Back in October, curious to see what all the fuss is about, Fran came out with me on her first wild camp.
Fortunately, she not only enjoyed it, she enjoyed it so much she went away and spent a small fortune on new equipment!
A second trip was obviously on the cards.
I chose another spot not too far away – we could walk there easily enough from our house – but a bit higher up and with a wilder feel to it.
The forecast had a wintry feel to it, with overnight temperatures of around 2C and enough wind to give a wind chill temperature down to -5C. I made sure I packed my winter sleeping bag. I’m not a particularly warm sleeper and like to be cozy.
Low cloud and light drizzle though, made for a slightly damp walk in.
It was already starting to go dark as we arrived, and with a rather lively breeze to boot, so we quickly got the tents pitched, filtered what water we needed and retired to our respective homes for the duration.
I soon had a brew on the go, ready to enjoy along with the two mince pies Fran had kindly thrown in my direction. They didn’t last long.
Of course this time of year brings long hours of darkness, but the time passed pleasantly. I-Player on my mobile gets plenty of use these days and I also have my Kindle downloaded onto my phone. This does mean that I have to be aware of keeping the phone charged however, but Anker efficiently sees to that.
I also try and spread the courses of my evening meal out.
Main course at 7pm, dessert at 8pm, hot chocolate at 9pm; all interspersed with conversation flowing between the two tents.
I had a couple of new, rather nifty wooden spoons to try from Treadlite Gear, too. They were very nice.
The wind kept up for most of the night, but despite it sounding very dramatic – howling and whistling around the area – our tents seemed to be in a bit of a sweet spot and didn’t get much wind battering at all.
A particularly noisy period of wind activity woke me around 3am. It was whistling through the grass or rocks somewhere close by. Once awake, feeling a bit chilly, I donned another layer. Soon warm and cozy once more, I slept on and didn’t stir again ’till 7:30. I got up for a wander around.
I crawled back into my sleeping bag for another hour. Fran stirred at around 8:30. Realising that the cloud had lifted a lot by then, she set off to have a look at the nearby Downfall.
We were lucky with the weather this morning. It was breezy, but dry and fresh.
Feeling relaxed and chilled, we breakfasted and broke camp slowly.
My breakfast was a Dale Special – Rainbow Porridge. This is porridge with added Smarties. It is delicious and I would recommend anyone to try it.
Taking a slightly different route back to our house, we stopped for lunch at the bottom of William Clough.
Fran even got her Jetboil out there and made us a brew. I can never be bothered in the middle of the day, but it was very welcome!
So, an excellent night out and I have it on good authority that Fran has already been buying even more shiny new kit. I suspect it won’t be too long before we do another night out…