Patch progress

A quick update on how Patch is doing. We took her to the vet yesterday and he’s very happy with her. The wound is healing remarkably quickly. There’s no sign of infection or irritation and no excess fluid beneath the wound. There’s no impairment of movement. We can’t take her for a walk until the stitches are removed in ten days time. Understandably, she’s a bit nervous of being touched, but likes her tummy being tickled. We are amazed (and delighted) at how quickly she is recovering. 

We have been in touch with the owners of the dog who attacked her. They assure us they will be taking measures to prevent a reoccurrence. We haven’t reported the incident to the police. We don’t want the dog to be at risk of being put down. It’s really down to the owners to manage it properly. We are just glad that it wasn’t any worse. Jack Russells are very resilient!

Lucky to be alive

It was all going so well. We were on a short break holiday at a cottage in Sussex. We were on another lovely country walk with our dog, Patch. We were on a public footpath and had just passed a house with an open garden. Out of nowhere a large black Labrador came running towards us. 

Before we knew what was happening, it had bitten Patch on the back of the neck. She was squealing like a pig. Fortunately, the Lab let go and my wife picked up Patch. The owners were very apologetic. We only realised the size of the wound when we put her on a table to look at her. 

The Lab owner drove us to the vet and said he’d pay the bill. As luck would have it, we were seen almost immediately. Jack Russells have a roll of fat on the back of their necks and this is probably what saved her. The bite had gone through the fat but not into the muscle and nerves of the neck. If it had, it would have been much worse, perhaps life threatening. Miraculously there was hardly any bleeding either, as no blood vessels had been touched. 

We had to leave her at the vet’s. Three hours later we retrieved her, stitched up and a bit woozy. The nurse had been giving food to the other dogs and Patch wanted some, so we knew she must be OK. Jacks never turn down food! 

Needless to say my wife and I were both very upset, so we decided to drive back home in the evening. Home is the best place for us all to get over this. It all happened so quickly; I don’t think we could have done anything to stop it. We feel very lucky that Patch should recover fully as it could have been much worse. 

She’s had a good night’s sleep. She’s still a bit confused from the anaesthetic, but she’s eating. No walks for a few days and we need to make sure she doesn’t scratch the stitches. At the moment she’s resting in bed number two by the window. 

MYOG ULA Ohm removable shock cord top straps


Yet another tweak on the ULA Ohm. Two removable shock cord top straps. Very easy to do, I used two side release cord locks and two glove hooks with some shock cord. The trouble with a single webbing strap is that anything attached is a bit unstable. The shock cord stabilises a tent or stuff sack. They are removable if they are not needed. I’m looking forward to using my modified Ohm. Unfortunately, there won’t be an opportunity until the end of June.


GG Mariposa new shoulder strap webbing

I visited my mum today. She is an ace seamstress and I persuaded her to replace the webbing on the shoulder straps of my Gossamer Gear Mariposa. Sometimes the webbing has slipped under tension, so I replaced it with a coarser weave webbing, which shouldn’t slip. Very pleased with mum’s sewing. Took about five minutes. 

MYOG rucksack shoulder strap pads

I’ve been making again!

Many moons ago, I made some shoulder strap pads for my Golite Quest pack mid trip because the straps were bruising my collar-bone. While I didn’t have any real problems on Dartmoor with soreness from the Exped Thunder, the straps are a bit thin for my liking. They also wick water badly when it’s raining. If you’re wearing Paramo, this wicks through under pressure. An impervious shoulder pad should get rid of this issue. Thus, the shoulder pad has a dual use.


It was very easy to make. I used a cutoff of a closed cell mat, some Velcro and some Duck tape. Originally I was going to just stick the Velcro on, but I thought sewing it would be more secure. I used wide stitches to avoid pulling through the foam. If I were to do it again, I think I’d sew it onto a strip of grosgrain.


On the flip side, I used a length of Duck tape to secure the Velcro strips.


Despite not being shaped, they fit neatly underneath the shoulder straps. Using Velcro means they can be attached without unthreading the harness, unlike the ZPacks version. It also means it’s very easy to reposition the pad. I’m pleased with the outcome.


About this time last year, I went on a rather wonderful pre-TGO Challenge  “Daunder” in the sunny Chilterns. Today, I had planned to join the 2016 Daunder in the northern Pennines. Unfortunately, my wife is struggling with her health, so I’ve had to stay at home. The weather looks like it’s going to be a chilly and possibly snowy Daunder, in contrast to last year. Even so, I was looking forward to going.  Hey-Ho! So this year, no Daunder, no TGO Challenge. Due to various commitments, the next window for a walk is the end of June. All a bit disappointing ☹️. 

another backpacking blog


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