Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Check out my new blog;

Yououtdoors is a blog where you tell me and the world what you've been up to.  Walking, backpacking, camping, bushcraft, outdoor cooking, mountain biking, kayaking etc. -its all welcome there!   
Here's how it works;

1) Send me your name, and where you have been/what you were doing to  This will form the title.

2) In the email send include a brief write up on your travels/activity (approx 2 paragraphs).  This will be posted above the photos.

3) Include up to 3 photos of your travels/activity.

4) If you like you can give the address of your blog or website (optional).  This link will be posted at the bottom of the post to allow readers to follow your blog or read the full story.

....and I'll do the rest!

Friday, 13 May 2011

2 days, 2 nights, Lake District walk and wild camp

The approach to Ennerdale

From the moment you drive in to the lake district you are treated to some on the best views in England.  The mountains are breathtaking, and you can't help but think of the conditions that created such a beautiful landscape, and its no wonder that 15 million tourists visit the lakes every year. 

Day 1

As any savvy walkers would do, we checked the weather on the day and as you would expect from the lakes; rain, wind, and more rain was forecast.  The plan was to park the car at Ennerdale, and go walking around the lake and neighbouring forests for the day while keeping an eye out for a good wild camping spot.  As soon as we started walking the rain came in, bringing back bad memories of our last trip.  The hoods went up and the rucksack covers went on and off we went. 

A very bleak view of Crag Fell.
We stuck to paths the whole time on this walk as we hiked through the forests taking in the sights and sounds.  By the end of our 3 hour walk we had two camp spots in mind.  Both had good access to water, scenic and secluded.  The one we chose offered us the best protection from the elements as it looked as though we were going to be in for a tough night from mother nature.  We found a small fire pit tucked behind our camp that someone else had discreetly left.  It was a far from what you see left by chavs in the local parks scattered with beer cans.  Whoever left it tidied up the ash before his departure leaving only a circle of rocks.  I would never normally leave any signs of a fire anywhere but with this one it seemed like the sort of place that would be revisited time and again, so we too left it as we found it.

Sam the explorer
Stood in front of the peaks we'll be hiking the next day

Wild Camp 1

This was to be our camp for the evening.

Sam collecting water

A quick brew before bed.

Day 2

After a good breakfast, we quickly packed up and tidied our camp ready to start our walk at 9:00.  We walked back down through the forest a different way to what we came to explore more of the area.  As we crossed the concrete bridge we we could see Crag Fell and the neighbouring mountains we were going to be hiking up.  With a rough route in mind we carved our own way up the mountains.  We didn't use a single path apart from animal tracks which slowed us down considerably, but this allowed us to use walls and features to keep our bearings, instead of referring to the map all the time.  We were hit by the rain quite hard at the start, but this soon faded and we found the wind had a strong drying affect.  After four hours of walking we stopped for lunch at the top of the second peak revelling in the fact that we were literally in the clouds.  With all surrounding views blocked out by the cloud we were glad that we had the walls to keep our bearings and keep us on track for Crag Fell.  After lunch it is always hard to pick yourself up and get going again but we knew we had to plough on as we didn't want to be camping out in the mountains with the current weather conditions. 

With the peak in sight the sun started to break through the clouds.  This was very good timing for us as it gave us good photo opportunities at the top of Crag Fell.  With the cairn (..or pile of rocks as I call it) in sight we picked up our rocks and triumphantly dropped them on the top.  We sat at the top and took a few photos with a real sense of satisfaction after looking over the mileage we had covered.

Now 16:00 the descent as always was hard on the knees, but it marked the end of a tough yet rewarding walk that I will be glad to repeat.

From there we drove to a forest close to Braithwaite for an found a fantastic spot with a view of the surrounding mountains that beats most commercial campsites I've ever seen.  We set up camp, got cooking, and bedded down for the night with the sound of the rain bouncing off the tarps.

A truly great experience for the cost of just a bit of petrol.

Wild Camp 2

One final veiw of the lakes before going home