Hints and Tips
This page provides specific advice for completing the Across Wales Walk and on Long Distance Walking in general. The advice given is based upon my own personal (and relatively limited!) experience, plus that of others who are welcome to contribute. However, it remains the responsibility of individuals to determine their own strategies and the applicability of this advice.
Invariably, the fields of mid-Wales are wet with at least dew and probably rain at approximately 5:30am when walkers first leave the Anchor – Kerry road and progress onto the Kerry Ridgeway. If still dry by Mochdre Brook, then exit from this particularly muddy and difficult stretch will soon change the condition of your feet! Accordingly, if wearing anything less than boots (or wellies!) wet feet are almost inevitable at these early stages. This doesn’t bother some people; most will try to avoid it but with little success. My preference is accept wet feet and, using firm training shoes with a good tread, to change socks at each checkpoint. It’s amazing how better new socks make your feet feel, particularly if you also carry kitchen roll to dry both your feet and the inside of your shoes beforehand. I have found M & S tennis socks to be adequate; newness and condition of the loop-stitch inner is more important than brand in my opinion.
From CP3 – CP4 over Plynlimon, some entrants forward hiking boots to CP3, carrying their lighter footwear for re-use when Nant-Y-Moch is reached. Boots may then be left at CP4 for forwarding to Aberystwyth.
Down to personal preferences here, but mine are as follows:
- Helly Hansen Lifa long-sleeved top
- Rab Summit trousers
- Berhaus PacLite Pant waterproof trousers
- Rab wind shirt
- Helly Hansen old (worn out) but not too thick fleece jacket
- Berghaus Extreme Gor-Tex jacket
If planning to finish after 19:30 – 20:00, the last two miles of the event will be traversed along a potentially dangerous road (no pavement) in darkness. It is recommended that hi-visibility clothing (typically a lightweight tabard) be forwarded to CP5 and worn thereafter. The torch you are required to carry as part of mandatory kit should also be used.
Our best advice is to recce beforehand. If time is limited, try the following potentially tricky areas:
CP1 – 2 in the area of Mochdre brook*.
CP1 – 2 in the mile after Broneirion (after crossing R Severn at Llandinam).
CP2 – 3 between CP2 and the main Llandiloes – Staylittle road.
CP2 -3 between Afon Clywedog and Brithdir.*
CP3: correct path from picnic area (yes many have got on the wrong forest track!)
CP3 -4 via summit of Plynlimon*
CP4 – 5 via Llyn Craig-y-Pistyll.
Those marked * are strongly recommended for investigation.
If you haven’t read it already, take a look at Across Wales Walk: The Hard Truth!
If you have any further suggestions that you would like to share, either relating to the AWW, or long distance walking in general, then please e-mail them to me and I will do my best to publish them here.