'You always start to leave the week before you actually go!' and it's true. I've been busy-on and off, not constantly!- sorting stuff for the trip. A colleague of mine in school came into possession of 64 venison steaks, so four were bought and have been turned into jerky, although half of that has subesequently been eaten. A big batch of chilli has been dehydrated too. I've also been playing around with the Mountain Laurel poncho tarp trying to find a storm worthy pitch. It's handy being small because there's acres of coverage in a low a-frame- I'd be fine in even a heavy down pour. I'm still finding it hard to get it taut though, except in a half pyramid and I'm not sure about using it in strong winds, which the forecast for the Lakes suggests is likely. It's too expensive to risk! The next decision is whether to go for the Gatewood, which should be ok in winds up to about 35 or the Laser Competition. I don't really want to go for an exposed summit camp in high winds-I've spent too many nights hanging onto the tent, so it may end up being an option with the tarp anyway. The next job is to do a test pack of my bag. I'm hoping to cut about a kilogram off my last trip's weight, and I'll try to make a video of what I'm taking.