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EATING & DRINKING

Top tips for a top tramp

By society editor Wolfgang Bang

Posted February 08, 2014
tramping
Tramp on! Cornwall offers some great tramping. Note the placky bag for empties. © Ignatius Rake

Nothing beats drinking in the great outdoors. But what can you do to maximise your tramping experience? Seasoned tramper Wolfgang Bang has some handy pointers.


Everyone should tramp1 and enjoy the great outdoors.

Hell, it's the sport of both the inebriate and the health conscious.

To be a truly fit outdoor imbiber, you need to follow a few simple steps to get the most of the great bar of nature, so we at the Rake & Herald have compiled a few pointers to get you staggering along like Boy Scouts with a bag of industrial glue under their noses.


1) BOOOOOZE!
Pick the poison of your choice, something full of flavour and suitable for the season.

If it's winter, for example, a dark malty beer or porter from a local brewery will send those chills scurrying away.

I prefer BSA Piled Arms.

It's got the flavour and the added bonus of proclaiming that you either like classic British motorcycles, guns or both.

Expect local farmers to give you shooting rights or the Sons of Anarchy to give you kudos for drinking miles from anywhere when it's hammering down.

In summer, a proper lager or Indian pale ale (IPA) can aid you as you swagger abroad like a chimp with a twisted ankle, though a decent cider like Natch cuts both the heat and the brain cells down to size.

Cheers!


2) QUANTITY
Shitloads.

Fill a rucksack with suds and don't complain about the weight.

It's going to get lighter rapidly.

An average tramp will see you drinking approximately 3.5 cans per mile so take your route and your boozing seriously.

We have managed seven-mile rugged coastal walks through inclines that would put alpine passes to shame in our native Cornwall.

Sun, sea, cirrhosis and foaming ecstasy in a bottle.

And there's a pub at the end of it.

Hurry up!

This beer won't drink itself!


3) RESPONSIBLE TRAMPING
And before we part, we ask our cherished and beloved readers to follow the Drunkerycide Code:


• No litter;

• Put your empties in a spare placky bag to dispose of later; and

• Be polite to all and sundry.


Give tramping an aura of genteel sophistication, like having a gaggle of tipsy David Nivens in Motorhead T-shirts and huge boots gaily pointing out items of interest amongst the natural landscape.

Remember, it's a wide world out there and its best appreciated with a tramp.

To your health, sir/madam!


See also Virtual Trouser tramps to Drenge, posted 12/8/13, and Boyhole fingered for drink drag race, posted 27/1/14.


Wolfgang Bang
is a former skate punk who dropped the skateboard but remains reliably enraged by various aspects of modern culture. His oaths and verbal abuse still echo around the fashionable Portobello Road area of West London. His hobbies include long-range outdoor drinking, cooking and modern history. He spends much of his time in a hedge with an air rifle, waiting for the rabbits of mass media to pop out of their burrows and graze on the sweet grass of empty promises.


Footnote

1) The term tramping is derived from the expression 'a tramp's breakfast', which the South Cornwall Association of Tramping (SCAT), the world governing body for all outdoor alcoholic pursuits, defines as "an al-fresco alcoholic treat enjoyed straight from the can or bottle". Simultaneously an art, a sport and a science, the basics of tramping involve the consumption of a number of these portable refreshments along or on or in the highways, byways, benches, bus shelters, fields, footpaths, bridle paths and beaches to be found primarily, although certainly not exclusively, in such rural parts as Cornwall, the spiritual home of the Rake & Herald.

Tramping has a long history, dating back to at least the time of the Druids. While some believe Phoenician tin traders first brought tramping to Cornwall, others argue that its roots stretch back even further, to First Dynasty Egypt and possibly even Atlantis and Mu. Consequently, tramping is steeped in tradition, ritual and lore, such as 'First Cracking', which requires the assembled trampers, or 'tramps', to crack open their first cans/bottles, or 'tramps', and toast the Spirit of the Tramp with a communal declaration of "Tramp on!" The tramps must then clink their tramps, raise them to their lips and throw back their heads to receive the inaugural mouthful of trampjuice, or 'tramp'. At this point, the tramp is officially afoot.

As is the case with many ancient rites, tramping is heavily intertwined with music, with oure cherished and beloved readers strongly advised to read this article for an overview of some of the more famous tramping songs, or 'tramps', that have been handed down from one generation of tramps to the next. Fortunately, tramping is not solely confined to Cornwall, as evidenced by the following video for Backwaters by Derbyshire noise duo Drenge, embedded here on the Rake & Herald from Noisy's YouTube channel. Tramp on!





Further reading

A Concise History of Tramping by Jedd Pengelly, 1862, Tramp Press Books, Trethurgy.

The Practice, Lore and Rites of the Most Noble and Ancient Art of the Tramp by Mad Ron Tregunna, 1973, Kernow Bleddy Press, Pendeen.

Pissing in a Hedge by Shitty Bag Woman, 2012, Arquebus & Arseholes, Stenalees.



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