Monday, June 27

Dartmoor Wildcamping Trip 14-19 June 2022 - Washup

Lessons learnt & tips

1. During trip preparation I marked all my dry bags with a Sharpie permanant marker. No more rooting around for the right bag that fits the kit. Simple idea. Huge benefit.

2. On a similar cheap & easy idea, I've started to use basic supermarket ziplock plastic bags to keep key kit together. e.g. External recharger & various connecting cables all in one bag, marked accordingly (so many different types required nowadays!) 

Again - easy to keep all the things together and quicker to locate.

It always amazes me as to how I can sit in a tent, put something down, and then not find it 5 minutes later.

3. Sleeping bag - my Mountain Equipment XT350 was an expensive 3 season bag but increasingly I have cold feet. I understand the need for some physical activity before getting into the bag, but it feels as if the down has disappeared. And increasingly I'm having to wear thick socks to get my feet warm.

Looking back over this blog I see that I highly rated the bag originally, so something appears to have changed.

Between trips the bag is always stored uncompressed, so it's not that.

Post trip I discussed this with a military friend, used to sleeping bags\poor conditions. He suggested that the more expensive bags use a finer down, so it needs to be 'livened up' more than 'shaking out before use' can help.

It's now being dry cleaned to see if this reinvigorates the down.

Next trip I'll also be taking my old (and very small packing) Vango Venom 225. Its only 2/3 season, but I may need to try it as a comparison. I've also a largely unused goretex bivvi bag to take along as an alternative to try just in case.

Otherwise - it's a new bag. And I really don't want to spend hours researching Warmth v Pack Down size v Weight all over again. Especially as actually getting my hands on a physical item in the (few and increasingly rare) outdoor outlets is becoming increasingly harder.

For the cost and usage I've had from the ME bag I really expect more from it.

The jury is out.

4. Pitching tent each time I'm always looking for the entrance porch side to ensure the wind\pitch is correct. And occasionally the tent starts to go up back to front.

Once the tent was dried I've used a silver coloured Sharpie to mark up the entrance side more clearly to see if it helps. I don't like marking up my gear, but as I'm the only one who ever uses it, and its clear all of it gets used until worn out, personalising it like this isn't an issue.

Let's see how it works.

5. Skylarks.

Dartmoor in a nutshell. Didn't realise how much I'd missed their song. 

For the first couple of days I rarely used my MP3\headphones. 

The birdsong was too beautiful to miss. 

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