8 min read

Camping in the Woods

A working weekend and campout in the YesWoods

After my previous visit to the YesWoods I was excited to see another camp out planned on a weekend we didn’t have all the girls. It was also to be a working weekend in the woods doing some “gentle” forestry clearing some of the dead wood and the like before chilling out around the fire.

Saturday

I couldn’t make Friday night but Saturday morning I woke up and started to get my kit together. It was supposed to be warmer than my last visit to the woods so I only needed to pack one sleeping bag this time, and I didn’t think I’d be needing my waterproof coat so only packed my warm padded one.

As I said, I was excited about going to the woods again but my anxiety was clearly playing with my head as I pottered around the house “getting ready” not really committing to an actual time to leave. I seemed to find one thing or another to do even though my pack was ready and I really didn’t have a reason to head off on my stroll to the woods.

Anxiety’s a funny old thing isn’t it? I knew full well that the woods would be wonderful, and that it was a pretty good bet that everyone there would be really nice like last time, but my head just wouldn’t let go of those little seeds of doubt and worry. This is why I again planned to walk to the woods. The walk would calm me down and [hopefully] quash the anxieties and nerves.

I finally got myself together and out the front door just before 11:30am, taking a slightly different route to the woods this time. Having time to look at the route this time – last time, the route home was put together quickly looking at my GPS before heading home – I’d managed to find a route that had less lane walking and more walking in the woods. Much nicer!

A short hour and a quarter later and I strolled into camp to find everyone taking a break around the camp fire after – from what I was told – a hard morning’s work in the woods.

Hellos were said – some hellos and goodbyes as some of the group were about the head off – and I took a group shot of them all for posterity’s sake. Dave, Simon, Steve and Shanice were there again, along with Andy, Rachel and Chloe, plus two others I’m sad to say whose names I can’t remember.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing some “gentle” forestry, clearing some of the dead wood, building natural barriers using dead trees and fallen branches, and generally clearing some of the woods to make them a little bit more accessible. It was a good afternoon’s work, and it was astonishing how much could be done with a few pairs of hands to help out. Tom and Amanda arrived to help out for a few hours too.

Simon, Andy, Tom and Amanda weren’t camping for the night and all headed home at different points later in the afternoon while the rest of us carried on with the work a little bit longer.

Feeling a little pooped out tea break was called, just as it started to rain lightly, and then a lot heavier! Dave, Steve, Shanice and I huddled under a tarp strung over the fire pit and we got the fire going. The rain got heavier and heavier and didn’t look to be stopping any time soon!

Not having any mobile signal in the woods is a great way of switching off from the world but it doesn’t help when you want to know if anyone else was planning on coming to the woods for the night. The plan was to meet at the Unicorn pub again at 6:30pm and Dave had no idea if anyone was going to be there or not, and the walk in the rain (much like me, without a waterproof coat on!) could all be for nothing. Steve offered to drive him there so the two of them headed off to the pub.

An hour or so later they came back. Nobody else was with them.

My original plan for dinner was to walk into Sonning Common to go to the chip shop. Shelli and everyone at home were having fish and chips so I thought I’d join them; if you know me then you know I absolutely love my fish and chips! The rain on the other hand had a different idea. That and the fact that I’d not brought my proper waterproof coat with me – doh! My padded jacket is okay in a little rain but the downpour we were in the middle of would have drenched me in no time.

Dave bless him came to the rescue and cooked up a couple of bacon rolls for me – one with scrambled egg in as well – which were lush! Thanks fella!

As the sun went down we sat round the camp fire chatting and chilling out, and after a good day’s work we all headed off to our beds around 10pm.

Sunday

I don’t know what went wrong this time with my camp pitching but I just couldn’t get comfortable in the night. I kept slipping off my sleeping mat – which didn’t happen the other weekend – so I guess I’d pitched my tent on a bit more of a slope that last time even though I thought it was in the same place? I managed to snatch a few hours of sleep and didn’t feel too tired for it.

Everyone was up bright and early as Steve needed to head off around 8am, so Dave and Shanice were going to catch a lift to the station with him. There wasn’t really any reason for me to stay any longer so an early start would mean a full day with everyone back at home.

Camp broken down and kit squared away I hit the trail at 8:15am, walking the reverse of the route I took the previous morning. I wonder how many other routes I can find to walk from home to the woods, and vice versa?

Again, an hour and a quarter later and I was knocking on the front door – I hadn’t taken a key in case I lost it – and waited. And waited a bit more until Shelli opened the door telling me I’d woken her up! Oh dear, not a good start to the day. Sorry honey.

All in all another fantastic time in the YesWoods, and it was great to meet a few new faces too. Roll on the next one!

Photos

Saturday

Sunday

Route Details

Route Files

Saturday

If you’re interested you can download the KML file and/or GPX file of the plotted route. Please be aware though that the route was hand-plotted and so may not be 100% accurate.

Sunday

If you’re interested you can download the KML file and/or GPX file of the plotted route. Please be aware though that the route was hand-plotted and so may not be 100% accurate.

Walk Statistics

Saturday

MilesStart (HH:MM)Finish (HH:MM)Breaks (HH:MM)Walking (HH:MM)Pace (MPH)
3.8711:2612:4000:0001:143.14

Sunday

MilesStart (HH:MM)Finish (HH:MM)Breaks (HH:MM)Walking (HH:MM)Pace (MPH)
3.8708:1509:3000:0001:153.10

Route Maps

Saturday

Sunday

Elevation Details

Saturday

Start Elavation (m)End Elavation (m)Max Elevation (m)Min Elevation (m)Total Climb (m)Total Descent (m)Climbs on Route
171135176128104-1400

Sunday

Start Elavation (m)End Elavation (m)Max Elevation (m)Min Elevation (m)Total Climb (m)Total Descent (m)Climbs on Route
135171176128140-1040

More information about climb ratings can be found at Map My Walk.