Oh the life of a gear reviewer!
Hehe ok so I’ve only really just started with it all, but I’m enjoying the challenge of taking new bits of kit out into the hills and trying to form objective opinions on them. The latest gear aquisition is a Crux AK47 rucksack that I’m currently in the process of testing for Webtogs, and about which I will write a proper review once I feel I’ve tested it more thoroughly and ironed out my indecision about various aspects of its use…
So, this blog entry isn’t so much about the kit testing, as it is about the process, by which, I basically mean I went walking and wild camping with Justin last week, and it’s about time I wrote something about that little trip.
For some reason I let myself be talked into a ‘bivy on Snowdon’ on Wednesday night after I’d been training with NEWSAR. What a crap idea that was…and I knew this to begin with. My biggest mistake however, was in borrowing a bivi bag that was really too small to fit a thermarest inside but still deciding to try to do so…
There are many ways in which I could describe that night, but I’m going to go with this one: a bit like being tied up in a straight jacket, wearing a gag (frigging drawcords…) and being laid in a large shower cubicle with the water supply on cold…oh yes, t’was a wonderful night, only topped by waking up in complete clag and more rain. I wouldn’t have minded so much if I’d at least had a nice view of the stars…but no.
A retreat to a cafe for tea and time to dry out left us wondering what had happened to our fabulous weather forecast, before we eventually set out through Beddgelert Forest in search of a nice spot to pitch the tents (oh yes, no more of this stupid bivying lark), eventually settling on a rather magical spot amongst some abandoned mine buildings, with a view of nearly the entire range of the Nantlle ridge.
In the morning we abandoned all our well-thought-out plans for the day in favour of just chilling, wandering, and enjoying ourselves (aided in part by one of our party managing to twist his ankle in a muddy bit).
This was my first trip out wild camping this year, and I have to admit I’ve missed it a bit. There is something truly magical about being out in the hills away from normal life, simply able to see and enjoy nature and whatever gifts she gives you. Looking out of an open tent door at a wide-angle vista of stars framed by some of the most beautiful geography our country has to offer, is really something special. I breathe easier out there somehow.