Thursday, 28 June 2007

Trail August 07

"Wild nights: camp high and wake up to the mountains"

Claire Maxted gets out wild camping, and writes a good article. Her tent-mates gave different perspectives on the trip, and it was good to be reminded of other people's experience levels.

The kit range was varied, but maybe recommending a 3-person 7kg tent for newcomers was over-the-top without explaining that you could spread the weight over the 3 hikers rucksacks.

Good advice on decanting tins to tupperware - this was aimed at newcomers (others might use ziplock bags instead). Using a urine bottle as a hot water bottle. And "do we take pyjamas". Cracking stuff, and the ladies deserved a front cover (why weren't they there?).

One failing - the law. As I recently said, I'm big on the legal side of things. So, what was the advice from the magazine (I assume they've run it past their lawyers): "The rights and wrongs of wild camping are hazy. From a legal point of view you should obtain permission from the landowner - though in many areas, such as the Lake District and Snowdonia, it is tolerated in the high mountains...". I've said enough on this law-breaking recently. If any of the magazines want to start a campaign to get civilised wild camping in the rest of the UK, then I'll happily sign a petition. In the meantime, the law isn't hazy, people just chose to ignore it for their own convenience. If you don't agree with the law, fight to get it changed or amended.


The second big article was on scrambling. I'll need to read that, as I'm off to Transition Extreme on Thursday for a taster session on their climbing wall. Shiver.


Around the edges are lists of 6 train stations handy for the hills; 6 bivvy bags; hydration sacks; 30-40 litre packs (+/-15%).

Strangely, the result of a test on actual volumes of rucksacks versus manufacturers' claims only merited a half page in "The Knowledge". In the rucksack test, a line stating "Trail tested capacity" has been added.

Es Tresidder describes his recent record-breaking traverse of the Cuillin Ridge. 11 Munros in 3 hours 17 minutes 28 seconds. (link to Es' personal site)

Science of the hills seeks to explain questions like why the sky is blue, feet smell, and why we follow paths.

Torridon is the featured range; and the routes section features child friendly treks (sponsored by the 3-person tent from Blacks that Claire featured).

Trail forum


Simon said...

Correct (as usual) the law on camping in England is clear. I was surprised to see Trail fudging it. However, it is not a criminal act and even the police do not (normally) have the power to order you to move. So I will carry on with my 35 years of unlawful activity.

AktoMan said...

If some rough looking sort was camped in my garden, I'd be on the phone to the police first. Just in case the person turned nasty.

Does English law differentiate between a garden and wild camping regions?

Simon said...

Nope - which may be part of the problem. A land owner can ask a trespasser (aka a responsible wild camper) to leave and if they don't after 'a reasonable time' they may use 'such force as is reasonably necessary'. You don't get a lot of landowners up English grouse moors in the middle of the night. Surprisingly a police officer if present has no power to order you to move, nor any duty to assist in any eviction. I leave aside the theoretical risk of being sued for phyical damage. (Judge: "He damaged how many sprigs of heather you say?")

AktoMan said...

But the premise is that you are camping on land that you have no right (legal or moral) to be on.