Sunday, 20 July 2014

My First Wild Camp!


It was something I'd been thinking of doing for months now, whenever I'm out walking or driving around, I'm thinking if it would make a good place to camp out. Taking my inspiration from a great website about Micro Adventures, I decided that the time had come. The philosophy is to give your life a refresh, to do something different and enjoy the great world we live in. 

I was in between travels and had been working away all week in Peterborough. To sum it up I was bored!! I got home from work at 5pm and packed my backpack for my nights adventure. I think I over packed as my bag weighed in at 15kg! 

It was the hottest day of the year so far touching 30C, and I set off at 6.30pm from my flat in Alcester.....

My plan was to walk out of Alcester following the River Arrow out into the Warwickshire countryside. The walk took me over bridges, around farm land and through some beautiful scenery. I reached a Ford at Coughton, and then took a track out into some fields until I reached my destination 3.2 miles and an hours walk away from home. 

I found a great spot on the banks of the river Arrow, shaded by branches of a tree. 100 yards away was a small wood called Timms Grove, with some unusual wood sculptures inside, but not a soul in sight. Just what I was looking for, complete isolation and peace. 

My five star accommodation tonight consisted of a bivvy bag and a Basha to act a  canopy. Stunning views, en suite facilities, fresh air, and all for free! 

I set up my camp and collected some wood for a fire, and enjoyed watching the sun setting over the other side of the river. I had a bit of a swim in the river to cool off........perfect. The cool cans of beer I had bought with me were going down a treat.

As dusk arrived it was time to light my BBQ to cook my dinner......2 Sweet flamed Red Chili burgers and a packet of Curry flavoured Super Noodles! Accompanied by a bottle of Red. I could hear a motorbike approach in the distance, I thought I was going to be asked to move on, but he didn't see me and he just checked the gate was closed by Timms Grove. He actually fell off his scrambler doing it and looked round thinking no one had seen him which was quite amusing!

My meal was delicious and it was now getting dark quickly. My BBQ doubled up as a fire pit. I lit my camp fire and was mesmerised by natures own TV Channel. No flies or midges were going to come anywhere near this fire! It was still hot and humid, and I could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. Unbelievable as the sun had set into blue skies. I put my Basha up, securing it onto the fence behind me and pegging it out onto the ground. I think I was  in for a bit of a storm!

I settled down in my snug Bivvy bag under my Basha just after midnight, and then heard a load of tractors in a nearby field, the field was lit up with floodlights as tractors began moving Bales of Hay. Who the hell does this at Midnight! Luckily they were gone 30 minutes later and I still hadn't been spotted.

I drifted off to sleep......This was the calm before the storm! At about 3AM  I heard an enormous clap of thunder and the sky was lit with Lightening. And then came the Rain!! And boy did it rain! My Basha was given a thorough testing but between that and my Bivvy bag I remained dry. 

I finally woke again at 6AM, and made myself a Mug of Tea and cooked some sausages for breakfast...Nothing more satisfying than this combo to wake up to. It was still pouring with rain and a lot of my stuff was getting wet, but I remained dry.

 I packed up at 7AM and checked that the site was how I found it yesterday. This was were I was going to get wet, as I trudged back to Alcester. I was wet through after the walk in torrential rain, but satisfied I had made my first Wild Camp...There will be more, although next time I think I will pay more attention to the weather forecast!

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