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Wild camp preparation
– Put it in the bag, take it out of the bag…- Perfecting what and how you pack.

Leave no trace
– With great nature comes great responsibility.

George’s tips on taking your dog wild camping
– Considering your dog’s needs so they enjoy it as much as you. – Farm and wild animals.

 

Wild Camp Preparation

By George Gilbert

 

Embarking on your first wild camp can be exciting as well as a little daunting! Where to go, what to pack, how to pack and what to eat can all make or break your experience! I’m not going to spend time here discussing specific kit; this will be more about the earliest stages – packing, unpacking (a lot!) weighing things…!

You’ll spend a lot of time considering what you need against what you want. Obviously taking what you need is essential like food, tent and what to sleep in, however, you can actually take what you like too but that comes at a heafty cost – you have to carry it all! Now I’m not talking about taking a BBQ (they cause a lot of damage, plus you have to carry out whatever you carry in), full dinner service and tablecloth but for your first experience, be kind to yourself and take a few little luxuries.

I chose to take my dog as my little luxury and that obviously came with a whole lot of extra things to carry. I spent a lot of time packing my Bergen and then un-packing it, trying to figure out in what order I’d need equipment. The weather played a role in this – there was no rain forecast so my waterproofs were low down in the pecking order but I like to snack quite a lot, as does my dog, so they were close to the top of my pack.

Once you’re satisfied with the order of your pack, pick it up! It’ll come as a bit of a surprise as to how hefty it is then, if you’re like me you’ll spend another hour deciding on needs vs wants and then realise that you can’t remove anything and have to accept the weight (around 15kg with food and water). I have to say here, once it’s on your back the weight feels very different and somehow more manageable.

Now you’re all set with the pack and feeling a little confused as to where to go?! I’m based in Wales and unlike Scotland we’re not supposed to set up camp without the permission of the land owner. It’s not always as straight forward as this, finding the owner and then getting a response can be difficult but with that said I would always pull the stops out to seek permission.

Go remote, the Brecon Beacons are beautiful but also very popular and I have to say seeing lots of tents close to footpaths isn’t something that every hill walker wants to see. I went to the Black mountains which have some more remote parts so you can tuck yourself away and mostly out of sight. It’s this reason that I went on a recon to check these areas out first before committing the team to the mountains!

Once you’re all planned, maps and compass in hand and GPS loaded up there’s only one thing left to do –

GET OUT THERE AND ENJOY IT….!!

Quote of the day:

“Prior to setting off – tell a responsible person where you are going, how long you will be and what time you’ll be back and of course, make sure you don’t forget to tell them you’ve arrived home safely too!”

Toby Corwen www.hellonature.se

Leave No Trace

By every responsible lover of the outdoors

 

The Countryside Code for some reason has been overlooked for many years now. I remember in school all those years ago learning all about it and realising how important it was that we leave no trace and do no harm. So why, over the past 18 months have we seen a rise in littering – the biggest culprits being poo bags and nappies.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the presumption that people assume their litter will be picked up by a ranger or local authority grounds people. This IS NOT the case. City parks etc have bins and people to empty them, however, there are many many places we visit that do not have this and so it is expected that people take their litter home. It’s sad and upsetting to see that this just isn’t the case. Whatever the reason for leaving litter though, it has a consequence to wildlife and the impact on the environment as we all know is great. Plastic does not dissolve, some nappies have chemicals in them that neutralize odours, bacteria etc that form a gel, and then ooze out into the environment for wildlife to ingest (they’re after the rich smelling and tasty baby poo!)

So it’s a really simple message –
PLEASE….. LEAVE NO TRACE

www.naturalresources.wales

Taking Your Dog

By Pippa (the dog)

 

Taking your dog to me is my little luxury but it does come with a lot of responsibility. My Pippa is a pet, not a working dog so she is not that hardy and isn’t used to farm or wild animals. She’s also a terrier and so her breed is adept to hunting so taking her with me in an area where there is livestock was not any easy decision. It took a lot of consideration and deliberation.

Firstly there’s the poo, Pip doesn’t actually poo that much (thankfully) but with that said, you must pick up after your dog. Then there’s her needs whilst camping – food, bedding, coats (as I said she’s not hardy) all this adds weight to your pack. Her food and water comes first so measuring how much (especially water) was tricky as I didn’t know if the river would be flowing. I know I can go a while without food and water but would never put her through that uncertainty. I took her own sleeping bag and mat to keep her off the cold floor too – even though she ended up in my sleeping bag at 3.30am anyway! I also knew that she would be on the lead 100% of the time so I made a long leash from paracord to attach to her harness. All this prep made sure she loved it!

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