Guidebook to fastpacking - multi-day running trips carrying the bare essentials - in the UK, Europe and beyond. Includes 12 route ideas (all tried and tested), fastpacking stories from around the world (featuring Jez Bragg, Anna Frost and Jasmin Paris), and invaluable tips and tricks to help you prepare for your own running adventure.



Fastpacking route ideas in England, Scotland, Wales, Europe and Nepal. Inspiring stories of multi-day running adventures in the UK, Europe, USA and Asia.


Fastpacking is for all trail runners. Suggested routes range from easy to challenging, with distances and locations varying widely - from two day trips to two week trips, following routes such as the South Downs Way (high point: 270m) to Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (high point: 2525m)
16 Oct 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.2cm
  • Overview

    Guidebook to fastpacking - multi-day running trips carrying the bare essentials - in the UK, Europe and beyond. Includes 12 route ideas (all tried and tested), fastpacking stories from around the world (featuring Jez Bragg, Anna Frost and Jasmin Paris), and invaluable tips and tricks to help you prepare for your own running adventure.

    A summary of each route idea is provided, together with mapping and a gradient profile, as well as highlights, tips and 'tales from the trail'. Invaluable practical information is also included, covering everything you need to know to prepare and plan for a trip: training, accommodation options, safety, equipment, apparel, nutrition, hydration and more.

    The route ideas and stories featured showcase an impressive range of fastpacking opportunities, both in the UK and abroad. From mountain hut hopping trips, bothy discovery tours and wild camping expeditions, the inspirational tales and selected trails are guaranteed to entice 'everyday' runners to try their hand at a multi-day journey, be it in the Brecon Beacons, Bhutan or beyond.

  • Contents

    Welcome to the world of fastpacking
    How fit do I need to be?
    How do I train for fastpacking?
    The different styles of fastpacking
    Where to stay
    Where should I go fastpacking?
    Key considerations when choosing a route
    How to get started
    What to take
    Tips for staying happy and healthy
    Inspiration: Stories from the world of multi-day running
    A Pennine passage
    Solo in the Sierras
    Fishermen’s friends
    To the lighthouse
    Hut-to-hut on high, wild trails
    Roman run
    The fastpack journals
    A great British adventure
    In the Land of the Thunder Dragon
    Following in the footsteps of spring
    On the way
    Seven go running
    Routes: Twelve tried-and-tested fastpacking routes
    United Kingdom
    Route 1 Brecon Beacons
    Route 2 Snowdonia
    Route 3 South Downs Way
    Route 4 Dartmoor
    Route 5 Cumbria Way
    Route 6 Wainwright’s Coast to Coast
    Route 7 West Highland Way
    Route 8 Knoydart
    Route 9 Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
    Route 10 Dolomites Alta Via 1
    Route 11 Alpine Pass Route
    Route 12 Manaslu Mountain Trail Race

    Appendix A Further information and reading
    Appendix B Gear list

  • Updates
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    Dec 2018

    Route 8: Access to the Knoydart route is affected by the following landslide.

  • Reviews
    An accessible introduction to an activity that’s a lot less intimidating than I’d previously assumed.

    The West Highland Way, South Downs Way, Alpine Pass Route – you may think you know these classic long-distance trails, but in this slim volume, packed with spectacular photos and tales from the trail, runner Lily Dyu introduces the concept of fastpacking.

    The idea is simple: if you’re a backpacker, go faster. If you’re a runner, go further.

    It sits somewhere on the nebulous spectrum that also includes ultramarathons and ultralight backpacking, but I think the benefit of the ‘fastpacking’ label is that it’s a bit less intimidating than something with ‘ultra’ in the title. As the author writes in the book’s introduction: ‘Put simply, fastpacking is the hybrid of running, hiking and backpacking. It’s the art of moving fast and light on multi-day trail running journeys.’

    If you often find yourself relishing the big miles when backpacking then a multi-day running trip could be for you. This author does a fantastic job of stripping away concerns and preconceptions, offering no-nonsense practical advice. For example, the introduction includes a wealth of information covering most of the questions newbies are likely to have, such as how to train, how fit you need to be (‘slowing down is the secret to multi-day running’), where to sleep, the difference between supported and unsupported fastpacking, and much more. There’s a decent chunk of info about bothies, which are invaluable for fastpacking in the Highlights. Also included are useful tips on how to find routes suitable for fastpacking, and a big section on gear (which has much in common with lightweight backpacking gear, with a few important differences).

    The other two sections are all about inspiration and route ideas. The inspiration section includes twelve stories from the world of multi-day running. Collectively they do a great job of weaving a realistic picture of fastpacking for the reader – both the highs and the lows! I particularly enjoyed ‘Solo in the Sierras’, a story of fastpacking the John Muir Trail by Olly Stephenson. And the routes section is great too. There are twelve mapped routes along with key info, top tips, and mini ‘tales from the trail’ that help to ground each route with a story. These are great little vignettes that provide an insight into the pleasures and perils of long-distance running.

    Fastpacking by Lily Dyu is an accessible introduction to an activity that’s a lot less intimidating than I’d previously assumed. Highly recommended if you’ve ever felt the pull of bigger miles and a lighter load.

    Alex Roddie, TGO magazine

    An excellent introduction to Fastpacking

    What-packing? Fast who? You may well ask. What started life as a niche within the already-niche ultralight US backpacking scene has blossomed in recent years into an activity in its own right. The love child of trail running and overnight backpacking, it's all about adventurous runners going fast, light and self-sufficient on multi-day mountain journeys. We're not talking races here - fastpacking is nothing to do with competition but all about the experience.

    This attractive little pocket guide from Brecon Beacons-based runner Lily Dyu is an excellent introduction to the discipline. Kicking off with tips on gear and general approach, it then launches into a series of stories from the trail which aim to inspire as much as inform. Jasmin Paris and Konrad Rawlik take on the Pennine Way in winter, just for laughs; Jez Bragg goes hut-to-hut around Monte Rosa; Anna Frost leads a running group through Bhutan. It's interesting stuff, and sure to give you itchy feet. By way of scratching that itch, the book concludes with 12 largely UK-based fastpacking route ideas, each of which gets quality mapping, a detailed description and its own 'tale from the trail', a short narrative account that gives a good idea of the experience to be had. These mostly seem a suitable length and difficulty to be run over the allotted timeframe with overnight gear on your back, though a 15km 2-dayer in Dartmoor did stand out as slightly unambitious (it's a route I'd expect to slow-walk in about 5 hours).

    Whether you're a backpacker looking to up your pace (and fast doesn't imply running all of it!) or a runner in search of bigger adventures, Fastpacking is a great place to start.

    UK Hillwalking:

    A book trail runners will love - Trail Running magazine

    A book after our own heart here at Trail Running. It’s devoted to inspiring you to run some of the most amazing long distance trails here in the UK or further afield in amazing locations in the Alps.

    Fastpacking is all about covering distance at speed, carrying everything you need for such an adventure. The runs have all completed by some pretty handy trail runners, so all you need to worry about is the weather! There’s everything you need to know from where to find local Eccles cakes to perfect campsites or mountain huts to set up camp in on your journey.

    Produced by Cicerone, this is superbly written book by great experts who know what the reader needs. Not for nothing Cicerone leads the way in this market and is regarded as the authority to turn to in when it comes to mapping out adventure runs and inspiring walks worldwide.

    Great little introduction to Fastpacking...​

    ...spells out what gear you need, where and how to do it and most importantly, why you'd do it. Some excellent suggestions for fastpacking adventures, and nice little vignette stories from past adventures.

    Mark Rainsley, Amazon review

    A great gift for any adventurous runners.

    Exactly the mid-autumn motivation boost I was hoping for! Part guidebook, part adventure stories this little book will give anybody who likes long running journeys a pile of inspiration. The stories are brief but give you enough to make you want to head there yourself, the route suggestions give accurate route descriptions, distances and tips. Would be a great gift for any adventurous runners.

    Clare, by email

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