Best Wildcamps – A Miscellany

I recently took a look through my Wildcamp Gallery, which I started back in 2013 as a visual record I could look back on. The idea was to post one photograph for each wild camp done, and watch it build up over time. As the number of camps grew, the idea was that every time I dipped into the page, I’d rediscover some wonderful memories that had blurred together. And so it has proved.

This is the third in a short series looking back at some of those camps. The first dealt with all things “lakey”: tarns, lakes, llyns and lochs.

The second dealt with summit/high camps, and featured some of the very best camps I’ve ever had.

Now follows a miscellany of other camps. When I looked through my gallery and my list of camps, I didn’t find enough to cover individually:

  • Winter (snow) camps
  • Forest camps
  • Coastal camps

In addition, I have a few camps that defy categorisation at all. So this post is a roundup of the best one or two camps of the smaller categories along with everything else I’d call “other”.

Winter / Snow camps

I really haven’t camped that much in winter, by which I mean in what would generally be considered “winter conditions”. In other words – snow. I’ve camped plenty during the winter months, but they tend to be drab and gloomy affairs as a rule. It takes snow to make them memorable.

My first proper winter camp was on Great Carrs in 2013, on a trip when I tested the limits of my skills and comfort.

Wildcamp #010: Little Carrs
Sunset from Great Carrs

What a stunning camp. But a big dump of snow came during the night and upped the stakes considerably. The other camps on that trip didn’t have the same level of glamour:

Wildcamp #012: Hard Knott

This and the intervening night at Red Tarn still qualify as being among my best winter camps purely by virtue of there not being very many such camps at all.

In 2014 I rediscovered Dartmoor, and by the end of January 2015, I was camping out:

Wildcamp #040: Wild Tor, Dartmoor

Pitched just before a blizzard swept in, so lucky timing too.

Forest Camps

I don’t think I’ve ever had a forest/wood camp that comes anywhere close to the other camps I’ve already mentioned in this and the previous two posts. Don’t get me wrong, I like forests, but they don’t really have the camping pull of more dramatic places.

Nevertheless, my favourite forest camp was this, in the Fetteresso on the 2018 TGO Challenge:

Wildcamp #130: Fetteresso Forest

Most of the others have been hiding away in scrpas of woodland on the North Downs, and they really don’t quite compare.

Coasts

Again, not as many as I would like. And if I’d had the opportunity to camp the South West Coast Path (my Dad is firmly in the camp of B&B accommodation for that), this would probably have been a category and post all by itself. But it’s not.

The majority of my coastal camps have been on the Kent or Essex coasts or river estuaries. These are fine for what they are, but the chance of being interrupted here is so much greater and it does take the shine off the camps.

No, the only truly great coastal camp was the final camp of the 2017 TGO Challenge:

Wildcamp #100: Lunan Bay

This was just magical, and heightened by having just walked across Scotland. It also happened to be my 100th wild camp which made it fitting.

Weather Phenomena

Beyond sunsets and sunrises, I haven’t been as lucky as many in getting other phenomena such as inversions, brocken spectres etc. Nevertheless, there have been a few instances.

The best two of these were on Green Gable and Fan y Big, as mentioned in my last post, so I won’t repeat them here.

Two more stick in the mind. Firstly a camp at Cleave Tor, waking up to an inversion in the Cleave below, and as we stood admiring it, our haloed shadows showed on the cloud. My one and only Brocken Spectre (best seen in the link).

Wildcamp #063: Cleave Tor

Earlier that year, I camped on Blea Rigg and was rewarded with a lovely inversion building down over Easedale.

Wildcamp #062: Sergeant Man/Blea Rigg

I made a video of this, which is really the best way to appreciate it:

Other Memorable Camps

So there was that time I took a Trailstar, and pitched it badly right in the middle of Eskdale, and sat in terror all night while it gradually collapsed:

Wildcamp #037: Upper Eskdale

Then of course, just over 4 years ago, was Referendum Night camp on the top of Blencathra:

Wildcamp #065: Blencathra

And of course, the night last year when a group of us were terrorised by a fox at Fur Tor:

Wildcamp #151: Fur Tor

There’s then a whole swathe of camps that were just nice. Not especially stunning in location, no drama, just a wonderful chill out at a camp spot. There’s too many of them to list.

Wildcamp #139: River Esk

This concludes my trot through some of my best wildcamps. Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer before I can get out and start working on increasing the memories…

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