Steak & Eggs & A Side Splitting Doss

Christmas & New Year 2018/19 A couple of (cough) 'microadventures' bookended my festive two weeks off work. One was fairly wholesome and involved a long day of woodland walking and cooking, whilst the other was frankly just silly.

Let's get the silly one out of the way first. It was Friday evening, 21st of December, and I had just finished work for the holidays a few hours before. I was at home enjoying a nice dram or two of Jameson's and kick starting the festivities with a family Chrimbo film. All very nice and civilised, and no plans to be outdoors. Until I popped into the back yard as everyone was going to bed and saw a huge full moon illuminating a slightly misty and beautifully still night.

Now, I don't have a lawn to pitch up in, but at the back of our house is a playing field, and in the middle is the unusual feature of a 6 foot high raised 'island', with reasonably flat grass and a rather grand tree growing out of it. Local kids like to climb u…

A Quickie in a Hedge After The Pub

Friday 14th December 2018 Don't get too excited now.

This was a about as last minute and efortless a wild camp as you can get without using your back garden. It didn't even involve the Vespa. What prompted it were :
Clear skies early eveningThe news promising the Geminid meteor showerA chance to practice some better night photography on account of the aboveThe urge to try a local, walking distance 'stealth camp' (having found a potential spot recently)A new Petzl headtorch which arrived midweekA couple of post work pints spiked with Friday night 'weekend starts here' mania Half a bag of Home Bargains kindling wood This leftover fuel was what remained of an extremely pleasant day in some local woods one week previously. My employers had very kindly given everyone last Friday off, mainly as a way to help them tackle Christmas shopping outside of the weekend. Did I fancy a bustling shopping centre though? Did I bollocks. Off to the woods I scooted. Although the wea…

Solo Wildcamp : First Attempt - The Berwyns

Saturday 17th November 2018 I was meant to be at a Rave Up in Todmorden, West Yorkshire this weekend. A hot, sweaty, busy DJ gig by A Love From Outer Space, and a chance to catch up with some good friends including Delyth & Lloyd. My ticket and hotel were booked months ago, but just a few days before the event I cancelled with a heavy heart. Why? Well, a train strike was happening for a start - although to be fair I had several kind offers of lifts. There was also an unrelated festival going on in the town and accommodation was scarce, so the best hotel I could find with rooms left was on the hilly outskirts of neighbouring Hebden Bridge. It was starting to hit home what a faff this weekend could be. Mainly though, truth be told I was completely skint. I could easily spend a couple of hundred quid all in when taxis, drinks, and eating out was added up, and fact is I just couldn't afford it - especially when I'd blown loads of wedge recently on all this sodding camping gear…

First Wild Camp by Vespa - The Peak District

Saturday 27th October 2018 So, after my very rewarding dabble with 'nearly wild' camping in Wales, only four weeks later I find myself heading to the Peak District to do it properly. This is all down to the kind offer of one person, a very old friend from my teens called Rich Dytch whom I have not seen for over 25 years. We are in touch via the wonders of social media, and it turns out he is a highly experienced wild camper, having had many nights out in some of the more remote and windy places of the UK. After reading my controversial thoughts on what constitutes 'proper' camping (much of which he agrees with) he very graciously offered to show me a good entry level walk and camp for a one-nighter in the Dark Peak near Sheffield - which is a great midway point for us both travel wise.

To say I was excited about this jaunt was an understatement. As well as looking forward to the long overdue catch up with Rich, I had been obsessing over the kit, the packing and especia…