Adventure Geek Walking Podcast

EP13 - How to lighten your backpacking load!

July 1, 2020

Hello, everybody, I’m your host Julia Doherty and a very warm welcome to the last episode 13 in this season of the Adventure Geek Walking Podcast. 

As many of you know, we started this podcast as a way of giving something back to our walking club members who decided to continue to support our club through this very difficult time.  Twelve weeks on and we are now out walking again which is brilliant, albeit in smaller groups.

As mentioned, this is the last episode for this season of the podcast.  I am setting off to walk the 89 miles of the Jurassic Way on Saturday 4th July, from Stamford in Lincolnshire, through Northants and ending up in Banbury.  Then our next long-distance hike is along Hadrians Wall in September, followed by the Camino de Santiago through the Pyrenees mountains in Spain in October.  As you can imagine, with planning and training for these adventures, along with running a busy walking club, my time is quite limited.  If we decide to launch season two, then this will be when I return from the Camino.  Watch this space.


Onto the show!

This is a show for those who love everything to do with the outdoors, backpacking, hiking and of course walking. Hopefully, we have something for everyone in each episode. So without further ado, let me explain the contents of this week's show.


We always start the podcast with a bit of a quiz in the form of “guess the sound” - sorry, but it is a weird one again this week!


Segment two continues with the adventures of Janet & John’s latest antics.  As one adventure comes to an end, another adventure is about to begin!


We have no interview this week, so segment three is the education slot.  This week I will share with you my top tips to lighten your load when on a long distance backpacking trip.


We then end the show with Derek & Doreen.  This week Doreen is feeling fruity and discovers the joy of swinging, much to Dereks delight.


So, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road, and see if you can guess this week’s soundbite.  I did promise a bit of a clue.  So, Google told me that these animals have four stomachs!




I am not sure how many people will get that one?  Well, you might if you live in North America or Eatern Asia!  As always, the answer to the soundbite will be revealed at the end of the podcast along with some facts about this creature.  Right, now over to shiny shoes for the last episode of this season of Janet & John.  Over to you John!






I feel a bit sad knowing that we won’t be hearing from Janet and John for a little while.  John Pettinger is the author and narrator of this series and he has been an absolute pleasure to work with.   Thanks John, for everything that you have put into this show.  I hope that you continue to get more content ideas as you join us on our walks so that we can revisit the brother and sister duo in the future.





Right, time for this week’s education slot.


As I am heading off to backpack the Jurassic Way on Saturday, I thought I would share with you some of my top tips for lightning your load when on a long distance hike.


I will never forget seeing a little Korean lady on the Camino last year who carried the biggest rucksack you have ever seen!  As a golden rule, for a non-camping style hike then you really want to keep to under 10% of your body weight on your back.  If you rucksack is too heavy then with a matter of days your will start to have problems with your lower back, hips and shoulders.  In addition to this, you will also increase the risk of painful blisters and shin splints, which are pure evil when you are on an adventure.


My top tips:-


#1 - Wash & go.  Yep, only carry one set of clothing, and wear one set of clothing.  Then wash your clothes as you go.  Because you are going away for a 2 week walking holiday, you only need two pairs of undies, not 14!


#2- If you are looking at camping along the way, then look for a tent that uses walking poles as the frame rather than taking an additional set of poles.  I use the Lanshan 2 person tent and it weighs less than 2lbs in weight.


#3 - Water is probably the heaviest thing you will carry on a hike.  If you know that you will be passing streams, lakes and rivers, then pack a water filter such as the Sawyer Squeeze or Be Free water filter and fill up as you go.


#4 - If you are on the Camino or a similar sort of trip then take something like a Lush Shampoo Bar.  This will wash your clothes, body and hair and one bar will last about a month.  This saves weight rather than packing separate containers.


#5 - Think about your backpack.  I started off with an Osprey 65L pack, and I filled a 65L pack.  I now walk with a much lighter rucksack, the Salomon Out Week 38L, which means I don’t have as much room to put stuff.  A smaller and lighter pack forces you to think about what you are going to take with you.


In all honesty, I could easily talk about this topic for a good hour or so as I have learnt so much over the last few year.  If you have any questions about how to lighten your pack, then simply message me on the Facebook page, or email - i’m happy to help.




Before we go into our finale with “Derek & Doreen” I would like to reveal the soundbite answer from the beginning of the show.  For those of you who guessed an Elk, you would be right!


Elk live 20 years or more in captivity but average 10 to 13 years in the wild.


Only the males have antlers, which start growing in the spring and are shed each winter. The largest antlers may be 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) long and weigh 18 kilograms (40 pounds).


Elk are social animals who live in same-sex herds of 10 to 20 individuals







We are going to end the podcast Derek and Doreen’s latest adventure as venture off to once again see Michael at Cotswold Outdoors… 




Thanks Nigel, how did you do that without laughing?  I was in fits!  By the way, I popped into Cotswold Outdoors last weekend and bumped into Michael, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he was a superstar on our podcast! 

Nigel, I think everyone is in love with Derek & Doreen.  Those of you who are listeners and part of the AG club will recognise some of the traits of these two individuals - I will say no more!  Nigel, I know how much work has been put into these episodes each week and I can’t thank you enough.  It was also your idea to do the podcast in the first place and what a brilliant idea it was.  Cheers mate!


As I draw the podcast to a close, I would like to leave you with this final thought.


Remember that you don’t need to take any notes as we do all that for you. Links to anything that has been mentioned in today’s show can be found at



All that leaves me to say is Get Outside, Get Inspired, Now Go Take A Hike when you can.  In the meantime, be safe.    


See you next week!

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