Author Topic: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping  (Read 5631 times)

thisismusic

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Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« on: 09:55:01, 26/02/08 »
Hi,

I'm planning on walking the full length of the Ridgeway at the end of May this year. I'm probably going to start from the Western end. I've found a few campsites along the route, but not enough to stop at one every night, so I'm planning on wilderness camping which is something I've never done before.

Other than camping late and rising early, is there any advice people can give me? It goes without saying (but I'm saying it anyway!) that I'll be keeping the countryside tidy and won't be leaving any mess anywhere!

Any other tips on maps, gear etc would be great. In particular, I need to get myself a lightweight tent. I've considered bivvi bags but the only ones I've found seem to be much more expensive than a lightweight 1 man tent.

Thanks everyone!
ďIt seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty" - David Attenborough

tonyk

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #1 on: 19:03:04, 26/02/08 »
 Main problem with the Ridgway is that it isn't really wilderness,its more like rural farmland.I did a challenge walk along it many years ago but have never backpacked it. You could  try knocking at farmhouse dooors and seeing if they will let you have a pitch for the night.Providing they haven't had trouble off prior walkers I have found most farmers will oblige.Another problem is water,it might be dififcult to find if you are wild camping.

Snowman

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #2 on: 10:52:13, 27/02/08 »
I tend to agree with TonyK regarding wild camping on the Ridgeway.    Itís not really that wild.   As to asking local landowners, you might be lucky but my experience of Oxfordshire landowners is not very positive.    Iíve been chased by cows, walked across large fields with 20 bulls eyeing me up, had to turn back because rights of way have become impassable Ö    When I was doing the Thames Path I even had an Oxfordshire stretch where the local farmer had sent his cows along the narrow towpath making it an appalling mud bath that made Kinder Scout look easy walking.    And youíve seen my comments on the off road usage of the Ridgeway Ė I donít think it would be defamation of character to suggest that the local farmers are partly (though not necessarily wholly) responsible.

Not sure where youíre missing a place to stay, but there are quite a few villages and pubs not far off the path.   You might be able to persuade a pub landlord to let you put a small tent up in his garden so long as you eat at his pub and have a couple of pints.

Also, donít be tempted to stick up your tent anywhere near Chequers.   Nice area, but youíd probably find a dozen armed police officers on your case.    If you donít know, the Ridgeway goes through the grounds of Chequers, and I always have the feeling Iím being watched when Iím using that bit of the path.

Your mention of tents?    I had a bivi bag once and would strongly suggest you forget it.    Theyíre OK if the weather is wonderful, but you donít want to be in one during a summer thunderstorm (this is from experience).   Also remember thereís nowhere to store your gear if it rains, and getting ready for bed if it is raining is not a lot of fun either.    If you really want to go lightweight thereís a number of options here:

http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/

For trekking I use the Golite Lair 2, which weighs a pound (450g plus a bit more for a groundsheet or use an opened up bin bag) and if youíre carrying walking poles you can use one of them to put it up (further reducing weight).    Thereís something nice and unclaustrophobic about an Ďopen-endedí tent.   That, combined with a down 2 season sleeping bag means the camping aspect of a LDP doesnít need to add excessive weight (or volume).   As the Lair 2 is rated as 2-3 person, thereís room to hold a party as well as keep your gear dry.

Enjoy  your walk.

S.






AngelReign

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #3 on: 14:51:39, 13/03/09 »
During wilderness camping, you pitch a tent in the middle of the woods and completely fend for yourself. In other words, it's caveman camping: sleep outside or maybe try to search in some site that are related in your problem...




hootrooster

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #4 on: 00:04:56, 13/04/09 »
My wife and I walked the Ridgeway (well worth it) in August, 2000. We camped wild every night, except for one at Ridgeway hostel. Walking from dawn to dusk we were able to set up late and leave early, no problems. A single tent takes very little space and if you don't make a mess there is no harm done. Of course we didn't camp on cultivated land, though quite close sometimes. You should do fine.

Starling

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #5 on: 11:10:12, 22/04/09 »
Does the Ridgeway still taking small bookings?  Stayed there a couple of times when it belonged to YHA but I think it's private now.

Life is a journey... always take the scenic route

Petra

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #6 on: 21:15:34, 29/06/14 »
Dear Snowman and Thisismusic:
It is now 2014 and I am planning to walk the Ridgeway in early Sept. Do you still think rough camping is difficult due to hostile farmers, etc.? Also, what's your take on weather there in the first two weeks of Sept? Rain all the time? or only sometimes?

On a completely different topic, I am from the USA. Although I am a far-left Democrat, and protested against all the horrible wars Bush got us into, I was wondering if liberal people in Britain have a prejudice against Americans because of the awful things our government has done in the past ten years (and before, unfortunately). I have a feeling not, but am curious to know your opinion.

I grew up in England (only for 4 years of my childhood) in the early 70's and of course it was quite different then. My family would go to B & Bs and we would hear sometimes from the owners that they would not let Germans stay, because of WWII.

roughyed

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #7 on: 13:26:52, 30/06/14 »
Dear Snowman and Thisismusic:
It is now 2014 and I am planning to walk the Ridgeway in early Sept. Do you still think rough camping is difficult due to hostile farmers, etc.? Also, what's your take on weather there in the first two weeks of Sept? Rain all the time? or only sometimes?

On a completely different topic, I am from the USA. Although I am a far-left Democrat, and protested against all the horrible wars Bush got us into, I was wondering if liberal people in Britain have a prejudice against Americans because of the awful things our government has done in the past ten years (and before, unfortunately). I have a feeling not, but am curious to know your opinion.

I grew up in England (only for 4 years of my childhood) in the early 70's and of course it was quite different then. My family would go to B & Bs and we would hear sometimes from the owners that they would not let Germans stay, because of WWII.

September could be nice and sunny and could be raining.  We don't have as well defined periods of weather as other countries!
 
Wouldn't worry about any prejudice, most people will take you for as you are.  Though in the press we mostly see stories about the more republican side of the USA (makes better stories!).

midweekmountain

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #8 on: 13:56:52, 30/06/14 »
Welcome to the UK.

A/wilderness camping, just do it, find a quiet spot late just before dusk, get up early at daylight and leave no rubbish.

B/Weather in britain we tend to have 5 day forecasts which will give you an idea whats going to happen but they are often only accurate 24 hrs in advance sometime not even then.

C/A far left democrat american probably equates to a conservative in the UK, don't think us brits could ever condemn other nations cos we have commited many atrocities ourselves. My experience in the US is that the folks are generally great virtually everyone will try to help you apart from immigration that is.

White Horse Walker

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #9 on: 17:01:24, 04/07/14 »
Petra, I have a B&B and we get quite a few American guests who are B&B-ing all over the place. I've never heard any of them saying anything about having a negative welcome. We don't hold the general public responsible for politicians' errors.  :D

NightJar

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #10 on: 13:48:01, 10/07/14 »
Hi have never done the walk,done a good deal of wild camping two much bull s;;;;;;; talked about it. Totally agree with angel reign.Tent,s in summer i use a small Tarp /water invest in a Sawyer water filtration system they only weigh grams.Politics/that,s why i am a lone walker
must be on the  wrong page?

alewife

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #11 on: 13:53:57, 10/07/14 »

must be on the  wrong page?


Possibly even the wrong forum as I didn't understand a word of that or it's relevance to anything on this thread. But maybe it's just me  :-\ ::)
Alewife


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mike knipe

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Re: Advice on The Ridgeway and Wilderness camping
« Reply #12 on: 14:09:42, 10/07/14 »
I think the gist of Nightjar's contribution was that if you keep it simple you'll have fewer problems about wild camping (e.g. just use a tarp and a filter for your water). And that he/she was agreeing with the single ever-so-slightly confused post by Angelreign from a couple of years ago. Probably correct, too on a route like the Ridgeway. It might be quite a good strategy for those who aren't too bothered about creature comforts and you'd certainly be able to tuck yourself away somewhere discreetly.
Then there was something about politics which I didn't understand but it seemed to say that Nightjar's political views and the way they are expressed (perhaps) is the reason why Nightjar walks alone. I could be wrong.
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