Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Mud, water and mud. And water.

North to Nassington for a day that was notable for the amount of water, and mud.

The weather forecast was for some showers, and that's what I got. Wen I set off on the first circuit, "Another wood and back" it was raining lightly. Apart from the fact that rain gets me wet, there's a couple of other problems. One is my glasses; when they're speckled with rain, I don't see as well as I'd like. The other is the PDA - it isn't weather proof, and if it gets wet enough, it could stop working. So I packed a spare PDF, just in case.

I got my first bootful early on. It wasn't actually a bootfull, but a bit more than a trickle made it's way inside my boot when I tried to cross a ditch that was deeper than I'd hoped.

A lot of the route was on tarmac, but a lot wasn't. And that's where the mud came in. It isn't that I mind getting muddy. But the bike doesn't fly so well on soggy muddy ground, and I had to do quite a lot of walking the bike.

The high point came when I did the second circuit, "Elton Furze and back". One of the first few caches was on the other side of a ditch that was flooded. I was hoping that it wasn't very deep. I was sadly disappointed, and I went in up to my knees. And that meant I spent the rest of the day walking on water. With cold, wet feet.

And on mud - some of the bridleways were so soggy as to be unbikable, so more walking was needed.

I had hoped to end the day with a wicked puzzle cache that would involve wading hip-deep at one point, and I'd come prepared for that. But when I got to the starting point, it was clear that I'd be wading chin-deep (or worse), and so I sadly left that one for a time when the floodwaters recede.

I set a record for battery usage (because fighting through soft mud takes a lot of energy). I completely used  the first four batteries, and partly used the fifth. I have six altogether. I think this is telling me that when summer comes, and I stay out longer, I'll need a couple more.

66 caches done, one DNF


  1. Dr Solly, it seems like you might need to invent some sort of small stilt attachment for your boots, which you can add to them when ditch wading. Ski bindings for easy attachment and detachment, some old boot soles on the bottom to stop them sinking into the muddy bottom, and probably made of aluminium for lightness.

    1. When I logged the cache, I read another log that said if I'd gone on a bit further, I'd have been able to cross the ditch dry-shod.

      I was too eager :-(

  2. Doc, you really need to invest in warm-footness: check out
    It really doesn't matter how wet your boots get (including immersion), your feet stay dry.

  3. I had a look. The problem is, if you go into the water up to your knee, the waterproofness f the sock doesn't help.