Monday 18 February 2008

Run to the hills....

The misty depths of Buttermere

In need of some different surroundings and taking a chance on the weather, we decided Friday morning that we would get away for the weekend. First thing Saturday morning saw us making a dash for the Lake District, our target - Buttermere.

It seemed the God's looked favourably on our outing as the weather was good (for February) and the local Youth Hostel had a spare room vacant - some good Karma at last! This was the first time I would stay in a Youth Hostel and I found the experience to be painless in all respects. As it turned out the weather was that good, we could have camped more than comfortably at Syke Farm Campsite, but we'd booked the hostel was a good experience and for the money it also gave me something to think about for future trips when walking etc...

Crummock Water from Red Pike

We took it easy on Saturday afternoon but Sunday we were up early to do Red Pike, High Crag, High Stile and back down via Scarth Gap. The day was amazing for weather and it made the views seem even more breathtaking than usual. The decision of whether to bring my digital SLR on the the wild camping trip is well and truly made in light of the stunning scenery - not to be missed. Furthermore I shall be bring tripod and filters and remote release too - much to the annoyance of Paul, who will most likely be wild camping with me in Buttermere.

Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere Shore

Tuesday 5 February 2008

Kinder Scout, Peak District

Edale Rocks

One of the next crucial decisions I am still to make about my impending wild camping trip is which camera to bring with me! It's not a question of which I'd like to bring (that would always be my DSLR) but more about how much more weight can I possibly bring! I'm not what the Americans call a "Gram Weeney" but facing the prospect of lugging a full 65+10 ltr backpack isn't filling me with much joy at the moment! Being a lover of creature comforts and doing this on a budget means I am using the equipment that I already own or can get hold of cheaply. If there is one thing I have learnt about backpacking, hiking or wild camping is this simple equation: cheap=heavy.

In any case, I was going through some of my pics a few days ago and I came across a set of pictures I don't think I have actually looked at since I took them. The point about thise pictures is that I remember having the same dilemma about whether to take my DSLR on the walk with me. In the end I did and I got some reasonable images out of it. I think I have my answer about taking the camera wild camping - if I can fit it in I'll be taking it!

These two pictures below were taken in March 06 on a camping trip to Edale in Derbyshire's Peak District. They were both taken on the same day on a walk up Kinder Scout via Jacob's Ladder with a friend. An amazing place and well worth a visit if you are ever in the area. On that day what struck me most about being on top of Kinder was eery, grey and almost moonlike surface it has in places. I converted the image below to black and white to really emphasise this feel. I thought about blacking out the sky just for a laugh to see how the effect looks - maybe I'll post that another time!

Kinder Scout Plateau

Friday 1 February 2008

E-Petition for the legalisation of WIld Camping in England and Wales

This is a plea for all those wild campers (or wannabe's life myself) to visit the 10 Downing Street Web site to pledge your support to legalise wild camping in England and Wild. The E-Petition, set up by Darren Christie, has almost 300 names on it (as at 15.21 on 1st February: 289 names) and the hope is that the Government will reconsider its out-dated laws affecting wild camping in England and Wales. Scotland currently enjoys a far more relaxed approach to wild camping that seems to work for all - so there should be no reason that with a bit of consideration and perhaps some wider published guidelines, we could enjoy the same freedoms.
The website is if you would like to show your support.