Next Wednesday I shall be off to Dartmoor for a few days. Dartmoor has become a favourite place for a leisurely backpacking trip. The hills are modest, but there is a real feeling of wilderness and solitude that I like. It’s nice to be able to legally wild camp in many places, although decent spots are rarer than maps suggest.
Because of the firing schedule, I will be repeating most of the walk that I did last year, as I will be confined to the eastern side before the weekend. I shall be travelling on Wednesday to Ivybridge and finding a suitable pitch not too far away. On Thursday and Friday I shall walk up the eastern side of the moor to East Okement Farm, where I’m meeting Nigel Parrish of New Forest Navigation.
Over the weekend Nigel is going to teach me how to navigate properly! As there’s no firing at the weekend, we can roam the north moor with impunity. I’m not sure where we’ll be camping on Saturday. While the others will return on Sunday evening, I’m going to seek out a little place I’ve spotted. If it’s not suitable to camp, I’ve got a fall back position.
In terms of gear, the real interest will be how the Ecco Biom mid boots shape up. On short walks they’ve been superb. However, it’s only on long walks where you find whether footwear really works. The Gossamer Gear Mariposa 2012 will be getting a second and more testing trip. The weather forecast is a bit mixed with the possibility of high winds, so I’m taking the Scarp. I’ll give another heads up before I go.