Wild camping in the Lake District – Originally published April 2012:
I’ve been so busy lately and kept meaning and meaning to get this post up for some time. In the not so distant past, you may remember we had a bit of an heat wave and lucky old me had a long weekend off from work and decided, even before the promise of good weather I was going up to the Lake District to do a bit of wild camping.
I bought a bit of a posh sleeping bag back in January, capable of winter conditions but only just had a free weekend to do some wild camping.
I have been wild camping once before, in the Peaks but as nice as it was it in truth didn’t feel as wild as it should. The Peaks is my stomping ground, I know I can go most places and be back at my car within the hour and in my bed not long after. There are places sure I have in mind for some wild camps in the Peaks, but for something a little different the National Parks with the bigger mountains are always more enticing, to me anyway.
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Three Tarns in the Lake District. Situated between Bowfell and Crinkle Crags, the tarns lie in a little col. What this means, not only are you between some fantastic mountains you’ve got cracking views over to the Langdales and the valley as well as the Scafell Range. Thats two very different area’s of the Lakes all in one 360 degrees panoramic.
So, this was my chosen spot. I arrived at the Lakes, giving myself about an extra hours walking time than required just in case. I took it steady up the band, knowing from previous experiences my wild camping kit along with heavy camera kit can very tiring to carry. I put my headphones in and actually found it a little easier than expected and arrived at Three Tarns after about 2 hours of trudging, but with a smile on my face.
On the way up, it did sort of dawn on me that I was going to camp at mountain level, on my own with little experience, despite weather conditions being good. I felt I knew the area well enough and I was competent, but there was that “what if?” feeling. However, on arriving, bearing in mind it was a Friday in early spring I was surprised to meet another two guys camping up there too. At least I wasn’t the only insane person.
With plenty of time to spare, I pitched up (I would have waited until after sunset but the other guys were pitched, so it made no difference in reality) and took in some of the sights. There was a thick persistent haze which had been around all day, the Langdales were barely visible, but thankfully in the direction of the setting sun over the Scafells it was a little better. I set up a shot I thought I was going to stick with, then had a wander around leaving the camera set up by a tarn. However, after hunting I found a better composition and sat myself down there, blissfully watching the sun set over the Scafell Range: