I arrived back from Dartmoor mid-evening yesterday. It’s fair to say that I saw both faces of Dartmoor, the gloomy and the glorious! I’ll do a fuller write-up over the next week but here’s a taster. When I arrived on Monday afternoon, the clouds were massing and the wind freshening. So much so, that I sought an early pitch. On Tuesday it rained from 2.30 in the morning until 5.00 p.m.! The day was a complete washout with next to no visibility, so I stayed put.
That meant the next day turned into an 18 mile yomp. However, the weather improved and ended in a glorious sunny afternoon and evening. The yomp meant that I was nearly back on track. Thursday was even sunnier and I got sunburnt. It entailed a bit of a race to get to Okehampton to ensure I got the right bus to Exeter to connect with the train.
All in all, I can confirm that Dartmoor is a truly excellent place to backpack and wild camp. Not a wind turbine in sight! I shall be back as I’ve spotted several places I want to camp and they are all legal! The only shame is that Dartmoor isn’t a bit bigger and that access is somewhat restricted in the north by military use. Lots of really interesting, wild and beautiful places to see.
I’ll do a proper gear report, but I’m afraid the Adidas Terrex Mids had some issues, which led to overheated and blistered feet. The Scarp needs a few running repairs, including a new pole section. It stood up to some ferocious weather on Tuesday morning. I took the Lightwave Ultrahike pack in the end and was glad I did as it was superbly comfortable, especially on the yomp.
Public transport worked superbly, with everything on time within 5 minutes. The only downside was the deadlines it imposes and the reduction in flexibility. Still, it is very easy to reach Dartmoor and get quickly on to the moor from London, so it has some advantages. Here’s a taster of what’s to come.