By: Blonde Two

Whilst doing Ten Tors pre challenge photos last Saturday morning (how many photo shoots have you been to at 6.30 in the morning?), I happened to notice something rather strange in the boots of one of our more experienced lads.  Upon further investigation, I discovered that he had, rather sensibly, put Tescos bags inside his boots before putting them on.  Sadly, I don’t think that this would have kept his feet dry through the waist deep rivers they were crossing but it was a great idea.

A great idea, and a great example of hill walkers using things for purposes other than those for which they were intended (I think that sentence makes sense, let me know if you need a translation).  One favourite that I have never utilised myself is the use of a cut off pair of old tights over the head to protect from those mean old Scottish midges.  Blonde Warning – there are obvious pre-laundering implications for this usage!  A little known advantage of this homemade midge protection suit is that it gives almost everyone else on the campsite a whole evening of mirth and entertainment.

Blonde One laughs at me because, avoiding the extra weight of a purse, I usually carry a ten pound note in my pocket wrapped in cling film for protection.  Let me tell you that despite Blonde One’s teasing, this method does work – in fact, I once recovered a tenner safely from a 30 degree “family” wash.  Cling film is a useful thing to have with you at lots of times – if you are going to carry toilet paper off the moor with you (obviously I use moss) then a piece of cling film in your pocket is a god-send (although it doesn’t flush well and you must be careful not to get it muddled up with the tenner at the cafe).  A small roll of cling film with its ability to flex and protect is also recommended by some people as an essential first aid tool.

Tampons are also multi talented creatures (must be the tail).  I was once taught to slice them up to deal with mouth wounds and other small bleeds – let me tell you that, having tried out of curiosity, slicing a tampon in the middle of nowhere is pretty difficult to do.  By the time I had achieved a wedge, it was so mucky that you would not want to put it near any type of wound.  I have, however, used a tampon very successfully to transfer fire from one Trangia (meths stove) to another (not recommended in the Duke of Edinburgh safety video).  This too gave us much hilarity and the laughing warmed us up as much as the hot chocolate did.

One of our Blondette friends mentioned using cat litter in the bottom of a bucket for an emergency camper van toilet.  Having spent wobbly night-time moments when our kids were little , perched on an already filling bucket of wee, I can see that this might be a good idea.  If anyone else has good (or silly) examples of ordinary things being used in an unusual way when out and about, please do share …