Author Topic: Your greatest wild camping memories :)  (Read 1758 times)

richardh1905

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #15 on: 08:55:35, 26/09/20 »
After thinking about it a bit, I have decided to include my night out in the August thunderstorm, camping just above Levers Water. I'm not sure that the thunderstorm itself qualifies as a greatest wild camping memory, as it was relentless and terrifying, a humbling experience, but the sublime wild swim in the early morning sunshine certainly does!





« Last Edit: 11:30:37, 26/09/20 by richardh1905 »
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gunwharfman

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #16 on: 10:35:24, 26/09/20 »
I'm with you on this one. I too experienced such a storm, thunder and lightning, really scary and I felt so puny and helpless.

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #17 on: 20:02:08, 26/09/20 »
Some absolutley stunning scenery in these photos guys.  I wouldnt want to pack away in the morning with such beautiful sights to drink in. stunning stuff.
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

Birdman

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #18 on: 08:53:21, 27/09/20 »
@richardh1905: Also terrifying camp experiences can be great experiences. Looks like a sublime camp spot with private swimming pool!
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richardh1905

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #19 on: 09:46:48, 27/09/20 »
@richardh1905: Also terrifying camp experiences can be great experiences. Looks like a sublime camp spot with private swimming pool!


You are right of course, Birdman - enduring some hardship, discomfort and, in this instance, naked fear, all add to the overall experience, and make the good moments all the sweeter. I regard that wild swim as the best in my life, utterly sublime, partly because of the sweaty humid walk in and bad night that preceded it. The beautiful location, utter solitude and early morning sunshine helped too, of course!



Levers Water pitch - the evening before the storm!



Sunrise shortly before my swim - what a contrast to the night!
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Birdman

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #20 on: 09:54:00, 27/09/20 »

Another one of my most memorable wild camp experiences was on the Kungsleden trail in arctic Sweden. At one point I pitched my tent between the blooming heather on one of the many vast plateaus, seen on the picture below. There was a snowfield nearby with beautiful clear water flowing out of it and I figured this was a good opportunity to get drinking water and to rinse my socks.





Camping above the arctic circle. This spot was beautiful enough, but it turned out to be a very special place that I will never forget...


While doing this, I heard some animal barking behind me. It couldn't be a dog, because this was in the middle of nowhere. Then I realised it was two Arctic Foxes! (in dark summer fur). When I walked slowly towards them, they suddenly disappeared. Where had they gone? Then I saw the holes in the ground.... I had inadvertently pitched my tent just a few hundred metres from their burrows! Near their burrows were half-eaten lemmings. Lemmings were so abundant that year that apparently they didn't even bother eating them whole.





One of the Arctic Foxes near my campsite


At first the foxes were very nervous, but when I backed off towards my tent and kept my distance, the foxes accepted my presence. From near my tent, I observed them with my binoculars. The foxes would doze off in the sun, but even my slightest movement would alert them and make them raise their heads. I was amazed by this because at times they appeared to be almost asleep.


The next morning when I broke up my tent, I didn't see the foxes at first. Then, I heard lots of noise from Long-tailed Skuas in the distance. With my binoculars I could see one of the arctic foxes foraging in the area, apparently close to where these Skuas had their nests. So they were mobbing the fox with all their might. It was fantastic to watch, as if I was in the middle of one of David Attenboroughs epic documentaries!


It was hard for me to leave this magic camp spot, but one has to move on. I will always remember this place. On an interesting side note: when I reached Lake Saggat and told the boatman about my encounter (you need to cross the lake to get to Kvikkjokk ) and showed him my pictures, he was very surprised and told me that arctic foxes are rare in this area. In Kvikjokk some locals approached me to enquire about the foxes, because they had heard from Sven, the boatman, that I had seen arctic foxes. None of them were aware that they live there! I must be doing something good!
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Birdman

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #21 on: 10:30:25, 27/09/20 »
For me, the most memorable camps are always a combination of solitude, stunning landscapes and encounters with nature/ wildlife.
I'm going to add another one in arctic Sweden. This one is near Skierrfe, which is actually a famous scenic viewpoint that can be visited with a short detour from the Kungsleden trail.



My sublime camp spot at 1100m elevation with the snowy mountains of Sarek National Park as a backdrop. Fantastic! And the Skierffe summit is only a 20-minute walk from here, but not a soul in sight because I camped far off trail


While eating my breakfast, a curious stoat paid me a visit. They were a quite common sight on my Kungsleden walk.




This stoat was jumping back and forth with graceful curves while observing me. Eventually, he disappeared with the same graceful curves in the distance on the vast plateau… I could follow it for hundreds of metres because the arctic vegetation is so short. Pure magic!


Just 20 minutes walk from this camp spot was Skierrfe summit. I spent an entire day there just enjoying the stunning views and the wildlife, while leaving my tent behind as a basecamp. Even though Skierrfe is a famous viewpoint, on the summit I didn't see more than 3 people the entire day and none of them arrived before midday. Just amazing to have a place like this for yourself.



From Skierffe, I had this fantastic view of the Laitaure delta, although this is only a small part of the whole view. Using my binoculars, I spotted six grazing moose in the delta, and I saw a Sea eagle flying deep below me in search of food.

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Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #22 on: 11:34:29, 27/09/20 »
You have certainly walked and camped in some fantastic areas Birdman

gunwharfman

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #23 on: 11:46:03, 27/09/20 »
I agree, very impressive. My walks by comparison I think are just walks in the park.

richardh1905

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #24 on: 11:57:51, 27/09/20 »
Wonderful stuff, Birdman.
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Dodgylegs

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #25 on: 13:00:13, 27/09/20 »
You've had some unbelievable adventures Birdman... fantastic photos, love the stoat shot!


Thanks for sharing.


As an after thought, wondered how you got started with these walking adventures around the world?
Or is that the start of another post?
« Last Edit: 15:58:12, 27/09/20 by Dodgylegs »

Birdman

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #26 on: 17:19:26, 27/09/20 »
Of course closer to home there are wonderful wild camps too! (As already evident from Richard's pictures!). A very memorable UK camp for myself was last year at Sandwood Bay (well known by most here!). It was the last night of my WHW + Cape Wrath Trail walk, which had been fantastic, so I was already in an excellent mood Smiley


It was a beautiful sunny evening. While cooking my dinner I watched my own footsteps on the beach getting washed away by the incoming tide... Above the sea I saw Gannets diving and a seal (or was it a Harbour Porpoise?) surfaced for a short moment. As a last bonus for this wonderful wild Scotland adventure, a White-tailed Eagle came flying from behind me at low atltitude... Fantastic, unforgettable camp for the last night of my walk!



Camping on the dunes above Sandwood Bay on the final night of my WHW + Cape Wrath Trail walk




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richardh1905

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #27 on: 18:04:30, 27/09/20 »
Sandwood Bay is gorgeous, well worth the 6 mile walk in. Not the same as spending the night there, of course - that is the way to fully experience such a beautiful wild location.


PS - saw the white tailed eagles nesting on Hoy in Orkney a few years ago, like a flying barn door!
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richardh1905

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #28 on: 18:09:54, 27/09/20 »
Of course closer to home there are wonderful wild camps too! (As already evident from Richard's pictures!).


Indeed there are - and the wonderful thing is that I have barely scratched the surface - so much to look forward to.


..like Coire Mhic Fhearchair in Torridon, somewhere that I am determined to spend a night.



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Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Your greatest wild camping memories :)
« Reply #29 on: 18:25:16, 27/09/20 »
Sandwood Bay is gorgeous, well worth the 6 mile walk in. Not the same as spending the night there, of course - that is the way to fully experience such a beautiful wild location.


PS - saw the white tailed eagles nesting on Hoy in Orkney a few years ago, like a flying barn door!
The west coast of Scotland and the Hebrides have some of the best beaches in the world and usually very few people.


White tailed eagles are huge. I have been fortunate to see them many times around Loch Shieldaig, in the Shiant Isles and between Rona and Raasay. One of my best sightings was of a pair of adults and their newly fledged chicks, although chicks doesn’t do justice to young birds that are bigger than almost all UK adult birds.