Wednesday, June 4

Dartmoor: Water, wildcamp small arms fire

"Fantastic filter!" read the message on the compliment/guarantee card that accompanied my latest purchase from Bob C's on-line purveyor of fine outdoor ideas.

With a week on Dartmoor planned sometime during June, and cognisant of the recent high rainfall, I decided to pick up one of the Aquagear Water Filter bottles. And a well thought out piece of kit it is to.

The proof of course will be in how it works out in the wilds, but based on ease of use (10/10) it removes any lingering concern I may have had about water quality in an area that I will be largely covering for the first time in any detail.

This is a trip I've had up my sleeve for a couple of years. To cross and possibly then recross Dartmoor, wildcamping as I go. To get a better feel for the area as a whole. Not a thing that can usually be achieved with a National Park in a mere week.

By now I would be normally scouring my various reference material gathered over past years to work out the route. But with recent work related issues requiring an unwholesome study of financial matters relating to my future I've not felt relaxed enough to get down to the real planning as yet. And to be honest although this was once a pre-break pleasure these days I just like to have a set start point, face in the rough direction of travel, and then plan as I go dependant on conditions, weather and whim.

But Dartmoor will require a little more care bearing in mind the Army's busy schedule of live firing in June. They're welcome to their training of course but it means travel southwards of Okehampton has to be carefully gauged if I don't want to get trapped for a couple of days lying-up beyond one of the No-Go areas.

(Anyone have suggestions for N/S crossings, or maybe just some special spots to visit?)

In theory I could be out on the moors late next week. Supposed I'd better sort at least the start point out very very soon, rather than sit here chewing on Bob's Jelly Baby freebies that arrived along with the kit.

Tomorrow perhaps. Tonight I'll saviour BBC2 TV's Springwatch, in preparation for my very own version in the South West.

A well needed break from the so called normality of real life.

Yep - I'll have some of that.

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That could be a great trip, although you'd certainly have to re-cross it to make a week of it all. reminds me that it's quite a while since I was on Dartmoor - I wonder if you could connect it with somewhere else. I'll have a look at a map and see if any ideas hit me.
Ah well John, pack your cam. gear, you know the old saying, if you can't beat 'em, join them!!! Have a great trip. It sounds fantastic. Next week I am heading north in bushcraft mode. Dawn.
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