Been searching my local area for some cracking wild camping sites this week and a few days ago I had a great result. Tired of spending hours traveling just to get a night under the stars, I’m racking up the number of potential local camp sites at the moment.
This weeks find looked more than promising as the spot is well out of the way and judging by the old fires dotted around the area, its possible to get away with making a real fire just about big enough to cook up some meat (a rarity nearly everywhere these days).
The only downside is its in a wood, which I used to enjoy as a kid but strangely have a problem with as an adult?. Its the closed in thing that bothers me with the chance that a quick retreat is going to be a very messy affair 🙂
All is not lost though because its right on the edge of the woodland with a quick way out into the fields next door.
Meeting the Neighbors
Saw three foxes just as I was coming up to the camp site which tells me their den must be nearby. More than often I see them around our house early in the morning, chasing the cats and tipping bins over to pick at the scraps but to see so many in one place during the daytime is unusual and they weren’t quick to move off either.
Foxes don’t worry me too much and after a few run ins with them it obvious their only on the look out for food a lot smaller than me. Tidying away any half eaten food before crashing for the night does help to stop them invading the camp site while your sleeping.
Pushing My Luck
When I first found this place the return route back home was timed so I could get it just right and turn up a little before dark (always the safest option), but properly messed up this time. The usual preparation went right out the window as I scrambled for last minute items while sunset was getting closer all the time. Still left home without a few things, most important of which was my small enamel cooking plate (more on this later).
Made up some time by pushing myself on the way and thankfully my pack was much lighter than the ones we use for our mountain wild camping trips.
First time around I spotted a half fallen down building in one of the fields that border the wood so popped over the fence to take a few house bricks to make the base of the fire.
As I mentioned earlier none of the enamel plates we own could be found (that’s what happens when you tidy things away) and a frantic search was on for (any) metal that would stand up to a few hours over a fire.
The two strips of metal the burgers are resting on (pictured below) are actually wall mount brackets from an old flat screen television 🙂
They held up very well, to the point where I could most likely get a few uses out of them.
Being a mostly dry week there was lotS of dry deadwood lying around and got the fire sparked up first time without having to use too much paper.
There’s something to be said for the taste a wood fire gives meat, even if its of the cheap processed burger variety. Four burgers and a quarter bottle of vodka left over from my birthday camping trip and I was well happy 🙂
The nice weather people had forecast some light showers for early the next morning but it was still a hell of a shock to be woken by having cold water dribbled over my face. To make things worse I hadn’t got into the sleeping bag before falling asleep (the heat from the fire was so nice) and the ground had stolen all the heat from my limbs.
Thinking that the walk home would warm me up was also a mistake as the overgrown paths were now loaded with water, making it like walking through a freezing cold car wash!.
Still the joy of only a 40 minute walk home isn’t to be denied when a night on the mountains we normally use is usually followed by at least a three hour train ride home.
All in all an excellent little spot that I’m sure is going to get loads of use this summer.
The Raging Fire
I always bury any fires in the morning, mainly to tidy up after myself but also so others don,t see it as a good spot to camp (selfish?, I know). The only problem was I went to town with the fire just to see if anybody would pop along to complain (always good to know) and it took me ages to hide the ashes properly, warmed me up though 🙂
I’ll leave you with a picture of the fire at its biggest (about 2am).