Author Topic: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?  (Read 2930 times)

gunwharfman

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Lots of people have expressed the desire to do it, I wonder how many followed it through?

The information more or less confirmed what I do anyway, I don't pitch until nearly dark, I sleep, get up early and move on. No one as yet, as far as I know, has ever known that I was there.

I use the same equipment, clothing, tent etc that I use on a site, so have not done any special purchases. I do ensure though that I have plenty of water, some food and battery power, for head light, back up torch and phone, there's rarely a street light on my wild camps.

In my case I prefer a bivvy and tarp when wild camping, makes me feel I'm more in control.

And in my case I prefer to camp on the edge of a field (no animals in it of course) and do not seek out woodland settings.

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #1 on: 21:44:00, 20/09/20 »
Intend to do more when properly equipped, so far only done a one night reccie to see if i like it (i do). 


Learning points.


1 i need a longer tent, 2.0m isnt big enough to lie down in without touching the ends
2. Take a roll mat, the ground is very uncomfortable.  Looking for a Klymit o zone.
3. Do not pitch in woodland.  All the twigs falling keeps the dog, and hence me, awake most of the night.
4. Dont walk 30 miles before pitching.
5. Was excellent fun and probably better after sorting first 4 points out of course.
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

richardh1905

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #2 on: 22:10:14, 20/09/20 »
Well 2020 certainly has been the year of wild camping for me. I have sporadically wild camped in the past, a few decades ago, in the Pyrenees and the north of Scotland, and more recently on Orkney clifftops and in that Cairngorms, but since the end of lockdown I've really gone for it, regularly camping in beautiful remote locations on the Lakeland fells.


I've camped a lot on campsites in the past, so the only things that I have had to buy specifically for wild camping are a 4 season one man tent and a water filter. And I do intend to carry on camping into the winter.
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Mel

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #3 on: 22:29:48, 20/09/20 »
Iíve not done it yet but when I do, I expect to learn:
 
I wonít be able to sleep.
When you godda go, you godda go.
A twig cracking, a rustle or snuffle will actually be truly terrifying.
I should probably have taken my stove because:
 - a pot noodle, some squishy cheese and crackers and a fruity/nutty flapjack will not be a substantial enough meal; and
 - my flask wonít stay hot for 12 hours (you can never drink too much tea); so..
I will need to invest in a water filter.
No matter how cozy my sleeping bag is or how many layers I wear, I will be cold.
I will have started my period during the night and have no lady provisions (ha! that's summat you fellas don't have to think about innit?!!).
I will open my tent door the next morning and find Iím surrounded by cattle.
There will be a slug in my mug.
 

Islandplodder

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #4 on: 08:21:10, 21/09/20 »
I was really surprised how well i slept.
When you godda go you don't have to go far, you are already in the middle of nowhere, and I once caught a spectacular sunrise.
I was ok with snuffles but had a rude awakening by a barn owl until I worked out what it was. No wonder they are associated with the dark arts.
I got better at water planning.
I was lucky in finding tea early on, but I was cycling, so there were cafťs and village shops and things. Might have to invest in a stove, might be on wish list, but don't want to carry it.
Too old for lady provisions, but I don't remember it as too much of a problem in my youth so was either lucky or prepared.
Was lucky with slugs, but kept mug in the tent where slugs didn't get.




richardh1905

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #5 on: 09:05:29, 21/09/20 »
I should probably have taken my stove because:
 - a pot noodle, some squishy cheese and crackers and a fruity/nutty flapjack will not be a substantial enough meal; and
 - my flask wonít stay hot for 12 hours (you can never drink too much tea); so..
I will need to invest in a water filter.

As you are probably aware, I don't take a stove, Mel (might do in the depths of winter, though). Oatcakes and cheese or squirty vegetarian pate do make a substantial meal, especially if supplemented with dried fruit and nuts, and a chocolate treat at the end of the meal (oatcakes can easily be in excess of 400kcal/100g, so nothing insubstantial about them).

And who needs tea when you can have a sip of peaty water for breakfast?  :)
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gunwharfman

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #6 on: 09:55:15, 21/09/20 »
Re: 'when you godda go!' Being a bloke I don't have too much trouble when needing a pee. I do remember however, my very first wild camp, I came out of a pub on the Cotswold Way, walked to the local cricket pitch and erected my tent to the side of the pavillion. I woke in the night definately needing to go, so I got out my Uriwell ( for me a great purchase!) and then discovered that I could pee whilst lying down horizontally! I didn't know this until then. Camping is so much easier now.  :)

On my Stevenson Way trip I also realised that it was not a good idea to fill my water bladder and then leave it lying just outside near my head. I got such a fright when, in the dark I heard the sound of water burbling and then discovering that mice were running and bouncing back and forth over it. I stopped that practice from then on.

When I'm wild camping I like to have something at my back like a large rock, fence or wall, just adds to my feeling of security.

If I feel the need for a bit of front facing security I carry a roll of fishing line with me and on a couple of occasions I have strung it across some trees at about knee height, attached to a cheap Amazon 'rape alarm 'just in case' I'm disturbed. I never have been disturbed yet. I also use a 'rape alarm' when I'm in my bivvy, I just attach to me and my rucksack, again its a 'just in case' gadget to deter anyone who might want to steal it in the dark. Its never happened though. So very simple to do and the line and the 'rape alarms' only weigh a couple of ounces and can be used over and over again.

forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #7 on: 10:31:39, 21/09/20 »
My 2020 plans were to do some more long distance trails, and wild camp more (with less kit with me) - and I haven't really done the former as much as I intended, but I've done the latter plenty.


Stuff I've learned (not particularly this year but in general):


- Keep pairing back kit.  Don't just pack things because you 'always do', look at the forecast and try to pair it back without being too optimistic.
- A decent bag, warm sleeping mat + a inflating pillow are things I've not once regret purchasing.
- Ask yourself 'what amount of my trip am I using this for' unless it has a secondary purpose.
- If you're cold or hungry you'll get miserable.  At a minimum, pack a warm layer and a bit of extra food.
- If you haven't used kit in 2-3 years perhaps you should look to sell it on
- Not quite at the 'no cook 100% tarp life' just yet though I do it for 1-night trips now.  I can't justify the weight 'savings' when the comfort compromise just doesn't feel worth it and my alcohol stove is super tiny/light. 
- If you've just started wild camping and struggle with relaxing with the new sounds disrupting your ability to relax, bring a tiny iPod with something to listen to (or use your phone if you have a battery pack to keep it charged up).  I started off with an iPod but found myself using a Kindle so that even if it's absolutely blowing a gale and I can't sleep, I'll be able to read something as I gradually fall asleep.
- Rubbish/hygiene needs thinking about and the more streamlined this is the more I find I enjoy my trip.
- Hammocks are awesome and am keen to do more of this kind of camping




For anyone just considering doing it - go for it. 

fernman

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #8 on: 10:50:37, 21/09/20 »
Re. godda go, I always designate a specific area to use about 30 ft away from the tent, something like a particular clump of rushes, and I go there every time. My theory is that as it's Wales there will soon be rain that will restore the ecology. Another thought is that the sheep go everywhere so I'm not going to make much difference. The spot usually stands out if I have to go in the dark, though that 30 ft might become a bit shorter if it's blowing and raining!

But a little warning for other men - I don't *think* this applies to the ladies, but you never know! - make sure you stand with the wind behind you  :) .

ninthace

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #9 on: 13:50:34, 21/09/20 »
Re. godda go, I always designate a specific area to use about 30 ft away from the tent, something like a particular clump of rushes, and I go there every time. My theory is that as it's Wales there will soon be rain that will restore the ecology. Another thought is that the sheep go everywhere so I'm not going to make much difference. The spot usually stands out if I have to go in the dark, though that 30 ft might become a bit shorter if it's blowing and raining!

But a little warning for other men - I don't *think* this applies to the ladies, but you never know! - make sure you stand with the wind behind you  :) .
I presume it is the same for ladies - spray may be less of an issue but if there is a sudden gust while crouching, better to fall forward away from it than backwards into it.
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Islandplodder

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #10 on: 14:09:15, 21/09/20 »
As the knees get older, I have become an advocate of the pee-stone. Sit on the edge of it, and you don't fall anywhere, and if you have a jacket on you can retain a modicum of discretion and modesty.

vizzavona

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #11 on: 14:15:59, 22/09/20 »
I have never been a user of the term 'wild camping' except maybe when our tent was blown flat in Glen Rosa on Arran or during a camp at the top end of Fionn Loch during a very gusty night but on that occasion the weather was dry. :)
When I first got interested in travelling amongst the hills and got myself a copy of the listings of where the big hills in Scotland were located the additional information included was the details of where the nearest hotels relevant to where each of the summits could be accessed. Well clearly as a person just out of school hotels were not an option for overnights and carrying my tent was the early choice for accommodation. Later, when likeminded folks were encountered Hostels, club cottages and bothies gave us additional options in some of the areas when staying out overnight.
The use of a tent became 'just camping' and visits to the area of Loch Coruisk and to a camp beside Fuar Loch Mor in the Fisherfield forest felt possibly as remote as any in GB.
Our tent was taken to Europe where when following the GR routes on Corsica and on others in mainland France and an early model tent was used on a Glacier in Greenland.
Don't really know where the wild camping stuff came from but it could be the folks that write up stuff for the glossy magazines.?
More seriously the rush to experience this type of camping has caused more than a few problems with shoddy practices being used in the hills up here.


Birdman

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #12 on: 15:01:26, 22/09/20 »
No matter how cozy my sleeping bag is or how many layers I wear, I will be cold.


If this is the case, probably the insulation value of your mattress is insufficient. Invest in a good one!
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Birdman

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #13 on: 15:03:54, 22/09/20 »
Because of %$$# Covid-19, I have only spent 5 nights wild camping this year, which is really depressing Angry
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Little Foot

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #14 on: 09:43:50, 24/09/20 »
Well, I bought all the gear ready for a trip up Scotland this year for a bit of wild camping but it never happened. I did go to a campsite for two nights in the Dales, hiking from the train station to our destination carrying most of the gear for myself and my son, and we survived although for once, didnít bring enough to eat without buying elsewhere, but at least I know I can lug my kit.


Although I am comfortable with most of my gear (need a better cooking set), and reckon I could cope for a few nights, it is the thought of not finding somewhere suitable to camp that scares me the most. I actually feel better about going up to Scotland to do it than anywhere in England. I guess Iíd hate to go up a huge hill in a place like the lakes and find out there wasnít a spot to pitch as night draws in.


Part of my feelings could be because I donít have a car. I passed my test years ago but got made redundant and got rid after driving it only 3 times. Now I feel out of practice so want refresher lessons before even considering going on the road. If I did get a car at least Iíd have a safety net to go back to, should I not find a spot, or the weather turns.



Iíve not done it yet but when I do, I expect to learn:
 
I wonít be able to sleep.
When you godda go, you godda go.
A twig cracking, a rustle or snuffle will actually be truly terrifying.
I should probably have taken my stove because:
 - a pot noodle, some squishy cheese and crackers and a fruity/nutty flapjack will not be a substantial enough meal; and
 - my flask wonít stay hot for 12 hours (you can never drink too much tea); so..
I will need to invest in a water filter.
No matter how cozy my sleeping bag is or how many layers I wear, I will be cold.
I will have started my period during the night and have no lady provisions (ha! that's summat you fellas don't have to think about innit?!!).
I will open my tent door the next morning and find Iím surrounded by cattle.
There will be a slug in my mug.


haha! Iíll probably be exactly the same!