The weather is set fair for the weekend, the days are lengthening and I would normally be off on some long-distance path around this date. My long time friend Mel and I often choose March/April for one of our sorties which we have been doing for over the last 20 years. [more of Mel in a later post]
I feel the urge for an overnight camping trip somewhere.
It’s great sorting through my camping gear, the smell and the touch bring back memories of trips both at home and abroad. I’ve several backpacking tents, all a little dated now. My favourite for lightweight trips is my solo Saunders Jetpacker. I only use the outer and pitch it with my trekking poles which saves a load of weight. I’ve never bothered with Thermarest type inflatable sleeping pads as I’m happy sleeping on a short piece of foam. The temperature at night isn’t much less than 10 degrees so my three-season ME Dew Line should be warm enough. As I don’t use the inner tent I pack a very lightweight bivi sac to protect my sleeping bag and give a little extra warmth.
I can’t find any gas cartridges for my stove so I decided to eat supper before I go. I’m only out one night and cold muesli will be fine in the morning. As I’d had 3 dozen eggs, pictured above, delivered this morning I make a Spanish Omelette, tortilla, for supper. It is very filling therefore I’ll freeze the remaining slices. For afters, I have a slice of the pear crumble I made last night from a surfeit of fruit, delicious. So more pictures of food which is becoming an obsession in this lockdown.
Well fortified I set off from home with what was a very light rucksack, Golite in fact. I need to find somewhere out of sight and off the beaten track to pitch my tent and fortunately I found such a spot with plenty of light left. All seems well with the tent and I have it up in about 5minutes. I settle in with a crossword as darkness quickly falls, a couple of owls hoot and then all becomes silent.
There is a heavy dew in the night but I stay snug and dry. A far off cockerel heralds the day rather early, about 4am, and the general bird song starts an hour later. I then fall asleep again until seven-thirty. I skip breakfast, pack the wet tent and head back to my house before anyone is about.
This has only been a short taste of backpacking but it has broken some of the monotony of the lockdown and brought back memories of more dramatic camps throughout the world. I’m rather pleased that a simple night under ‘canvas’ can still give such pleasure. I may even attempt a two-night trip next week.
There is no map of my short walk as I need to keep the camping spot a secret to use again.