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Dartmoor Camp MLD Cuben Duomid 20.8.12 (4th Camp!)

On August 20th I set off for my fourth camp, this time my MLD Cuben Duomid was packed in my Burn pack. A variety of lightweight shelters is wonderful. Having said that I most definitely used the correct shelter in the Hilleberg Staika first up all the way back in March. I really love my MLD shelters though, and these will be used extensively!

I am very impressed, four camps in six months, not even I really expected that. I missed April as I was honoured to be part of the DSRT Templer Way walk and in May the weather was horrendous all morning moving into the afternoon. Despite abandoning it I think that experience was valuable though.

This walk being August meant there was no firing on any of the ranges and this allowed me a new route south to the same camp. I suspect it will be sometime before I venture out with no idea where camp will be. I don't see that anytime soon. Besides, I'm more than content keeping it familiar and clocking up camping hours. I'm plenty happy in my own comfort zone for now.

I have a plan for the winter which includes a go home option but hopefully a spot I found last winter by accident will make a good camping spot. If I can't find it.... Let's not worry about that. It's there!

Back to the August walk.

For some reason this was a walk that my mind didn't want my body to stop on. In fact I stopped twice for taking my pack off and trying to get some food down me. Fair to say I was not terribly relaxed. I suspect in part due to this being exactly two years to having Sue cremated. Also it was a walk or parts of it, that were new and some parts were walked with Sue (as was previous walks, but they were well trod by me since) 6 years ago (yes, that long!) and one section was walked in October 2009 when Sue was in Oxford having a fungating tumour removed from her pelvis, at least it gave her another 10 months. But that was a traumatic walk where I got misplaced in horrendous continuous horizontal wind blown rain. I trod where I had been. The memory of Sue's voice over the car phone on the drive home... This time it was clear sunlight and warm.

I left the car at 9am. I was a bit later than normal due to listening to Larry Hagman on Radio 2 about Dallas!

My original plan was to walk to Doe Tor but somehow ended up walking past the side of Brat Tor. Ok, yes, it was sunny! In all honesty this was fine as this way the stream was easier to cross and bypass Doe! From here it was easy to see Hare Tor, but I still took a compass bearing, knowing my luck I'd walk to the wrong one. There is a string of Tors here!

My next original plan was to follow the path on the map down to the river that also had a path on map. After three quarters of a kilometer and no path I reached a steep bank leading down to the river. I could see no path there either! So I changed tack and followed a path leading to Ger Tor. There is a path from Ger Tor to the car park I did want. I missed said path and bush wacked through horrible gorse!

From the car park I followed the road to a footpath leading to Bagga Tor. It was along this path (before Bagga) I had my first forced stop by the River Tavy. This section is under trees and very pretty, totally different to the open moor which has a beauty of its own.

From here I followed the path past Bagga Tor wanting the Lych Way path. Missing this and heading towards Lynch Tor! To say I was cocking up navigation was an understatement. Having said that I knew where I was I simply wasn't going where I specifically wanted. It was easy to head in direction of Lych Way and the path was obvious when I hit it. Some paths don't deserve the description path. This did!

This was the path I wanted in October 2009. How did I miss it back then. Easy!

I followed the path east towards Lydford Tor. All the while wondering how I missed it. Following it down Conies Down Water (below Lydford) the path quickly opened up and became indistinct. From the other direction from where I was coming from nearly three years ago in horizontal rain it looks easily missed.

From here I headed on the moor side of the wall to deliberately miss Lydford Tor. I didn't want to be dragging Bess over the wall. There were many ponies here, all very curious, a few walking right up to us.

From Lydford I followed a path that soon disappeared to Devil's Tor, my second forced stop. I had to stop and eat. Usually my rolls go down a treat but adrenalin seemed my nourishment. For the first time ever I removed my shoes and socks. Just as well, a small blood blister was developing on the inside of a toe. I put iodine and a plaster on it. Forced down a roll, and put my shoes and socks back on.

It was more cross country using a few animal tracks to the base of Cut Hill.

I seemed to be in a hurry. The whole walk seemed hurried. For a change it wasn't the car I craved but camp!

The other original idea was to head to Fur Tor, then Amicombe Brook and then Little Kneeset.

I tried Amicombe three months ago, but twisted my left ankle at the top of Fur Tor on a bad stone. Last time I got to Kneeset and stayed (rather than investigate). This time, time was running out in my mind and I wanted to get to Little Kneeset. So again didn't bother with Amicombe!

Why have I been trying / thinking about looking at Amicombe, I think its a potential camp spot for future use...

From Fur I headed to Little Kneeset, topping up with water. I tried to strap one Platypus to the top of my pack, my MLD Burn again, as a trial. It fell out quickly. Need to revisit that idea. It's not far so I carried them both to camp. Maybe a kilometer uphill!

I had the Duomid and set this up beautifully, taking my time, now I was at camp, filmed a bit as I set up.

For some reason I seem to film more than photograph my surroundings. That is odd! In any event filming seems a vital cog in my armory of enjoyment and seldom fails to make me smile or laugh!

I had pretty much everything set up when dark clouds (not forecast!) rolled in. It started to rain about 7pm ish. Very ish. Might have been earlier!.. This was my first foray with rain. Ideal timing as I was set up in the dry.

I got Bess settled in, sat on my airbed and zipped ourselves up. Checked my toe then got cooking. Not my toe!

I had both meals, boil in bag Look What We Found meals, as the evening progressed and was very warm on top of my sleeping bag. I changed from my dirty walking trousers to light leggings until I got inside the bag for bed. I never needed any of my layers, other than jumper and wind shirt for three forays outside for a pee between showers.

When darkness fell I heard knocking on the Duomid, moths. Not mine! They soon found their way walking along the grass and inside. I quickly zipped up my MLD Innernet. It was reasonably roomy for what it is. I didn't feel too confined by it. Like last time even though it wasn't "cold" I was chilled each time I left Duomid for my tiddles. The mists were in and stayed all night, I guess, and all morning walking back.
I had a good night sleep being very warm wearing just pants or for my American friends, boxers. This was the least I have worn so far.

I woke about 5am and thought that was it and I'd be thinking "car"! I was very tired and nodded off, I wasn't ready to even think about getting up. My body craved more sleep. I woke again just before 7 and immediately thought oh no I need to get going! Once again I felt the urgency to leave. It's not a pleasant feeling. It's frankly a pain!
I made breakfast, hot porridge. I hadn't used enough meths so the stream water was warm at best. I didnt die from not boiling it. I left the porridge to thicken a bit in my smaller MLD ti pot and dropped a tea bag in the remaining water in the larger one. Adding Marvel and sweetener I gulped it down. Ate my porridge, which tasted fine and cleaned and packed my cooking kit up together.

I got dressed, packed my dry night layers into an MLD cuben stuff bag. I have a bit of cuben!

Put my damp shoes and socks on then stuffed my sleeping bag into another cuben stuff bag. This, my clothes, phone charger and ditty bag goes into a larger cuben dry bag at the bottom of my pack in front of my folded air bed which acts as my pack frame.

The rest of the kit follows on top. I put the Duomid in the front pocket. My pegs go in the top hood pocket, as far away from my air bed as it's possible to put them! Nothing sharp or edged goes inside my pack.

As the weather had been relatively warm I hadn't unpacked much of Bess's kit, so she was quick to pack up. I did a quick video in the morning.

It again took about an hour and a quarter. So I wasn't rushing, but nor was I taking my time! I did have to stop and dig a hole whilst packing up!

The walk to Green Tor was shrouded in mist. Despite my reservations of mist and yes I did check the GPS I was on track. It took about an hour to reach Green Tor. Then down to Bleak House and heading towards Great Links Tor. I took another bearing to be safe. There is a path but I wanted to ensure I didn't stray in the mist!

It was walking along here, a path I have trod many many times over the years that my bloody sodding left ankle twisted slightly as my foot dropped into a small ditch, only a few inches deep but enough that I cursed, again! At least this time I didn't go down! I gently walked, the air blue, to Great Links and towards Brat Tor. One small section between them is quite stoney. I trod very carefully and, for me, very slowly!

Brat Tor was reached, again I stopped for a few moments, I must admit my legs were aching a bit. Sadly age is catching up with me a bit, poor sod! But my legs kept going happily enough and my pace was pretty good where the terrain allowed. This time I didn't strap up my ankle at the car. Nor at home. I felt no need.

Looking back on it it was an enjoyable experience that I appreciate now, more than during it. I also look forward to my next camp....and the following camps!
As for winter, I have already said on Twitter and Facebook and above that my plan will be to go to Dartmoor, do my winter route and camp in a spot I found by accident earlier this year. Ok, a wrong path was taken but I recognized my error quickly and it may prove beneficial if I really did find a good flatish area about an hour or less from the car. Fingers crossed!

If the weather is abysmal or I simply don't feel up to it, I'll carry on walking to the car. I genuinely hope I can use mind over matter, or in my case matter over mind and set up camp and chill out for a winter's night or three (over the months - not 3 at once!).
My real enjoyment and excitement comes from post camp and talking about it, sharing it and reliving it. Like here!

It's a wonderful experience. Despite any appearances. There is nothing to fear and plenty to be gained.

Kit takenů

Dartmoor Camp List August 20th.

MLD Burn all options Frameless 36L 566
MLD cuben X Large dry bag / liner. 54

MLD Cuben Duomid in MLD Cuben stuff bag 415
MLD Mesh InnerNet Solo cuben floor / MLD stuff 203
Tent pegs 4 Easton / 4 ti V and 4 MLD Ti. 141
Pole Extension 20
Plastic Foot support (prevent pole sinking) 7
Cradel loops (2) for 2 poles Emergency Wind 9
Quest Outfitters 0.74oz cuben sheet 2' 4'6" 24
MSR Blizzard stake (Trowel) 1 23

Sub Total 842

PHD Sleeping bag 200/900 +4c 7cm loft MLD Stuff bag. 609
SynMat UL 7 Short 408
MultiMat 2' 4" cut off. 79
Exped Pillow pump 158

Sub Total 1254

MLD 850ml ti pot inc string pouch 106
MLD 450ml ti pot 37
Trail Designs MLD 850 Ti Tri cone 48
Trail Designs 10-12 burner 15
J Cloth tiny piece! 1
Light My Fire / Fire steel 28
Foil (aluminium) 10
Measure pots (2) 1
LifeVenture Lexan spoon 14
Spoon - MLD 16
Trail Designs Caddy 89
Bottle (1) for meths 175ml 143

Sub Total 508

Nalgene 400ml (90g each) TWO! 180
Map / case 140
Compass Silva Type 4/54 38
Silva ADC Pro 65
Phone / aLokSak 142
SatMap No case. Goes in one MLD pouch. 230
Oakley Half Jacket Glasses / bullet case 119
Petzl XP Core head light 83
Two 2L Platypus containers 36g 72
Aqua Mira (empty 8g) 35 drops. 10
Hand gel 23
Suncream pot 7g 22
Insect repellent cream 30% DEET 12
Dyneema cord 2mm spare 10m one piece 30

First Aid kit in Ziplok bag. 140
Leatherman CS Style Knife 41
MagLite Solitaire AAA 24
Lighter 17
Lipsalve 9
Whistle 9
Body Glide Anti Chaff 5
Pod First Aid Dry Bag (Emergency items) 25

Waterproof matches 12. 8
Shock Cord 24" 6
20' Dynema Cord 1mm Emergency only. 4
Duct tape 26
Mylar tape 18" 4
Seam Grip 10
Exped Textile Glue 7
Rubber bands 4
SynMat patches 4
Ear plugs 0
Ace Bandage 52
MLD Cuben Ditty Bag for above 2

Toothbrush 5
Toothpaste pot (pot 8g) 15
Soap 4
Towel Vaude 16
Hankies 2 10
MLD Cuben Ditty bag 2

Teck Net inc lead / adaptor. 199
Ear Phones for phone 14
Spare phone bat / aLokSak 36

Book First Blood 277
Alwynch Book Lined writing pad 130
Pen Inka 16
ZipLoc bag 12

Plastic / Freezer bags for Shoes / Feet 19
Toilet paper 26
Waste Pod stuff sack inc 6g plastic bag 66


Sub Total 3238

Arcteryx Delta LT Zip Polartec Thermal Pro Micro S cream 204
Patagonia Polartec Vest 248
ChocFish T Shirt 187
TNF Leggings 91
Smartwool Liner Socks 39
Buff scarf 37

MLD Cuben Large 16"/8" stuff sack 9
MLD Cuben dry bag Medium 19

Berhause Paclite trousers 198
Montane eVent Air Jacket Small 296

Sub Total 1328


Tea bags (5) / Marvel (35g) / sweeteners (10) 74

Actual Packed weight 74

Daytime Food Kcals
Rolls (Aprox weight!) 400 800
Nature Valley Crunch Oats and Berries 42 189
Nature Valley Crunch Oats and Honey 42 198
Frusli Red Berries 30 113

Actual Packed weight 520 1300

Evening Food
LWWF Staff Chicken Casserole 297 178
LWWF Yorkshire Pork Sausage Casserole 281 397
Potato (2 lots) 100 300

Elevenses Ginger 170
Elevenses Chocolate 182
Nature Valley Oats and Choc 162 195

Actual Packed weight 956 1422

Porridge (50/20/10g) 1 Portion. 80 285
Frusli Blueberry 113
Nature Valley Chewy Trail Mixed Berry 118
Elevenses Chocolate 182
Jordans Breakfast bar 242 294

Actual Packed weight 254 992

Total weight of Food & Tea / Kcals 1804 3714

TOTAL in PACK with food. NOT water . 9594

Pacer poles Alloy 694
Camera NEX 7, paracord & 18-55mm + hood. 562
Cloth 6
Aquapac Medium waterproof camera bag 103


Rohan Pants 51
Smartwool Liner Socks 39
Mountain Hardwear light Convertible Trousers 387
Rohan On Route LS shirt medium cream 271
Arcteryx Squamish Hoody wind 135
Shoes 660
Rohan cap 52
Watch Sunto Advizor 54
Credit card / Driving License in aLocSak


Total on Person 12608 12608

Bess List

Ruffwear Pack Palisades 850
Ruffwear Day Coat / high vis / water resistant 155
Ruffwear Bed Highlands 351
Ruffwear Bess Night K9 360
Dog Bowl 30
Food 500
Schmackos 190
Dog biscuits Shapes 60
Trek Towel 80*60cm 105
Trek Towel 110*60cm 147
MLD Ti pegs 6 60
OookWorks BessBed 131
Bess Total. 2939

Hare Tor
Hare Tor
Ger Tor
Ger Tor
Hare Tor
Hare Tor
River Tavy between Coffin Wood and Standon Steps
River Tavy between Coffin Wood and Standon Steps
Bagga Tor
Bagga Tor
Ponies near Lydford Tor
Ponies near Lydford Tor
Ponies near Lydford Tor
Ponies near Lydford Tor
MLD Cuben Duomid with MLD Solo Innernet
MLD Cuben Duomid with MLD Solo Innernet
MLD Cuben Duomid with MLD Solo Innernet
MLD Cuben Duomid with MLD Solo Innernet