Author Topic: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?  (Read 2880 times)

fernman

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #15 on: 18:03:00, 24/09/20 »
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.

Be assured you will find spots to pitch, these places, Scotland and the Lakes, abound in them.

Look at the Dover to Cape Wrath walk on wildwalking.uk, he wild camped for 52 nights all the way, some of them in rather populous areas. I must admit that while some of the pitches were rather public, such as beside towpaths, etc., he was usually up and away before anyone was about.

The most important thing to me is level and dry grass, ideally long enough to give your ground mat a bit of cushioning. Then you want water nearby, shelter from wind, and some privacy. A plus is where you can pitch facing east to get the morning light, while a big bonus is something you can sit on, like a rock, a log or just a bank you can dangle your legs down.

Avoid anywhere that's sloping even a little, is a bit squelchy underfoot, or has lumpy tussocks beneath your bed.

You don't always find all of the above in one go, you must be  prepared to compromise, but even a pitch with most of those features will be enjoyable, and with all of them it will be memorable.

And don't feel too reliant on having your car to escape to, otherwise you're never going to get far from it. Having said that, I confess that mine always had to be just about in sight from a distance for my first three wild camps, and for the next couple it was a bit of a wrench walking away and leaving it. But from then onwards I haven't given it a thought.


« Last Edit: 18:09:08, 24/09/20 by fernman »

richardh1905

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #16 on: 18:28:43, 24/09/20 »
Agree with what Fernman says, you can always find a pitch in wild country. And with time, you develop a real eye for it. Sometimes you have to compromise, but it isn't the end of the world if you have to - it is the being there that counts.
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forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #17 on: 20:05:12, 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.




haha! Iíll probably be exactly the same!


I'd say just get out there, half the drivers on the road could do with a refresher course in my opinion!  You'll get the hang of it pretty fast, but if you could let me know roughly what part of the country you'll be practicing I'll be sure I won't be on the road that day (just so you can have just a little extra space of course with one less driver! :D )


It's the same with wild camping really - loads of people want the 'perfect' conditions, the best weather, no wind, the perfect campsite.  Whereas loads of people are already out there in dodgy weather having a great time, pitching on their 'imperfect' campsites and figuring stuff out.  Gotta embrace it and it won't take more than a half dozen nights out before you start figuring it out.

Little Foot

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #18 on: 21:18:29, 24/09/20 »
Thanks for the comments guys. I realise I do need to get out there and just give it a go somewhere, the wild camping that is, not the driving, although if I lived somewhere more remote, itíd be a lot easier for me to do both lol. I guess the current climate with this virus and restrictions doesnít help either. If itíd been last year I bet Iíd have done it by now. Doubt Iíll get to do it this year now though, with my lad being back at school, unless I risk it at the end of October. Although Iím not looking for everything to be perfect, I donít want it to go horrendously wrong either due to weather etc, on my initial outings. Shame round here is flat as anything, no where to hide.

gunwharfman

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #19 on: 21:39:22, 24/09/20 »
Wild camping is not hard, all you need is a flattish area of land about 7' x 4'. Mind you I once slept on top of an old wooden door that I found, and on the '1066 route' in Sussex, a flat bed farm trailer really came in handy one night. I'd already seen it as I approach Battle. so once I left the local  pub I wandered back about 300 yds and stayed there the night. Very comfortable.

I'm sure everyone in the end develops there only little wild camping tricks and styles, for example I've found that night time wall shadows can be helpful, or shadows under trees can also be great for blending into the landscape. When in a shadow I can see out to the lighter areas but those in the lighter areas find it difficult to see into the shadow where I am.

Again for example, I remember having to wait overnight for a train in Bergerac so I walked down this brightly lit street, primarily to get away from the station. I didn't want to draw attention to myself to the passing drunks and the groups of youths that were hanging about the station. So I walked down a residential stree for about half a kilometre and came across two trees next to the pavement, with a three seater bench between them, I noted that the tree shadow hid the bench completely. So I just got out my mattress laid it on the bench and quietly lay there just looking out to the neon-lit street. Lots of people walked past me to where they lived, they wer not planning to stop, so as they passed by all they saw the black shadow between the trees. I could see them though, almost as clear as day thanks to the street lights. Eventually, I fell asleep and was woken by my phone alarm at 5 am, I wandered back to the station and caught the 5.55 am train to Bordeaux. I had a good sleep on the train as well.

My friend and I know a local vagrant who often sleeps in the shadows of the walls of our Cathedral but he also has another place to sleep. He knows and we now know as well (he told us) that if he walks into the middle of Southsea Common, which is just a large area of flat grass, he will sleep there some nights (when its suitable weather) and more than likely he will not be disturbed. The area all around the common is lit up by street lights, so from his lying down position he can see everyone thats walking by, but if they peer into the darkness of the common they can't see him. I've never had cause to try this if I was stuck in an urban area but if need be I think its a good tip to consider.

ninthace

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #20 on: 22:19:10, 24/09/20 »
I can vouch for using the dark space surrounded by an area of bright lights.  We used it as tactic in airfield defence - a perimeter of outward shining bright lights means you can see the bad guys but they can't see you and I have used it to sneak into places unobserved.
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Little Foot

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #21 on: 08:46:02, 25/09/20 »
Thatís a good tactic and Iíll be sure to remember that when I eventually get out there. Not sure Iíd ever feel brave enough to sleep at night on a bench with people walking right past me, though.

richardh1905

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #22 on: 09:11:02, 25/09/20 »
No need to worry about dark spaces and bright lights if you head up to the Lake District, Littlefoot - the infrequently visited head of Hayeswater springs to mind as a potential site for you, bus to Hartsop and only a 2 mile walk in - the only light that my son and I enjoyed was from our headtorches and the stars, which were beautiful. And no need to hide either - the National Trust, who own the land around the lake, but not the shore, are tolerant of responsible wild campers in the Lake District, and indeed give tacit approval for camping on the fells on their website.

https://wildaboutwalking.wordpress.com/lake-district/hayeswater-wild-camp/

This map might be useful if you are visiting the Lake District - land in green is owned by the National Trust. But do camp above the field boundaries, and well away from roads and houses.

https://map.whoownsengland.org/


PS - I can PM you exact directions and some more suggestions if you wish.


PPS - don't be bound by the map - I have camped high on non NT land without problem, but you may find it reassuring to know that the landowner is tolerant.
« Last Edit: 09:20:18, 25/09/20 by richardh1905 »
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Little Foot

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #23 on: 12:14:51, 25/09/20 »
Thanks for the info Richard. That looks a nice spot and Iíll have a more in-depth read of the site shortly to look at other ideas. Hayeswater might be ok if I planned a few nights away in the Lakes but since itís just under a 7 hour journey from the Humber region to Hartsop, itís a bit too far for a single night. When I travelled to Kendal via Manchester, I didnít manage to get there til gone 2pm.


I definitely want to wild camp in the Lakes, maybe on a one night camp, one night B&B basis at first, but it is difficult to do on the spur of the moment when using the expensive option of train with not much notice. Reckon it will be next year before I get up there again.



Iím wondering what the Yorkshire moors would be like for wild camping as that might be easier on bus. I really fancy Gunnerside to look at all the derelict lean mine buildings as that would interest my lad, but that looks a pain to get to.

ninthace

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #24 on: 12:40:42, 25/09/20 »
If you are interested in old lead mine buildings near Gunnerside then the old peat store by the beck at NY 93708 01750 would be a great spot for a wild camp.
More info here http://www.outofoblivion.org.uk/record.asp?id=127
« Last Edit: 13:19:10, 25/09/20 by ninthace »
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richardh1905

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #25 on: 12:53:05, 25/09/20 »
Looking at the ticket prices from Hull to Penrith it would be a lot cheaper to hire a car, as well as a lot quicker and more convenient. A couple of refresher lessons would be money well spent in my humble opinion. :)
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gunwharfman

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #26 on: 13:34:24, 25/09/20 »
Re: My shadows observations. I thought I had discovered something unique, obviously not. The vagrant was ahead of me and so are you.

Little Foot - I have discovered by my life and hiking experience that if you are unlucky enough to be stuck in an urban setting and need to rest and sleep, wandering into residential areas I think is potentially the best move to make. In a residential area, most people walking nearby, in my experience anyway, are just going home, they have a purpose and they tend not to concentrate on what's to the left or right of them, they just want to get to their beds. The worst that I think could happen to you, unless you were incredibally unlucky, is that someone might be dying for a pee and think "that area in shadow, perfect, I'll go there!" I have a stand-by plan which I've never had to use yet, if someone was heading into my space I would cough loudly, just to let them know where I am. Hopefully that would do the trick, they would then look for another shadowed area? Personally I will always avoid a town or city centre, with a rucksack on my back and late at night I know I would just stand out like a belisha beacon, so to me, to be avoided at all costs.

So in my case I can manage in a town the size of Keswick but not in one the size of Manchester. Mind you, whenever I've had to walk to the Manchester central train station or to the coach station in daylight I still feel threatened by it!

Little Foot

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #27 on: 14:29:21, 25/09/20 »
If you are interested in old lead mine buildings near Gunnerside then the old peat store by the beck at NY 93708 01750 would be a great spot for a wild camp.
More info here http://www.outofoblivion.org.uk/record.asp?id=127


That looks interesting, something my boy would like to explore.


Gunnerside first got my interest at the beginning of this month, when I flicked over the calendar and saw this pic:-




You can just see the peat drying structures at the top of the hill.

Looking at the ticket prices from Hull to Penrith it would be a lot cheaper to hire a car, as well as a lot quicker and more convenient. A couple of refresher lessons would be money well spent in my humble opinion. :)


A couple of lessons? More like a couple of hundred pounds worth. After those, I then need to buy myself a really slow automatic car.  ;D


I don't care what people say, men are better at driving than women in the majority of cases.


<sniped.

So in my case I can manage in a town the size of Keswick but not in one the size of Manchester. Mind you, whenever I've had to walk to the Manchester central train station or to the coach station in daylight I still feel threatened by it!


Completely agree. I don't think I've ever felt so threatened in a city than I did in Manchester last month! It was bad enough in a hotel lol. I guess sleeping a little town would feel a lot different than a big city, definitely.

Jac

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #28 on: 14:38:09, 25/09/20 »
A couple of lessons? More like a couple of hundred pounds worth. After those, I then need to buy myself a really slow automatic car.  ;D

I don't care what people say, men are better at driving than women in the majority of cases.


WHAAAT :o  :tickedoff:  or who on earth gave you that idea >:(
So many paths yet to walk, so little time left

richardh1905

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Re: 2020, the wild camping year. What have we learned?
« Reply #29 on: 14:41:34, 25/09/20 »
Certainly wasn't me!
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