yourself out of it before you've even begun.
Plans for 2013
Where to start! There are so many things that I have both already planned and want to do this year;
- Atlas Mountains (North Africa) trip in February - Mt Toubkal which at 4,167m is the highest in both the Atlas Mountains and North Africa
- Slovenia mountaineering trip in June and December - the aim is a summer trip (long weekend) in June to "test the route and terrain" and then the main trip in December for a winter summit of Mt Triglav which, at 2,864m, is the highest mountain in Slovenia and in the Julian Alps which I wrote about back in September (have a read here)
- Isle of Skye and Cairngorms, Scotland, in April - a week on Skye and a week in the Cairngorms, near Aviemore, with walking, climbing/scrambling and mountain biking being on the cards and something else exciting but I can't talk about that just yet!
- Blog updates and refresh - One of my big goals for this year is to put more work in to this blog. With the number of daily hits growning month on month I must be doing something half right but I'd really like to see a significant increase in traffic and to, hopefully, develop this into more than just a passing hobby. The main area's of change will be;
- Kit/clothing reviews - I'll be adding more reviews to the site, from kit and clothing that I use and own, as well as more detail to these reviews which will hopefully give readers a more "real world" insight into a wide range of outdoor clothing and equipment
- Walk routes and descriptions - one bit of useful criticism that I've been given on this blog is around the lack of detail that I currently have for the walks/hikes that I talk about on this blog. So, this year I'll be adding more detail to my route descriptions and, thanks to the wonderful Social Hiking site, you'll be able to follow my walks and view the route files using twitter - @simonsl8er
- User feedback - more than anything else I want to hear from people who read this blog and find it useful or who have suggestions on how it could be more useful to them - don't be shy!
- Photography - my beloved Canon EOS 5d Mk2 has sat in it's bag for too much of this year and I'm determined to get out more with the camera to capture some of the amazing scenery that I see while out in the hills and mountains - hopefully this will inspire more people to get out and enjoy the outdoors.
I think that's probably enough for me to be focusing on and you to be reading about - there is one more camping related development that I'll be talking about before the summer hits us but that will have to wait for another blog nearer the time as its very much work in progress at the moment!