A friend of mine (aka Webby) phoned me a while ago looking for some advice as he wanted to start wild camping. After a chat covering the usual sorts of questions such as where to go and what kit you need, he went away to buy some gear. Fast forward to last week we’d arranged to get out Friday evening after work for is first wild camp adventure!
Kit packed and laptop lid slammed shut, we headed up to the Peaks. The only plan was to camp somewhere on Kinder, given time was fairly limited we opted to park in Hope and head towards Crookstone Knoll. This is only a short walk out of Hope and your on the flanks of Kinder within an hour or so. Finding a parking space on the Edale Road near the Cheshire Cheese Inn , taking hydration very seriously, we sampled a couple of pints before the walk. The pub was fairly busy, most people having tables booked for food we sat outside on the new seating area at the back. A very sensible two beers later we grabbed our packs from the car and headed down the track that crosses the railway line and over the fields to Fullwood Stile Farm. The path gradually climbs to Hope Cross where we continued on to Crookstone Barn and up onto Crookstone Hill. The spot I had in mind sits on a couple of shelves just below the summit of the plateau, but as we got nearer we discovered it was occupied. This seems to be the current theme, those easy to reach areas are very busy at the moment, next time I’ll be going further afield. We decided to continue along the perimeter path West meeting the path that leads to Madwoman’s Stones. A short walk onto the plateau we found a great spot out of sight of the footpaths and put the tents up. I was using my MLD Trailstar on this trip, my mate had bought a bargain £50 tent off Amazon, a similar design to the popular Vango Banshee, but a weighty beast at ~2.5Kgs. Whilst a heavy cumbersome beggar it was well up to the job for a night on Kinder in July. For those setting out for their first wild camping adventure this cheap tent is ideal, although I imagine it wouldn’t be long before it was switched for a lighter upgrade. Nevertheless it still has a place for first timers who may not catch the wild camping bug. The weather was fine with a few passing clouds and mild temperatures (~13c), as the it went dark not long after we’d pitched it started to rain. It rained through the night and into the next morning, both shelters performed well and we both stayed dry. Waking up around 5:00am by the rain I watched the clouds pass over the plateau and rain bounce of the Trailstar for an hour or so before getting out from under my Katabatic Gear down quilt. One thing I like about the Trailstar is the room and ability to be able to pack everything away in the dry underneath the shelter. Waterproofs on and everything packed away all that remained was the shelter itself. Waiting for a break in the rain the Trailstar was down and packed in record time and we began retracing our steps back to Hope. It rained the entire walk back but I think Webby had a good time and enjoyed his first wild camping adventure, there was mention of the next during the drive home. I didn’t take any photos on this trip, I was too busy chatting and forgot, this is one Webby took on his phone.