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5 Tips for Fastpacking Land’s End to John O’Groats

Is fastpacking (running while carrying your kit) Land’s End to John O’Groats on your bucket list? If so, read on for Jon Doolan’s top tips, gained from hard experience!

Tip #1/5 Keep it light

Jon carried an infeasibly small and light bag – which, of course, you need to do if you’re running. His theory is that the more you carry, the less you will enjoy your trip.

I love this tip – I do like to keep my pack light, although I might just draw my ‘too light and therefore not comfortable enough’ line in a different place than Jon. Which brings me to tip #2

Tip #2/5 Don’t bother with a tent

Yes, you read that right! Jon used a bivvy bag rather than a tent. This saved him time in pitching and drying out a tent, and effort in not having to carry it. It also allowed him to sleep in some weird places – watch the YouTube video of our chat if you’d like to know where he most enjoyed sleeping out. It takes all sorts!

“Bus shelters are like a godsend.”

Tip #3/5 Do it in summer

This is Britain, after all!

Tip #4/5 Wear a decent pair of trainers that aren’t going to fall apart

Jon had already run 1,000 miles in his trainers. That’s probably further than the average pair of trainers can cope with, and his did indeed fall apart fairly quickly. Luckily, he had some gaffer tape in his ultra-light pack!

Tip #5/5 Talk to strangers

Jon is an introvert, like me. He gave himself an excuse to talk to people by collecting jokes as he ran. When he was at his lowest points, it was this contact with strangers that lifted his spirits and gave him the impetus to continue.

Bonus tip #6/5 Pace yourself

Jon crossed Cornwall like a bullet but paid for it in tiredness and the state of his feet. Unless you’re going for a record, it’s usually best to pace yourself for long-distance endeavours.

What was the best joke Jon was offered? Watch the YouTube video to find out!

Can you do better? Add your best joke in the comments below.

To find out more about Jon's adventure, check out:

Jon's not just an adventurer - he's also an editor and has done a brilliant job on my two Bucket List books. If you're looking for someone to edit yours, I can highly recommend him.


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