Trip and Hike Reports

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Trip and Hike Reports

Post by the_alias » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:23 am

I thought it might be nice to have a thread where members can post camping/hiking trip reports and what they learned and what worked on each trip. No set format but feel free to copy mine if so desired.

Title: A trip to Dartmoor aka the_alias hides from the British Army and is chased by a herd of cows!

Location and durationChagford, Dartmoor, Fernworthy forest area. 1 night trip.

Trip report Having a few days left before uni restarted but not enough for any longer I decided to take my first solo hike'n'camp. I'd mapped the area I wanted to go to, found the bus service and was underway. I arrived in Chagford around 09:30, which is an awesome typical English country town. Avoiding the lure of the outdoors shops I headed straight towards the moor. It was about 3/4 km along roads and bridleway. All uphill, yay. I finally reached the moor, quite happy with my map reading skills and headed towards the first tor/rock I saw to get my bearings. As I sat on the rock working out where I was and making a vague plan a couple stopped and said hi and pointed out to be a few things I should check out and made a joke about wolves. Heh if only! I set on my way again and came across the picturesque North Teign river. Pausing for photos and jumping around rocks I carried on...through marshy/boggy land that takes about double the time to cross.

Thats the thing with rough walking on the moor, some parts are a bit like walking in deep snow and can be hard going. I carried on, navigating my way towards Tors. Pausing for a kip and lunch in the sun. A quick check ensured that Okehampton range wasn't being used I headed into the firing range area for a bit. Then turned south and began to make my way towards the forest for the evening passing more tors on the way. Around this time blisters began on the heels but they were fixed though I did curse myself for not having my medical shears.

I reached the forest and found a campsite just on the edge, cleared some ground and set my bivvy up and got some water boiling. Well I say boiling, my swedish army trangia is dodgy it appears (after previous trips it being fine) and despite half an hour did not bring to a boil the 600ml I had on. It was hot, just not boiling. I made dinner and was a little disappointed at the Veggie Bolognese, in fact it was pretty vile and I ended up not eating much. The custard and apple pieces was better but I had added a little too much water meaning it was sloppy. Leftover sandwhiches and that ensured dinner was good. I then sat and read but wait , voices. It was the British Army come to capture me, well ok no it was them walking home from patrol but I didn't fancy being spotted so I stayed still and hid till they passed. Woot!
Sleep followed and I slept pretty darn well despite being on a slope. My thermarest thingy is awesome and I was plenty warm enough. I only awoke around 1am for a piss (having bedded down around 8/9) then slept through till 6am. 6am came and I was up, and eating breakfast, Museli which actually was pretty darn good. Packed up I set off back to Chagford, my way only disturbed when crossing a field on the footpath to turn around and see a herd of cows charing at me! I escaped got back to town, had a cuppa and was on the bus home. All in all a good trip.

What was learnt
*Those high quality moleskins I used sucked, the older less posh ones doubled up work better.
* My FAK needs bulking up with proper tape and duct tape.
* I need to sort out my stove
* For short trips like this I'm better off bringing precooked food from home and not bothering with stove/hot
* Pack'n'Go food is ok but not their Veggie Bolgnese
* My map reading isn't dire
* I need to work on my distance estimates and work up my stamina.
* Don't disturb the Cows!

Pictures:
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Tor no.1 (Kestor rock iirc)

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Moorland is awesome

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The Teign

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Moor legend states if you go through this it either cures your Arthritis or kills you

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Dead sheep in the water. Brash tried out watersports? :lol:

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From the woods to the pic is all freaking marsh!

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Yours truly.

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Stay out!

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Cairns I think

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Camped in here

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Camp

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What I woke up to.
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by jimbawb » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:32 am

Looks like you had a quality time mate :) , I really wish I terrain like Dartmoor only a bus ride away from me!

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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Cyborg » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:52 am

That looks really good mate. I am quite jealous. I love the little outdoors shop in Chagford, you actually missed out there because they normally have a load of good well known knives for cheap prices.....
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Brash » Thu Apr 23, 2009 6:59 am

Dead sheep in the water. Brash tried out watersports? :lol:
Oi! :lol:
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by TC » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:43 am

Looks like a cool trip. You seem to have had some experiences very similar to ones I had years ago.

When I was a cadet back in high school I was doing a self-reliance exercise with a bunch of other lads and we ended up crossing a field of cows where the ground's mud:shit ratio had shifted very strongly in the direction of the shit end. One of the less capable of the group slipped and fell in the muck. Somehow the way he fell made it so that his arse was stuck in the slurry by some quite considerable suction, but that wasn't the biggest problem. The previously placid cows turned out to be flesh eating bovines and upon seeing their next meal fall into their shitty trap, began stampeding towards him eager to devour him. Being two of the older members of the group, my mate and I who had already cleared the field had to ditch our packs and dash back across the field of crap and try to extract the muppet from his impending death by drowning in crap and being feasted on by the charging beasts... We made it by the skin of our teeth. Good times.

As for ordnance ranges, that's another story, but just make sure you don't go near one with reckless Americans (who will later walk down Camberly high street fully cammed up with rifles because they couldn't be bothered to read their map to find their way to the RV), nothing good can come of it.
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Brit-ZedHunter » Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:38 am

Dude that looks like a great trip. We should look to do something similar as a group at some point.

Just making me look forward to the bugout even more!
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by the_alias » Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:48 am

Thanks for all comments guys. There is now a standing invite to any ZSer who wants to hike on the moors!

Guess I'll be returning to that shop in Chagford then haha!

TC: Yeah in this case I was walking into a field where they were fed so think they must've thought I was the farmer come to feed em!
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Mole » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:11 pm

Very nice!

A bit different from my week's worth of camping...

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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by faerie9 » Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:06 pm

TC wrote:The previously placid cows turned out to be flesh eating bovines and upon seeing their next meal fall into their shitty trap, began stampeding towards him eager to devour him.

I nearly spat out my dinner!!!!! :mrgreen:

Alias, it looks freaking awesome, I can't wait for May! :)
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by the_alias » Sun May 10, 2009 1:42 pm

Title Escaping the lure of the Stone circle.

Location/Duration Dartmoor 1 night

Trip Report
So we rocked up to the moor after a relaxed lunch and wander in the town hiked to where we felt secluded enough and then began to set up an Ewok sky camp. Jimbawb and Brit decided to hide amongst the hammocks and brave Adlan's death farts on the ground. A brave choice. It was a relaxed afternoon setting up camp then a few of us went off for a walk on the moor and ran into the Army and some Ten Tors competitors (then the Army found us as some kiddies had gotten lost someplace). An evening of great cuisine produced by Adlan and his kebab sticks (Kebablan was it Brit?) then talk around the fire and us hammock dwellers eagerly clambered in. There were mixed experiences. For my part I was warm but took a while to just fall asleep, the snoring and weird animal noises and sleeping in a hammock all doubt playing a part. Next morning another fire, brekkie and then was back to civilization.

Learnt
Stay up wind of Adlan and Doc
Hammocks are pretty darn cool but I'm not yet convinced.
My new stove and Uncle Ben's rice rock.
Trout is very tasty
Stone circles do not send you back in time.
Adlan and myself can easily take down a pine tree with a Gransfors Bruks axe :D

Pictures:
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The Stone Circle

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Setting up camp

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Camp

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My non HH set up. Was cosy, yay for awesome down sleeping bag and thermarest

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Gollum

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Fire!
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by sheddi » Sun May 10, 2009 2:00 pm

Nice write-up!
It's been a good weekend for it, hasn't it?

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Great Britain's Olympic bivvying team demonstrate the high-density form that won them the Bronze medal in Beijing.

Seriously folks, you've got an entire National Park to play with - why did you all decide to use the same three trees?
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by faerie9 » Sun May 10, 2009 2:05 pm

sheddi wrote:
Seriously folks, you've got an entire National Park to play with - why did you all decide to use the same three trees?
You didnt hear the scary barking singing animals in the middle of the night! I'd love to know what those animals were. It was incredibly tuneful, yet somewhat nervewracking...
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Mole » Sun May 10, 2009 2:16 pm

So jealous! I want to go camping!!!

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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by sheddi » Sun May 10, 2009 3:30 pm

faerie9 wrote:
sheddi wrote:Seriously folks, you've got an entire National Park to play with - why did you all decide to use the same three trees?
You didnt hear the scary barking singing animals in the middle of the night! I'd love to know what those animals were.
Well, since you ask:
http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/beast_dart.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Ad'lan » Mon May 11, 2009 11:26 am

So.... Bright was the Day and Bold the Morning, when Doc invited me to come to his, do some shooting and some camping.

Well, let’s see... Exams Pending, work deadlines, and all, I had to go, I was missing the Mock Bug Out due to army stuff, I couldn’t miss this one.

So, I bought myself a train ticket, and grabbed my New, smaller BOB, which should have everything I needed (and my laptop so I could do some work, and write Fagin, on the way).

It’s a Long way down from Manchester to Reading, but I met Jimbawb on the platform at reading station.

Jim - ‘Hi, you’ll spot me easily, I’m carrying a massive Molle Bag”
Me - “Yeah, You’ll spot me, I’m wearing a Leather shirt and carrying Arrows”

Image

So, we got the train down the Pewsey (twinned with ButtFuk and Nowhre), on the way spotting a little old lady in a headscarf and tweed with her shotgun, and what appeared to be a small child, lifeless by a pond. Jim also aquired the Name Mr Tumnus.

So, Cyborg and Fae met us at pewsey station, and we crashed back at theirs, and showed off our gear (with which Cyborg’s house is full). Jim’s bag is rather guchi, and Cyborg let me a Hammock for the camping. And Cyborg gave me an Axe, a Rather nice Gransfor Bruk’s, as well as showing off his Wetterlings, which I’ll now endorse as as good quality as Gransfor’s, being as they’re made by the same folks. Gransfor’s seem to come to a narrower blade profile, while westerlings are more triangular, which I think is a difference between European and American Forests.

We then set off to the nearby town for some gun shopping. Going Via the Village of the Dammed of course, Me and Jim checked out the Shotgun’s, and discussed Jim’s approaching FAC, along with the fanged and antlered deerskulls along the walls, while Cyborg got the salesman’s amazing pitch. With a New 9 shot airrifle, we returned to Case de Fae, and all the dogs they have.

Brit arrived later in the day, and we tried out Cyborg’s new toy, which began it’s vermin killing duties by dispatching a collard dove, which I retrived, administered last rights with a swift blow of my leathman, and used Jim’s new Ontario Rat to debrest it. I’m a firm beliver in Kill it and Grill it.

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Dead, but tasty.

We hung out some more and then we set off to Cyborg and Fae’s Local, known as ‘Ice and Lemon’. I ate pie (surprise surprise). Jimbawb got a steak on a firey sizzling platter. Cyborg, being local, got his on a plate, with chips.

Fortified with ale, lager, and lime soda (with Ice and Leamon :) ) we set off to the woods, to collect wood for the fire. Fae enjoyed driving Brit’s plastic go faster death trap, so we wouldn’t get the people carrier she rented messy, and we eagerly went into the woods to use our sharp things. Quite quickly, we had a bootful of wood, and we returned, for beer’s, fire, and strange german shnap’s, with barbequed Dove. The New Axe Prooved very useful, though Brit’s Kukri saw good use, and is a much better all rounder. Doc lit the fire with one strike, and ethanol gel.

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Pic's of us drinking in the dark

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Dove Kebab

We then crashed out in Doc’s spare room, Where I suggested we Swap Manly stories, and promptly fell asleep. Which then resulted in them deciding the reason I have a Wild Boar on my Arm is I snore like one.

In the Morning, I drove the other’s out of bed with Strange Folk Music, and then Country and Western. After Tea, and Brekfast, we were all feeling a little more Human. So we prepared to go down to Devon, to pick up Alias, and go camping. We eventually navigated to Alias’s Domicile, picked him up, shoved him in the boot, and set off for dartmoor.

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Before we left, we did have a muck about on the pole, to our surprise, it spins. Brit is seen here escaping before he is photographed. You can't see it, but he's wearing stilleto's.

Of course, first we stopped for Meat and Tea Bag’s at a local sainsbury’s, and then at the village before the moor’s for a meal, The shop’s in that village must have been founded by rouge timelords, because they extended backwards for miles, and included gardening implement’s I hadn’t seen for yonk’s. Billhook good: Billhook on 5’ Shaft, Better.

Of Course, we wasted so much time in the outdoor’s shop’s that by the time we rocked upto the first pub, the landlord eyed us up, and declared they no longer did food.

Fortunately, the slightly more upmarket pub a few houses down, with a drunken landlord (who cheered at Alias’s recommendation of real ale), served us, huge portions of cod, plenty of chips, steaks and gammon with eggs.

So, we finally park up, and set off into the woodlands below the moor, and eventually we find a neolthic Stone circle, and camp nearby, in the hope that it’s power will transport us back to the last ice age (well, that was my hope). We set up camp, and chopped some wood. Then, me Alias, Jim and Brit set off, to walk and see some ruin’s on the moors.

On the way, we passed some squaddies, who were watching over the 10 tor’s, because we’d managed to go rough camping the one weekend when the moor’s were crawling with school kids. It wasn’t far too the ruin, which had some more people camping in them.

The Ruin’s were quite interesting, they weren’t that old. The stone circle was probably 4-6000 years old, while the ruin was only a couple of hundred, probably a well to do farm house untill the moor’s were enclosed.

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The stone circle.

We walked up, and along, and then back across a stream we’d crossed at a foot bridge (pausing only for photo’s with sheep carcasse’s, picked clean by scavanger’s, but dismembered, and fairly fresh (one was not completely bleached, and had the few scraps of flesh still attatched. They say there’s a Beast on the Moor (they say that about every half wild place in the UK), and apparently there’s wolves running wild as well. In any case, all the was left was Ribcage and skull on the spine, with wool scattered hither abouts.

The Stream crossing was fun, Alias made the jump easily, but my heavier pack made me nervous, however, when I gave it ago, I found it was as easy as it looked.

Getting back into the woods was fun, hopping a fence, barbed wire, and then forcing our way in the brush, but then just gentle stroll, though we couldn’t see the camp untill about 20 yards away, Small fire, thick woods, and DMP Basha’s.

So we got down to what ZS:X is all about, hanging about in the woods with fire and sharp stuff. Fire was built up, and trout fillets (rather badly done by sainsbury’s), and beef was prepared, Birch Twigs cut to cook them on. Blas was phemed, and a good time was had by all, till we all turned in. (Some of us prepared for B company’s attack).

Apparently a Monster sung in the night, but I didn’t hear it (some barn owls though, which was nice). The Hammock was good, but I needed a bed roll in it as well (Which I’d neglected to borrow from Doc). Fortunately, it only just got down to freezing, if that, and so my sleeping bag kept me warm enough for comfort. Apparently, my knot’s weren’t tight enough though, because what had been a foot or more above the ground in the evening, was about 3” above the ground by morning, my rope work having gently lowered me as I slept.

Bacon was Done on more birch sticks, and toast was burnt, tea boiled, and porridge manked up.

After Brekfast, we cleard the camp, covered over the fire pit, and it was pretty hard to tell we were there...

Apart from the flash bang doc set off the clear the camp.

So, back into the car, back through the village. Dropped Alias off in Exeter, and then back to Cyborgs for Tea and Medals.

In the afternoon sunshine we set up a target, I strung my Bow, Doc got out lots of Air Guns, as we still couldn’t make it to a real gun range, and so were shooting in his garden.

Lots of Fun, plinking Can’s and such.

Then, Back to birmingham with Brit, And then from there to Manchester by train.

Of course, I had the new axe strapped to the rucksack. Got a few looks. Image
(the little one fit inside when the hammock was left at Cyborgs).
Last edited by Ad'lan on Mon May 11, 2009 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Cyborg » Mon May 11, 2009 11:32 am

Ad'lan wrote:For some reason, I can't post.
Yeah so it seems?
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Cyborg » Mon May 11, 2009 12:54 pm

"Hey Doc, you fancy coming wild camping on the Moors over night"

These things start out so innocently, and they grow and snowball out of control.

So once we had established that I would like to do that the cogs started turning and it was decided we could turn this into a mass shooting trip. People were invited and the plan was to blat off some rounds and then go visit Alias and do the whole moors thing.

Plans fail though and the shooting had to be aborted at the last minute due to the range being full of soldiers. But the trip to the Moors could still happen couldn't it? Of course it could... Until the back axel on our Land Rover snapped while on the motorway the week before, off to the garage post haste and we await their call.... And await their call some more, and more...

OK I lie, we had some tea too. They call back the the prognosis isn't good, the Landie is fucked and will be off the road til they can source another axel. Ohh we could rent a car, now that is an idea. So after a giant PITA with the hire company, including them smuggling us on to a high security military base and then spending an hour driving round looking for the people carrier, we were away. Back to the house to await the first of the boys.

1308 rolls round and we hear from Aladin that he and JimBawb are on their way, we mount up in our new SUV and roll for the station, we arrive and wait, then the one train a day pulls in to our tiny local station. All I can think is "I hope he isn't wearing that stupid shirt", oh look there is Adlan in that stupid shirt, how "nice".

Greetings are made and gear (including a bow and quiver of arrows) is loaded into the SUV and off we go, via the local shop. Back to the DocCave and the vehicle is unloaded, the boys are introuduced to the dogs and knives are shown to one another, quick two cups of tea and we are bored.... What can we do?

Oh I know, lets go buy a gun. So we clamber into our chariot and off we fly, passing through the Village of the Damned the boys clearly didn't believe us when we said the village contains freaky living scarecrows with halloween faces that move in the night but we showed them...

We arrived at the gun shop and started to look round, I selected a sleek black model I had been eyeing up before, the salesman enters stage left "Nice rifle that one, it's made in England",
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and there ends the sales patter. The words "I'll take it" are out of my lips before I he can blink and then we are away with it moments later, into the Chariot and towards home, we stop for petrol (gas to our colonial readers) and get a call from BZH, seems his little MicroMachine has got him here earlier than expected so we zoom off and RV with him.

Once back home the vehicle is unpacked and more tea is drunk, I am itching to try out my new rifle so fully loaded we head into the garden, oh look a dove, first shot of the new rifle and one kill the dove spirals to the floor shot through the throat, Adlan dispatches it humanly and we are good to go with Jimbawb and Adlan dressing it while BZH, fae and I chat.
On the way to the pub a few people want to try out Fae's pole
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Hmm look at the time, it's almost Pub O'Clock! We all change and unpack our junk and load into the Chariot then start to make our way to the local.

A little backstory for the newbies. Our local pub has Borat as a barman, when we first started going there he would offer "ICELEMON" with every drink, be it coffee or lager, he has toned it down a little but sometimes will still do it, he also looks and sounds like Borat so that helps.

We all pile into the pub and I recieve the normal ribbing from the Northern landlord, i am looking about for him but can't see Borat, then through the door he comes. Adlan and JimBawb order a pint of swamp water and BZH and I stick to lager, Fae had an orange. We sit down at a large table and muse over the menu, I already know I am having the steak.

Most of us have now finished our drinks so BZH and I head to the bar, Borat is there and serving I know our luck may be in, 3 pints of Fosters (Jimbo didnt want another pint of swamp water), one swamp water for Adlan and a lime and soda for Fae, the word "soda" had just left BZH's mouth before Borat replied with the immortal line of "ICELEMON", BZH was so caught up in the moment and trying to not giggle he said yes, despite orders to the contary by Fae.

Back at the table and Borat is ready to take our orders, I just nod that I am having my usual, Adlan has the pie and Fae something neither of us can remember, BZH had some kind of gay veggie dish and Jimbo ordered the steak, with all the works on my assurance that it is nice... After a short while our food starts to arrive, lastly comes Jimbos he gets a nice big plate, piled high with chips and onion rings and sald, he is giving it the "Where is my steak look", I know that look I have seen it on friend before, I tell him not to worry, I know his steak is coming, I can hear it... Yes that's right hear it, seconds later there is a cloud of smoke and a loud sizzling noise as his steak shows up, we all eat, drink and be merry, rather quickly we are offered desert and are ready to head home.

Somewhere betwixt the pub and home we decide we need a fire so into the BZHMobile we get and off to the woods, Fae gets a chance to drive from 0-6000000 MPH in 2 seconds, we have no worries about taking it off road because even weak old JimBawb could lift it up with one hand. Into the woods we go and a great pile of fallen wood is gathered, between the five of us I think we have more knives than the Swiss Army...

Back in the rice rocket we go and arrive at home, unloading the car into the front garden and wood is chopped and piles, all of us trying out one anothers various axes, kukris and the like, we all decided that BZH's Cold Steel kukri is bloody great but hard work on the hands. The fire is ready to go, being in the mood to show off my L337 fire making skills I strike my Fire Steel and the fire is blazing first time, OK all the ethanol gel I put on might have helped too... Over the fire Adlan roasted the Dove I had slotted and we sat about drinking and talking, a while later Fae was sleepy and retired indoors, the rest of us headed in a while later.

When we got in we sat about a little and called some ZSUS guys on Skype, insults were traded and then we hung up on them, we all looked at more knives and gear and then decided to turn in. Adlan, Jimbo and BZH were sleeping in the spare room so I popped in to say goodnight, only to hear Adlan say "Lets stay up all night and tell manly stories" then snoring within seconds, epic fail. I was yawning mentally now so I headed to join Fae in bed....

Day two coming soon..
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by jimbawb » Mon May 11, 2009 3:15 pm

I'm too lazy to do a full write up, but here's a few pics, from the weekend;

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The stone circle

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Some mysterious metal contraption that unfortunately was not a trap door

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The Camp set up with the_alias in the foreground

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My sleeping arrangement for the weekend, I sneakily took advantage of the_alias and Ad'lans basha's and slept under them rather than erect my own :lol:

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Cyborg digging out the fire pit

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Ad'lan trying out his new axe

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some scenery

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the ruins from a distance

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Brit-Zedhunter, Ad'lan and the_alias on their way to the ruins

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assorted shots of the ruins

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a creepy shed

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the_alias and Ad'lan proudly displaying their kill... It died of old age :lol:

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the fire nicely built up by Faerie9 and Cyborg

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Cyborg, Brit-Zedhunter and the_alias unwinding by the fire

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The Trout, It was delicious!

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Ad'lan and his 'meat sword' :wink:

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Ad'lan tucking in!

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Tin-foil hat time!

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Ad'lan giving Faerie some Archery advice

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Brit-Zedhunter trading in his guns for a go on Ad'lans bow

The trip was bloody good fun, and I learn't a lot of things;

there is a diference between a RAT and an ontario RAT
I really do want a lot of stuff
I can sleep through most things including weird animal singing in the night
and the guys and gals at ZS:X are a great bunch of people that I really enjoy spending time with!


The rest of the pictures can be found at my photobucket account;

http://s227.photobucket.com/albums/dd60 ... /Dartmoor/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by jimbawb on Wed May 13, 2009 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Aeon » Mon May 11, 2009 4:37 pm

The gallery has been updated, many thanks fo Jimbawb for providing the pics.

Linkage

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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Greg Mainer » Tue May 12, 2009 10:29 am

So while the rest of ZSX was drinking and playing with knives, rifles and much more fun things I was stuck back home to take part in an international event my town hosts. I was to be in charge of our cadets on a two day nine mile walk, no camping or anything just nine miles on Saturday and nine on Sunday. Now on Saturday there was fourteen of us walking, ten cadets and four staff. The walk went well although shortly after checkpoint 3/5 we had our first drop-out! Another member of staff couldn't continue, the shame was the drop-out was my ride home. Oh well at least I had my phone.... Anyway as the others blazed off I found myself playing tail end charlie as no-one seems to know the rule "walk at the pace of the slowest."

Says a lot about my OIC, yes she was on the walk and although she's a "trained" ET trainer in the corps she rushed off and away. Anyway turns out I had the heaviest pack of the day and that to my horror the cadets wanted my Oreo's more then my Mikado. Now then time for a nap...

Oh dear disaster! I got so distracted last night I only had three hours sleep during the night, oh well let's see what happens. We've got three cadets today and myself. Smaller group, this should be fun! A couple of miles into the walk the realisation that two of the three cadets wanted to finish by 1300 hit me and lo by checkpoint 3/5 they'd vanished from sight. Grumbling I decanted all my gear from my person to my pack and rigged myself for running, then leaving the last cadet with the parents of the other two cadets to walk the course I tab it to the next checkpoint. Along the way I find out that the two lads are roughly three miles ahead of us and they want to continue, so using the magic of phones I call back to their parents and ask if they want them to continue.

At first they say no and then they call to say yes they can continue, so off goes the message and along I tab to the next checkpoint. Turns out I'd cut their lead down to only twenty five minutes, while the others were a god forty minutes behind them at least, anyway at that point I'm dry roasting so I bomb into the shop while the wait for the last cadet and the parents. And then drowning myself in a litre of Citrus Burst Oasis (yum!) they turn up and the last cadet delays use for half an hour (during which time I had to cut him loose of his bag, he'd tied an overhand knot into the end of his rucksacks straps and they'd pulled so tight none there could undo it. So out came the vapour to slice with ease through the end of the strap) before dropping out, by which point both the parents have dropped out as well. Grumbling to myself I ready myself to tab the rest of it now, as my little jaunt has put me in the mood for it but then parents strike and I find myself spending the rest of the walk chatting about the sea cadets, disrespect to troops and various other things.

---To follow: rig of the day, rigged for running and the pic snapped by the event photographer on Sunday----

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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by sheddi » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:57 am

Although the overnight stay was cancelled on account of forecast poor weather, Mrs Sheddi and I managed a day on Dartmoor earlier this week. Weather was sometimes sunny, occasionally rainy, and almost always windy. Temperatures were in the high teens Celsius, and naturally felt warmer when the sun shone.

It's a bit of a drive to get there, and by the time we arrived in the area it was lunchtime. So we stopped for lunch in Chagford, at a cafe that claimed to cater for both humans and extra-terrestrials (or those from Vega, at least). I can recommend the butternut squash soup, and the bread that accompanied it was very tasty too.
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After lunch we headed on up to the Fernworthy Reservoir. I was slightly concerned to find that my mapping GPS had the road expiring a mile or so before the reservoir; as we drove off the map at OSGB SX680849 we crossed as cattle grid and arrived on the moor proper.
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The reservoir has a picnic site at SX668838 as you arrive, but being the adventurous souls we are we carried on along to the end of the perimeter road at SX659839, passing a couple of dog-walkers and a camper van en route. This was our jumping-off point. From there we took the forestry road north-of-west towards Fernworthy Circle.
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Fernworthy Circle itself at SX654841 is probably the most-photographed location in this thread, so who am I to disagree? Here's a couple of shots, one of the circle itself and one with Yours Truly standing by one of the stones to give a sense of scale. (The white object in my hand is a folded OS map. The white objects below my shorts are my pasty legs which are more commonly found under a desk.)
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The local druids had been busy appeasing the nature spirits recently, or at least that's how it looked from the offerings in the middle of the circle.
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From there we carried on along the forestry track north-of-west towards the ruin of Teignhead Farm. In case anyone wondered why they built a reservoir here, it's because it rains. A lot. Here's a mossy rock as evidence of this.
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We crossed over the ridge at SX644843 and began to drop down towards the open moor. At this point (1) the wind really began to whistle past us and (2) the ruins of Teignhead Farm came into view.
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Adjacnt to the gate from the forest onto the moor at SX641843, someone had built a debris hut. Do any of my fellow ZSers claim it? (I removed the spent lightstick and packed it out as my contribution to "leave no trace".)
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Suitably braced against the weather, we headed out onto the open moor and turned southwards towards our next destination, another pair of stone circles known as the Grey Wethers. It was on the way there that I started to feel as though we were genuinely getting away from it all - what I've taken to calling the "no-one else in the grid square" feeling. By way of illustration, here's a photo of the moor complete with a stealth sheep.
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Needless to say, we got to the Grey Wethers (and their were-cattle guardians) at SX638831 without incident, although on arrival Mrs Sheddi "took 5" to attend to her freshly-blistered feet. (Neither of us have recently spent as much time out on the hills as we'd like, due in large part to the rugrats not having the legs for it yet.)
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Not long after this it started to rain horizontally (although it later stopped), and between this and the blisters we decided to start back towards the car. We struck off roughly north-east and re-entered the forest via the gate at SX644834, then headed generally northwards to re-join our outward path at SX643844. Here's a few shots of the forest roads.
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We got back to the car without incident, drove back to the picnic area to use the toilets and have tea and biscuits, then made our way home including dinner at a (rather sub-standard) Harvester in Exeter.

What worked and what didn't
You can see what I was wearing in general in one of the photos above. I supplemented my EDC with my Mora, digi camera, a PMR446 radio and a handheld marine VHF (it happened to be in the car ...), a 2-ltr Camelbak, my Magellan GPS plus the Bluetooth GPS for my cellphone, a fleece jumper and my ECWCS jacket (see here), plus OS map OL28 and a Karrimor knock-off of the Silva Expedition 54 (link). I was wearing my brand-new Karrimor Orkney 2 boots (link) on their first outing. Mrs Sheddi carried less gear but still had a matching PMR446 radio, cellphone, a water bottle, FAK, fleece, shell jacket, Silva Field 7 compass, SAK, whistle, 2 cameras (including a 35mm SLR), a Whizz funnel, prescription sunglasses, baby wipes, DEET and was wearing her vintage Scarpa Trek Attak boots.

+ We got out and back again with nothing worse than blisters.
+ I'm confident that if we had been forced to spend the night on the moor, we could have done so safely.
+ My new boots didn't cause me any problems.
+ My cheap Karrimor compass worked perfectly, although having the major scale in mils was at times inconvenient. (I have an even-cheaper Poundland compass that doesn't suffer from this problem.)
+ My recently-neglected land nav skills all came back to me. I found myself hoping for fog (unsuccessfully) so as to increase the challenge.

- Although blisters might have been foreseen, I neglected to pack any Compeed (link - despite their current marketing being aimed at womens fashion shoes, this is a great product for walking boot blisters) and Mrs Sheddi had to make do with band-aids.
- We had originally planned a longer walk (taking in the stones around SX659859) but (in the absence of blisters) by her own admission Mrs Sheddi's fitness might have proved to be the limiting factor.
- We didn't get to overnight it (and, having been caught in a substantial rainstorm in the car on the way home, it's probably a good job we didn't).
- There was no cellphone signal, hardly unexpected (hence the PMR radios) but which is worth mentioning nonetheless.
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by Brit-ZedHunter » Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:27 am

Nice report.

Looks like you had a lot of fun. You werent to far from where we were actually. We started at the resevoir also.

It's a really nice area but as you say, a bit of a drive to get there from just about anywhere.

I would love to do another trip there are some point, and stay overnight again. There is some talk of a winter hike/camp but we need to spend a bit more time thinking / planning it because its going to get pretty nippy out there in the night in the winter!
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by the_alias » Sat Aug 22, 2009 2:42 am

Awesome report Sheddi! It is a grand ol area....though hoping for Fog on the High moor, dude it's just dangerous! Wouldn't want to stumble into the live fire areas now!

And yes a winter hike'n'camp needs to be looked into!
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Re: Trip and Hike Reports

Post by the_alias » Mon Aug 31, 2009 6:38 am

This thread needs some more Trip Pron!

These are just from my holiday this year which was three days in Verbier. This country sure does mountains well!

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Ahh awesome

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Tortin slope

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Lunch spot at mountain lake

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Shell used for avalanches, also part of the worst shortcut ever, always always stick to the paths, going down slopes is asking for a broken ankle or a serious tumble.

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Wooded trail

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Bout a 150 meter drop here.

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Even higher up.
Man is a beast of prey

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