A meeting with Vango and a gamble with the weather that paid off

Vango Apex 200, wild camping Lake District National Park
Head ruling the heart, I left a wet and miserable Scotland behind to spend a couple of days in the Lake District.

On Tuesday I set off at the crack of dawn for a long journey to Glasgow for a meeting with Vango to discuss a project they’d like me to work on. After which I then hoped all would go well and I’d nip up the road for a photoshoot featuring one of their new tents in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park – a place I’ve been itching to explore for quite some time.

It’s been 8 long years since I’ve set foot on Scottish soil so I was really excited about wandering to places new with a pack on my back – more so given I had to reluctantly cancel my place on this years TGO Challenge due to work commitments. A simple consequence of being self-employed unfortunately. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate in next years social hike across Scotland.

Alas, all said and done things (as usual) didn’t quite transpired as I had hoped.

The meeting with Vango was fruitful and a success though. I’ll be working on a series of videos promoting their 2013 range of tents with immediate effect over the next 8 weeks and at the end of that a nice trip abroad somewhere is on the cards too. UK locations for the videos will vary given to the shelter that arrives on my doorstep. I’ve already listed a few which includes Scotland along with Snowdonia, the Lake District and more.

On top of this I’ll be capturing various photos of each product. Needless to say, I’ll be requiring the service of volunteer models for each shoot – more of which can be found HERE (with some pressies thrown in for good measure).

The whole meeting had been really quite humbling in truth and the project I’m about to embark on is really quite exciting. Not just because of the products involved (of which I’m unable to divulge any information until further notice) but with how we all agreed on so many ideas and possibilities that we’d like to incorporate into the videos. It was nice to meet people who are just as driven and determined (or overwhelming depending on your point of view) as myself. I need to be if anything, but I’m becoming more and more aware recently the fruits of labour from being so tenacious with creative ideas and inspiring scenes (or at least that’s how it feels!). And it’s been a joy to share it with people and push for more.

So after a quick wander around the fine city of Glasgow I checked in online to have a peek at the weather forecasts and it was then that things took a different turn.

My heart was so desperate to nip on the coach and head north but my head was now arguing otherwise. The weather for the next couple of days or so wasn’t ideal for a photoshoot in the Trossachs. I was really pissed off in truth as only some hours before I was certain things would improve. But I noted conditions would be much more favourable for work in the Lake District and so it was my head that won the argument in the end.

Waddling round to Glasgow Central and jumping onto a train for Penrith, any such sad emotive instincts evaporated as the train snaked it’s way through Dumfries and Galloway to reveal blue skies and sunshine. Within 2 hours of leaving the hustle and bustle of Glasgow, I was soon propped up by a bench outside the Sun Inn at Pooley Bridge. Happy days!

Supping on a pint and feeling somewhat smug I made the right call weather-wise it soon dawned upon me that the only map I had with me covered the Trossachs area. Bugger. Never mind, I’ve spent many years exploring the Lake District and so I figured it wouldn’t be any drama wandering about on the fells and that’s what I did…..

*Note some photos were taken on a DSLR (images that Vango will be using for marketing purposes) and others on a standard compact camera.

Ullswater and Pooley Bridge, Lake District National Park
Looking back to Pooley Bridge by Ullswater as I made my way towards Arthur’s Pike.
View from Arthur's Pike, Lake District National Park.
The view from near Arthur’s Pike. It’s not the highest of hills by any means but it was a place I’ve wandered before
that affords a splendid view of Ullswater and towards the Helvellyn massif. One I’ve always fancied coming back to
and taking in from a wild camp.

Vango Apex 200 tent, wild camping in the Lake District
Vango’s new Apex 200 tent I’m currently testing at sunset from near Arthur’s Pike. 1.7kg, SilNylon fly, all nylon inner
with mesh panel venting. Sleeps two (better just the one in my opinion), large porch with 2 way zip door which gives
a big wide view of the world. The deep fringe helps give some shelter in inclement weather too if you like to keep the
outer door wide open.

Vango Apex 200 wild camping above Ullswater, Lake District National Park.
And so the sun began to set beyond the Northern Fells of Skiddaw and Blencathra.

Vango Apex 200 at night, wild camping
It wasn’t until midnight before any stars became reasonably clear in the skies
above camp.

Dawn from Arthur's Pike. Vango Apex 200 wild camping, Lake District
Dawn came soon enough and so did the midges too. Bloody buggers. Swarms of them! Fortunately, I had a head net
and some Avon Skin So Soft with me. No bites for me!

Cross Fell and inversion
Looking north, it seemed a bit grim despite a nice inversion swarming Cross Fell.

Ullswater, Lake District
Escaping the midge fest, I made my down to the shores of beautiful Ullswater to make my way to Glenridding.

Lanty's Tarn
The walk around the shores of the lake took me longer than anticipated. The heat of the day didn’t help either being
energy sapping. After a brief visit to the Travellers Rest pub in Glenridding, I made my up to Lanty’s Tarn nearby.

Wild camping, Lake District
I had hoped to camp on the summit of Helvellyn but the previous 9.5 miles had knocked me
for six. So, I chose to head beyond the woods of Lanty’s Tarn and camp for the night.

Vargo meths stove on the go
Meths stove on the go, it was time to relax. Alas, the midges came back and not long after
I retired to my bed for the night. Besides, the sun had been replaced by thick cloud now.

Geigerrig hydration system
Arriving only a couple of days before for testing, the Geigerrig pressurised hydration
system. More of which I’ll talk about another day.

Rab Pulse jacket
Mugshot. Me wearing the new Rab Pulse jacket. The following morning I woke to clag and heavy rain. And so onwards
I went and headed home.


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