Sleep On A Hill In Oxfordshire II

It’s been a long time since I last wrote an entry for this blog, but to be fair I’ve also not been finding much time for getting out for wild camping. But my wife met someone who is into wild camping and put him in touch with me, and he was keen to get out. Due to a knee injury he didn’t want to hike, so we decided to stick to something simple: A[nother] one night camp on a hill in Oxfordshire.

We arrived late, after the sun had gone down, and found that the doors on the van wouldn’t open due to the sheer force of the wind. At the time we didn’t know it, but we were about to spend the night camping in Storm Hannah. The wind was severe and we joked, as we hiked up the hill, as to whether we really wanted to camp in this weather.

In the dark and the wind we pitched our tents near a bank that would give us a little shelter from the wind. Standing at the top of the bank was almost impossible, where as the area where the tents were pitched was calm — relatively speaking. Yet cooking dinner was difficult: the flame from my Trangia’s stove was burning almost horizontally in the oncoming wind. With dinner eaten, pitch black surrounding us, and driving wind and rain sapping our bodyheat, it seemed prudent to bed down for the night. Before we slept we noted just how many people were on top of this hill in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night. Various torches lit the top of the hill regularly. Best guess we could make was that people were completing some kind of endurance trek on The Ridgeway.

Thanks to the heavy wind and rain neither of us really slept. I had to re-peg my tent in the night when I discovered that one wall of the tent was sagging so much in the wind that it was actually making contact with the wall on the other side of the tent. I used the time to devise a plan for making the tent more storm resistant for the future. Daydreaming of new pegging out points, new guy lines, re-proofing, I lay there waiting for the morning and generally hoping for a break in the storm long enough to let me get some rest. Sadly it wasn’t to be and, at 6am, we broke camp.

Being a quick overnighter in rough conditions I didn’t take any photos or video. But it was good to get out and it was nice to do a non-solo wild camp.