Sunday, 1 August 2010

Dartmoor: Black Tor Wild Camp

Camp at Black Tor (Walkhampton Common)
When I buy a new piece of kit, I just have to try it out as soon as possible! So, armed with my new Lowe Alpine TFX Outback 65:80 Rucksack, Jim and I ventured out on Saturday afternoon from Princetown.

The intention was to camp down by the River Plym at Giant's Basin, but we made good progress along the cycle track and were there by 3pm.

I suggested we carry on, and head towards Black Tor via Norsworthy Bridge, which turned out to be a good option as it made the walk back to Princetown on Sunday morning only an hour.

The choice of place to wild camp wasn't the greatest, if I'm honest. Black Tor has a good view, but it is close to a road. Also, it falls within an area where camping is only allowed with the landowners permission, which would explain the herd of cows.

Soon after we had eaten a pretty poor freeze dried meal, the weather took a turn for the worst. I love the way things change so dramatically in a short space of time on Dartmoor, and we were soon heading for the refuge of the tent!

The rain began, the mist descended, and we were in for the night. As it got dark, and we switched on the lamp, the orange glow of the Quasar acted as a beacon in the low visibility for some of the cows, and there was an uneasy few moments where I was running this scenario through my head where one would stumble into us as it made its way through the mist. Thankfully, by the time the light was switched off, the activity outside died down.

Sunday morning, well aware that we had no permission to be here, but more significantly with the lure of a fry up at the Fox Tor Cafe, we were up at 6.30am, and packed on our way back to Princetown 45 minutes later.

  • Date: 01/08/10
  • Description: Princetown - Siwards Cross - River Plym - Giant's Basin - Norsworthy Bridge  - Overnight camp at Black Tor - Princetown - Rain, overcast, mist, 19km.