Not having camped out in quite some time due to the COVID-19 madness, I decided to pack my bag, take a stroll, and camp among the bluebells for the night.
I had the day off on Friday, most of which was spent putting my kit together and waiting for a bloody delivery to arrive, which typically turned up just gone 4pm “wasting” most of the day. Finally though I put my pack on and headed out the door to make my way down to Goring to pick up the Ridgeway path.
I’d scoped out a couple of possible wild camping spots along the path (which I won’t mention or show exactly where they are here as they were on someone’s land who clearly wouldn’t want it publicised), both of which were in woods full of bluebells and well away from the beaten track.
I made good time to my spot and it wasn’t long before my tarp was up (I used my CamJam XT Cord Tighteners for the first time, and they were great!), my roll matt was laid out, and my sleeping bag was ready for me to snuggle down into once the sun had gone down.
I’d cheated a bit when it came to making dinner, getting some ready made Wayfarer food that just needed to be boiled in the bag. I have to say that I wasn’t exactly expecting too much from them, but the pasta and meatballs was really good, and the chocolate pudding – although a little stodgy – tasted really good too. They definitely filled a hole after the 7 miles I’d walked earlier.
Food eaten, there wasn’t much else to do other than sit down (I’d clipped my lightweight camping chair to the pack) and enjoy the sounds of the woods as the sun went down. Wonderful!
Once the sun had gone down I snuggled into my sleeping bag and drifted off to sleep…only to be rudely awoken in the middle of the night by two dear barking at each other! One was reasonably close and the other some way off but they were clearly having some sort of conversation. Sadly, I didn’t manage to get my phone to record it, but if you’re interested in hearing what they sounded like then head on over to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EWzg4eiJnM which is pretty much what I was hearing, in the dark, on my own, in the middle of the woods!
I clearly managed to fall back to sleep as I was woken up around 5am by the dawn chorus. This I did manage to record (see the videos below) and it was lovely to just lie there listening to it all around me.
My 4 season sleeping bag did an amazing job at keeping me warm – it was pretty fresh first thing in the morning – as not once did I feel cold during the night, not even my feet. Awesome!
I lied in my bed for an hour or so just listening to the sounds of the woods, and then I finally got up, cooked some breakfast (the all day breakfast pack was delicious!), and packed up my camp. The only thing that gave away that I’d been there was the fact that some of the bluebells were flattened. Other than that you would never know I’d camped there for the night.
I put my pack on my back and took a slightly different route home, taking in more of the amazing landscape before heading over the Thames and up the hill home.
An awesome night indeed!