Author Topic: Your best and worst camping night?  (Read 629 times)

gunwharfman

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Your best and worst camping night?
« on: 20:24:38, 21/03/20 »
The best - Difficult to pick out one but lying in my bivi near to the top of a mountain on an incredibly clear night looking up at the stars on La Palma, having just sipped a large brandy from my hip flask, is maybe is my most recent best. Awesome!

The worst - Lots to choose from but I think it was in France a couple of years ago when lightning and thunder were directly overhead, the rain was hammering down and I was camped on the edge of a local football pitch. So scary, I was convinced I was going to become a crisp!!

richardh1905

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #1 on: 08:59:55, 22/03/20 »
Best in recent years was my wild camp on the shores of Loch Coire an Lochan on the northern flanks of Braeriach last June. I found the perfect shoreline pitch in amongst the boulders of a wild mountain corrie 1000m up, and had the place to myself.


Worst was undoubtedly my first ever night under canvas, with my school's Cadet Force, a sloping pitch in Derbyshire in groundsheetless canvas army tents - and the skies opened. The tent floor became a stream, and my US Marines arctic issue down sleeping bag quickly became a sponge. We ended up spending the night shivering in a barn loft, cows below us providing some warmth. It is a wonder I ever went near a tent again.



SteamyTea

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #2 on: 14:16:21, 22/03/20 »
Many good nights, but worse was night of 13th August 1979.
Was camping on the North Cornish Coast.  Wind was so strong I had to keep going out to adjust things.  Eventually it blew away, leaving me to find somewhere to stay at about midnight, in a Force 10.
Went to a large campsite, found loads of people in the bar area and explained my predicament.
They let me in and said, 'find a spot, you are not the only one'.
Next day, realised how bad it was when the news came in about the Fastnet Race.
Never did find my tent, but that is nothing compared to what happened to 15 sailors.
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Rigel

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #3 on: 16:30:33, 22/03/20 »
Too Many places to mention, but probably the French Alps.
« Last Edit: 16:35:06, 22/03/20 by Rigel »

gunwharfman

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #4 on: 20:42:38, 22/03/20 »
I love the photos. I've remembered another bad night, I was camped in my Zephyros One in a small field next to a pub in Buttermere, I think it was next to the Bridge Hotel. It was a very windy night but it wasn't windy all of the time. As I lay in my tent I could hear a loud and increasing ROAR of the wind building up down the valley and I could hear it coming at me like an express train! And then in an instant, my tent and I were totally battered! I really thought that we would be totally demolished, that the tent and I would fly into the sky like Dorothy in the wizard of Oz, the tent kind of flattened itself onto my body and then the wind just stopped, silence for a while and the tent sprung back to its normal shape. This went on all night long! First a period of lull, then the wind roar, then the battering, totally amazing and scary at the same time. By the morning, the wind by now had stopped and I was totally exhausted!

richardh1905

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #5 on: 21:18:28, 22/03/20 »
I love the photos.



As I lay in my tent I could hear a loud and increasing ROAR of the wind building up down the valley and I could hear it coming at me like an express train! And then in an instant, my tent and I were totally battered! I really thought that we would be totally demolished, that the tent and I would fly into the sky like Dorothy in the wizard of Oz, the tent kind of flattened itself onto my body and then the wind just stopped, silence for a while and the tent sprung back to its normal shape. This went on all night long! First a period of lull, then the wind roar, then the battering, totally amazing and scary at the same time.


Thanks.


Experienced exactly the same at Wasdale Head, the small campsite opposite the Inn. But I was in a well pitched Vango Force Ten ridge tent, so I knew that I wouldn't 'do a Dorothy'.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #6 on: 21:23:19, 22/03/20 »

Thanks.


Experienced exactly the same at Wasdale Head, the small campsite opposite the Inn. But I was in a well pitched Vango Force Ten ridge tent, so I knew that I wouldn't 'do a Dorothy'.


I remember Vango Force 10 tents from when I was in the Scouts more than 40 years ago. If I remember correctly they were quite a bright orange colour. I became so used to erecting the tents that I could put one up with my eyes closed in a very short time. I have no idea if they changed over the years.

Birdman

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #7 on: 21:32:40, 22/03/20 »
Best camping night is hard to pick, because I love most of my camps.


The worst one however, is a very easy pick. In 2018 during my PCT-hike I was forced to camp in a burned-down forest in Oregon, USA. Of course I selected an open space without trees, because burnt trees can fall down without notice. The evening started OK, but then the wind picked up and turned into a storm that almost flattened my tent (but it kept bouncing back). However, the real problem was that lots of very fine ash came through the mesh of my tent en collected inside on the floor, in my hair, on my sleepingbag etc. Then with every gust of wind, my groundsheet was lifted by the wind and all ash was thrown into the air and then landed again all over me. That went on the entire night so I didn't get any sleep. At the end of the night everything (including myself) was covered in ash. I packed all my stuff at the first hint of light, but everything was black. My sleepingbag still shows signs of this till this day.
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Owen

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #8 on: 21:34:35, 22/03/20 »
My brother and I set out to climb a peak in Peru, but the weather turned bad on us. We didn't have enough food to sit it out so we hid the gear and headed off down to the town. We stayed there a couple of nights and eat in the local café El Risko's, it could have been there or it could have been some locally made chocolate we brought. We returned to our peak and retrieved the gear, then set out once more upwards. We bived at the end of the moraine, just cowboy camping. The next day we started climbing the glacier. Our route went up this glacier to a ridge where we should have bived again this time in a snowhole we knew had already been dug by some friends of ours. The higher we climbed the slower we went. Then Pete fell to him knees and throw up, he had food poisoning. It would be dark in an hour and we were a long way from the snowhole. We had to just cowboy camp where we were, during the night at that altitude (5500m) it goes down to about -20C. When it's that cold believe me, diarrhoea and sickness is the last thing you want. By morning I was as bad as Pete. All we could do was crawl down and make a slow retreat back to town. Then back to Lima, then home. Turned out to be Dysentery. Definitely the worse camping night I ever had. 

fernman

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #9 on: 22:11:53, 22/03/20 »
Worst night was after walking from Trawsfynydd village to Bwlch Drwys Ardudwy in the Rhinogs where the ground was so saturated that the only dry spot I could find was next to a swollen and roaring stream.
After a bad night's sleep from the noise I raised myself in the morning to discover that I had severe vertigo. Somehow I managed to get myself ready and my kit packed up, stumbling about in the process and throwing up a couple of times.
Then I had a two miles walk down to a couple of farms, during which I was sick again and I got soaked from falling over a few times on the wet ground.
Luckily someone was home at the first farm I reached and they called a taxi for me. It cost me £50 to be taken back to my car because I was now on the wrong side of the mountain mass. (Driving myself was not a problem, I am OK when sitting in the seat.)

Best night? There have been so many, when it didn't rain, there was a mild breeze to minimise condensation, the ground was soft and level, and I slept blissfully, to wake to the most glorious morning views. Which is why I keep doing it! 

richardh1905

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #10 on: 22:16:05, 22/03/20 »
I remember Vango Force 10 tents from when I was in the Scouts more than 40 years ago. If I remember correctly they were quite a bright orange colour.

You can still buy the same tents from https://www.blacksofgreenock.co.uk/27-force-ten-classics

Brilliant tents - my Mk4 lasted in excess of 3 decades. Great for short winter 'boot of the car' camping trips, but weigh a ton though, so not first choice for backpacking!


ninthace

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #11 on: 22:31:48, 22/03/20 »
I had something similar made by Cabanon.  Very innovative at the time (mid 60s) - down to the earth flysheet, sewn in groundsheet, only one guy rope, rubber loops everywhere else that slowly got replaced by circles cut from car inner tube.  It stood everything nature threw at it but you wouldn't want to carry it on your own - built like a brick dunny and weighed about the same.
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Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #12 on: 22:53:25, 22/03/20 »
You can still buy the same tents from https://www.blacksofgreenock.co.uk/27-force-ten-classics

Brilliant tents - my Mk4 lasted in excess of 3 decades. Great for short winter 'boot of the car' camping trips, but weigh a ton though, so not first choice for backpacking!
The Classic Mark 3 appears to be very similar to what we used on patrol camps. For larger camps we had large 14 foot ridge tents of canvas, with a separate awning pitched at the rear for a kitchen / dining area.

Islandplodder

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #13 on: 08:32:22, 23/03/20 »
I was given a Vango force 10 for my 11th birthday.  It was my pride and joy, but I was a bit young to take full advantage of it.  I had three older brothers who kept borrowing it, it went round the world without me.  It's best adventure was probably in the Himalayas.   The best night I can remember when I actually managed to get hold of it was Glen Affric one Easter in the early 70's, we woke to a glorious blue sky and unexpected snow round the tent and not a soul in sight.  That was my first trip north of the Great Glen, which is a bit ironic really, as for the next few months I am unlikely to be able to venture south of it!

SteamyTea

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Re: Your best and worst camping night?
« Reply #14 on: 10:53:22, 23/03/20 »
I dreamed of a Force 10, it was the A Frame that did it for me, hated struggling around the pole in the entrance to my cheap lookalike.

So all we want is one as good, that takes 2 people and weighs less than a Kilogram.
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