Tuesday, May 9

DAY 5 Sat 9/7/22 Rippon Tour and avoiding the Haytor madness

  Typical Dartmoor, the sun had arrived, but with a vengeance.

Clearly not a day for long distance pack humping, especially considering the water load that would be neccessary.


Some meandering around checking likely spots eventually led me over to Widecombe in the Moor to follow the road leading up onto Haytor Rocks (760 774).


In the past this has been an area that I've always avoided like the plague. Especially during the summer months. 

Haytor always seems to be teeming with day trippers, and with that comes the problems of noise, late night partying & an increased risk of theft from any cars left unattended overnight.

So not my natural first choice.


But after speaking with a couple of local people it felt like parking & overnighting away from the main honey spots might work. And to be honest it was just too uncomfortable to carry on cruising around in a hot car.


I decided to keep it simple using the car park at GR 742 761, and following the distinct ascent up onto Rippon Tor (746 755). That way I could visually check on the car if needed, and definitely hear any alarm going off.

(No idea what I would do then, but the logic made some sort of sense)


Sad, but a realistic consideration when wildcamping in remoter places for any period of time, when using private transport, 

Rippon Tor       

Spot the tent? Click the picture to find me.         

And there I sat into late evening. 

Watching the masses below, soaking up the sun, in a light breeze, enjoying the peace and quiet from on high. A opportunistic wildcamp pitch, but well rewarded.



Just a couple of issues.


The ponies here are highly inquisitive, remaining so until the early hours of the morning.

I don't mind sharing, but their wariness of people had clearly disappeared. Too much cadging snacks in Haytor car park I guess - there is a similar issue here in the New Forest each summer.


And the ticks. 


Oh the ticks.


After years of avoiding these little buggers I managed to pick up 5 in one evening! Whilst wearing long trousers and socks. 

I even sat for several minutes watching a group of them work their way up a sun hot rock, ready to launch onto any unwary passerby.


Overall - an excellent view, but not a tor I'd wildcamp on again. Too much wildlife out to get me it seemed.

But I did get plenty of opportunity to look over nearby tors,and tracks, for some interesting ideas for the future.


Another trip over. My wildcamping approach, selecting gear/food/water out of a car boot will not be for everyone. 

But it continues to be working well, giving me access to a variety of areas, without restricting myself to water sources. 

By increasing my flexibility in this way it means I continue to enjoy something that over the last three decades I've come to understand is an essential part of my make up.


 Long may it continue.

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