Monday, 28 November 2011

Suggestions for a wild camping pitch in Wales or the Peak District please.

I've just had a rather windy but damp week end in the Lake District, excellent company and a couple of good pub meals, but not much fun on the hill.

Having recently updated my summer wild camping list for winter, it seemed like a good idea (excuse) for an overnight camp to make up for a disappointing weekend, whilst checking out my revised list before venturing north of the border.

I fancy somewhere not too far away, possibly mid Wales or the Peak District. Does anyone have any a favourite pitch they’d be prepared share with me.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Winterproofing my wildcamping gear part 2

My sleeping bag is a Mountain Equipment Xero 550 which I bought in February 2008; it’s quite light for a three season bag and very comfortable. I'd like to add a 4 season bag to my winter shopping list, but I really can’t justify the cost of owning more than one sleeping bag.

Using the same bag for all seasons does have its downsides, in the summer you’re carrying unnecessary weight, and it can become too hot, although the temperature is easily controlled with the two way zip. In the winter it can be quite cold, so I make up for the lack of down by wearing my trousers and either a fleece or my Patagonia Nano Puff jacket.

The mattress I've been using this summer is a NeoAir short, at 278g its very light, but for the winter I prefer a full length mat, so I’ll be reverting to my Prolite (472g). If it looks like being really cold, then I’ll use my old green Trecklite, which I’ve had for many years. It may be quite heavy at 823g, but even on snow is toasty warm.


I don’t cook in the hills; I only boil water, either for brews, dehydrated meals or the occasional cuppa soup. This means my summer cooking gear should be perfectly adequate for the colder weather, the Optimus Crux Light stove (74g) works well with a Tibetan 550ml Titanium mug (87g), and boils quite quickly. This set up used to wobble alarmingly, before I solved the problem buy fitting a Primus gas canister feet (28g), which is quite stable on most ground. The one item missing from my camp kitchen is a windshield, so I intend to custom build one, from a disposable foil tray before my next trip.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Lovely Wind farms

If you think wind farms are a good thing and are environmentally friendly, then this post is for you!
If you think wind farms a blight on our wild places look at this post and weep!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Winter proofing my wild camping gear part 1

This winter I’m hoping to spend a few nights wild camping weather permitting. I’m now reasonably happy with my summer wild camping gear, but probably need to upgrade a few items for winter.

My Shelter
Staring with my tent, I still don’t feel 100% confident in the Laser Comp’s bad weather performance, but perhaps I’m expecting too much from a 3 season tent.
Having beefed up the guys and pegs it certainly performs better in the wind, but I’m not sure the Terra Nova pegs I’m using at the moment will hold in soft ground if a when the wind picks up. So the first item on my shopping list is some lightweight vee pegs. I’ve not seen any good lightweight vee pegs foe ages, so any recommendations would be welcome.  
The last few times I’ve used the Laser Comp I’ve had difficulty getting the inner tent taut. Separate pegs would do the trick but I’m not prepared to carry the extra weight so I think I’ll try shortening the inner tent elastics.
I also need to make a repair to the strap which takes the pressure of the flysheet zip, one of the prongs has broken off the plastic connecting clip making it even more difficult to use than normal.
Finally, I must make a new tent footprint before my next trip,  my home made experimental green bin liner footprint (weight 66g) needs replacing, its lasted 20 nights not bad for a free bin liner and 5 feet of parcel tape., defiantly my best buy so far.