The posh tramp returns…briefly at least.

Wastwater, Lake District National Park
An iconic view, eh? Wastwater as it reaches into Wasdale and the Scafells.

Busy times for me at the moment. And tiring ones too. Been back home since Wednesday afternoon from a 12 night trip to the Lake District. I think I had every kind of weather thrown at me during this time, including the heatwave we’re currently experiencing here in the UK. And I head back again next week for several more nights. The Lakeland fells feel more like home than the bricks and mortar I’m blogging from right now.

Strong winds, prolonged spells of heavy rain, hail at one point, finished off with long, humid and sunny days. Mother Nature tried her best to undermine me. And throughout this visit I used a tarp and bivvy combo!

Most nights were spent under a Terra Nova Competition 1 tarp and Discovery bivi. The usual set up was the tarp folded in two and pitched to form a “micro tarp” which worked rather well at repelling strong winds and rain enabling me to cook while lying in the bivouac and not miss out on hot tasty meals!

Other camps involved the well-known A frame configuration of the tarp – with some double-guying of my walking poles, this again proved surprisingly strong in stiff breezes. Even if I modified it slightly by keeping the rear low to the ground into the prevailing winds.

Wild camping, Lake District, Terra Nova Competition 1 tarp
Tarp camp near Round How on the Scafell massif.

Towards the end of the trip, I swapped kit to test out the Sil Tarp 1 from Rab, along with their Alpine Bivi and a couple of new down sleeping bags. But I shall not bore with you kit talk in this post (even though Rab had sent me a new prototype lightweight waterproof jacket which is exciting). That can wait for a few weeks.

In the meantime, here’s a short video below I’ve knocked together featuring some of the scenes I captured on this latest Lakeland jaunt, including a tiny glimpse of a shoot I did with the local National Trust team repairing the fells.

The latter was quite the enlightening experience. These folks basecamped in the little-known hanging valley on the Scafells (hidden behind Round How just off the Corridor Route) for 3 nights in awful conditions, just to ensure a quick and easy climb up onto Ill Crag to repair some paths and remove unnecessary cairns. Hard work, in tough terrain and in less than ideal conditions. It surprised me how much graft the team do in terms of protecting and maintaining England’s highest summit. Fair play to them and it’s a side of the National Trust not many folk are aware of. Alas, all will be revealed in the final film.

Before I go, I’d like to thank the Wasdale Head Inn for their kind support as usual (they’ll know what I’m referring to). Georgina and the team are a God send for me at times. Thanks folks! And I’d like to thank Rab for sending me out some support kit which I needed asap. And finally my wife – not often I mention her indoors on here – for turning up as moral support after a tough week out on the fells near the end of my trip.

She really is a hill-widow, and I’m always grateful for her support and understanding with my work. More so, given I left her alone one night to go and bivouac on the summit of Scafell Pike (more of which in another future post)!

Other than that, this posh tramp is already cleaning, packing and preparing for the next trip out amongst the Cumbrian fells….

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