Few weeks ago I took the opportunity to take some time for myself and went for a few nights solo camping in Dartmoor.
The idea was to leave all the electronics, phones, books etc behind and just be with myself.
Well, the allowed item was an empty journal and a pen.
And a map.
Eventually I would want to do that without any food, which is sometimes referred to as a Vision Quest.
This time the challenge was to just go and be there with myself and check whether I can survive without distracting myself.
I packed some clothes, my awesome one man tent (Fjallraven Abisko Lite 1) and a sleeping bag (Carinthia Brenta). By the way, the tent is great and I might write a review of it soon as it’s a truly great tent made by ethical company with care to environment. Reviews are hard to find though.
When walking from Yelverton’s Co-Op to Leewood I often saw some beautiful Tors in a distance and thought of going there some time. They were calling me and I thought it would be good to visit one of those Tors, see if I can find a place there for my camp.
I looked on the OS map and found out that the name of the Tor I wanted to go to was called the King’s Tor. Good name, maybe I’ll become the king of the Tor for a few days.
It looked like around 3hrs walk. Given the state of my posture and back, I was expecting some difficulty with carrying a backpack. I was not mistaken.
I left early in the evening (around 5PM) and headed towards the moors. The walk was beautiful although it was a bit cold and showery. I was surrounded by nothing but the trees for the first hour of walk.
Then, once I got to the top of the valley and got to the moors, fields have opened and I could see the Walkham Valley to the left and open fields to the right, with Tors towering over everything in the distance.
Soon enough I found out I was not alone. Struggling with the backpack, I was chased by the sound of sheep calling, which stayed with me for the duration of the trip.
I have no photos, since the idea was not to have the phone with me. Just believe, it was amazingly beautiful.
The No King’s Tor
King’s Tor turned out to be a rock covered with a wet sponge of moss. I walked over across and around and found no suitable place to pitch the tent. No camping there.
On my way to the King’s Tor though, I passed the disused Quarry. It was getting late. It was getting dark and foggy so I didn’t have much time to setup the camp, I had to find the spot soon.
I went back to the Quarry and soon enough I found a nice place with astonishing view. When I was setting up the camp, the fog came and completely covered the place. When I was done, I could not see anything around me.
I was very tired. I eat some toasted Pita bread, with inside smeared with peanut butter, sliced banana, raw cacao nibs and cinnamon (while being immensely grateful to Miss D) and went to sleep.
In Search For A Water
Next day was a beautiful and sunny day.
I have carried enough water for a day and I was nearing the end of my water supplies. I wanted to go and look for the water.
It so turned out the there is another disused quarry nearby, named Foggintor. Such a beautiful place.
If you looked at the photo, the water might look a little bit better than in reality. Although I had a great filter with me (Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier) I was reluctant to draw from a standing water source.
I filled my Hydration Pack (Source Widepac 3ltr) with filtered water and headed back. I spent the rest of the day exploring the surroundings and just being.
NOTE: I just realized that the post is getting rather loooong, so I’ll get to conclude shortly 🙂
It was a great experience overall. I spend 4 days at the Quarry, walking around, sitting outside the tent or at the top of the quarry mesmerized by the beautiful landscape, looking at the moving clouds, writing in my journal, cooking my evening meals on my superb camping stove (Biolite CampStove), another great piece of kit I will write more about at some point.
I was not bored. I was mostly at peace, although some things came up in me, some big questions got asked and some answers heard.
I greatly advise anyone to take silent time for themselves, away from distractions. To experience the Nature around us and the Nature within us.