Back on a windy night in March, I had reluctantly decided that that would probably be Dixie’s last wild camp. Being nearer now to 13 than 12, there are times when I think she needs to start taking things a touch more easy. I’m not sure she agrees mind, but there you go. Sometimes you just have to do as you’re told.
Anyway, I did have a wild camping spot near us that I wanted to check out, to see what the water situation was like at this time of year. It’s only a couple of hours from the house and I was going to scout around it on a day walk, but Dixie started nosing around in the tent and rucksack up in the spare bedroom, so I gave in and said we could make an evening of it. After all, Saturday was dry and warm with a good forecast for Sunday, too.
I’m taking a friend wild camping in a couple of weeks and it’s only her second time ever, so didn’t want to make a route that was too steep or long. Last time she came out with me she shared my tent, but this time she’s going to be carrying her own tent, stove, gas, pan etc, so a bit of extra weight there compared to the first time she came. In fact, we had talked about doing the same route that Yuri and I did, last December.
Dixie and I didn’t leave home until after five on Saturday evening, but although cloudy, it was still pretty warm and muggy.
We initially headed up out of the village, towards South Head. By this time, it was very quiet and peaceful; the masses that congregate around Kinder on a weekend having already left for home.
Having passed South Head, we headed off for Brown Knoll. Everywhere was bone dry. Brown Knoll trig point is usually almost impossible to reach due to the amount of boggy bits and standing water around it, but today it was just like walking on a drained river bed.
I began to wonder if we were going to find any water at all to use on the camp overnight. Last time I was here, there were plenty of puddly bits and infant streams to use, but today was a completely different story. In preparation for the possibility of finding no water this evening, I had at the last minute stuck a couple of extra litres in my rucsac before leaving the house but even so, 2 litres was not really enough for the both of us for the night.
We finally reached the intended spot, got the tent up and put the kettle on.
We were both pretty thirsty after the walk in, but I fed and watered Dixie first before I cooked my main course.
I decided that if I didn’t bother with my freeze dried dessert, we could probably eke the water out ’till the morning and then return home via a different route, where I knew that within an hour we would ford a stream that would still be running and could tank up there.
It was still worth scouting around the area a bit though, just in case there was the odd pocket of water still around. Unbelievably, we did actually come across one, only about 50 yards from the tent.
A tiny, tiny streamlet and so well hidden I nearly missed it, but nevertheless I managed to filter another couple of litres from it.
This was joy indeed! I could have my Chocolate Chip Dessert after all!
It was already about 9pm by now, and not long after another couple of brews, we turned in for the night.
I slept pretty well, but after drinking so much so close to bedtime, did end up getting up several times in the night.
I know my photos don’t do the view justice, but the twinkling lights of Chapel and Chinley did look rather atmospheric.
But look what the morning brought!
Even Dixie was impressed.
And while eating my Porridge With Strawberries, the view through the tent door slowly changed, as spooky tendrils of cloud drifted over and engulfed us.
We didn’t hang around too long in the morning – it was getting too hot in the tent, for one thing – and packed up soon after breakfast.
Taking a totally different route home, we headed out towards the Rushup Edge road, then back across Dimpus Gate.
And, as predicted, going along Dimpus Gate took us across a couple of fords, where we drank our fill.
Think I might choose a more water-reliable route to take my friend on.