Well, this should be a short post….
We all know what happened in 2020, so I won’t go into that again here, but clearly the (non-) events of this year have curtailed the camping out somewhat.
Ten camps – yes a mere 10 – is this year’s haul. A pathetic number that I have to go back to 2012 to do worse than. If I’d been able to do the TGO Challenge, that number would have been doubled at least and not look so bad.
During lockdown, though, I did manage to garden camp 13 times, which helped a bit, but of course I’d happily trade all 13 for one proper wild camp.
As there are so few proper camps, here are all of them…
The first one of the year was in July, a week or so after lockdown fully finished, after giving the nutters a bit of time to get things out of their system. A day walking my local(ish) patch of North Downs ended with a sunset bushwhack and a race against time to find a spot to set the bivvy up. Whether this spot could be called a success is probably a matter of opinion. I was woken early by “farming noises” getting closer, and skedaddled swiftly.
The end of July saw me finally get away to Dartmoor, and better still a chance to meet up with some actual people. The Challenge posse of Paul, Jason, Darren and myself shared a 4 day/3 night backpack over the north of Dartmoor, with a route that took in wild Tor, Cranmere pool, Bleak House, Arms Tor, Sourton Tors (where we bumped into Jonny), Blackator, Willhays, Yes and West Mill.
In late August I managed to get out on the North Downs again. A “fast and light” sort of escapade. A noisy night as I appeared to have pitched in the local nocturnal wildlife’s marketplace.
Back to Dartmoor at the end of the month for a solo mission to bag all of the “White” tors. After all that’s (not) happened this year, I was pretty pleased that I stayed the course.
And then in the week before the 2nd lockdown, I forced in a final local camp. Quite a quiet night considering where I was pitched. Sat watching a fox walk up from the valley below just before sunset.
And that’s it. With my area now in Tier 3, that scuppers any plans for a Yuletide camp out, so it looks like I’m finishing on 10 Wild + 13 Tame for the year.
This year’s maximum camping height was approximately 531m on Wild Tor. And the best camp was the one by the River Walkham, all things considered.