1. Buy a very cheap head-torch.
Hebden Bridge - December 1990.
Yes, we actually got lost in Hebden Bridge - Not a very complicated town you would have thought.
It goes like this:
Following an epic struggle over Gorple and some other tussocks and a long stagger through the woods of Hardcastle Crags, it went dark.
So Denis - ever resourceful, pulls out the new headtorch fresh off the ship from Hong Kong. Beautiful yellow plastic case it had. He switches it on and transfers to the easy road walking through Heptonstall and on down towards a festive Hebden Bridge.
It has to be noted, that despite the season, Hebden Bridge's street lights are deficient at certain crucial strategic junctions where you might accidentally wander into a back alley. Suddenly, and incomprehensibly, its very very dark and Denis (bless him) appears to be tangled up in the contents of somebody's washing line.
A local dog, which had obviously been lurking somewhere nearby, takes exception and makes a noisy attack. Luckily the dog is just as much of a coward as me and keeps just out of boot-reach. The noise, however, alerts the local neighbourhood washing-line watch and curtains start to twitch, revealing a very nice Christmas tree and a large bloke in a vest and tattoos.
We escape to the bus stop. As Denis puts his rucksac in that luggage space place that buses have, then we all notice a large pair of y-fronts decorating the lid. The bus driver, ex-diplomat, obviously, doesn't mention it.
© Mike Knipe. Mike Knipe is an experienced outdoor enthusiast, walk leader and writer who has worked with Durham County Council and English Nature (aka Natural England).
Other articles by Mike Knipe on go4awalk.com include: The Mike Knipe Column, The Art of Getting Lost . . . , How to start Peak Bagging . . . , How to sound like a walking expert . . . (writing as Gnasher the Dog) and Is That A Mitt In Your Pocket - Or Are You Just Pleased To See Me?