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Thread: Planning to MTB wild camp on Dartmoor

  1. #21
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    ... most sardine cans I've come across use ring pulls! Take a SAK, far more useful.Re trowel, try B & Q's own brand of some sort of GRP. Dirt cheap and incredibly light and strong. You may have to buy a set, but the whole thing is v cheap. BUT... I have just looked on their website and can't see it. Wilkinson.Fiskars do similar but more expensive.

  2. #22
    Widdler
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    Just been tesco, not had sardines since I was a kid, your right they have ring pulls and so do a lot of tinned stuff. Just ordered some foil heat seal bags to put some of my owns foods in, will add the sardines to one of those as they will then be less heavy. Looked on ebay at some lightweight trowels. Will order today. Cheers Rob

  3. #23
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    If you want serious calories, mackerel in oil is probably at the top of the tree. I prefer sardines in tomato sauce.Sardine cans are very light and when empty, can be squashed flat very easily - between a rock and a hard place (boot).

    My own scoff for a quick night out is pasta, acuppa soup as sauce and a tin of sardines, probably with a bit of garlic chopped in. Very simple and cheap.

    Enjoy!

  4. #24
    Goon
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    Oh and have a set of fast rolling cross country tyres

  5. #25
    Widdler
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    Dartmoor is not made for biking..! First trip over and we cant wait to get back on the moors. I guess we had to learn the hard way about the terrain, hills and rough paths that are meant to be cycle friendly, they are not. Ended up pushing the bikes laiden with our camping gear along paths that looked as if a tipper lorry had dumped its load for miles between the moorlands. As for the moral implications of having bikes on these paths, there was no way we could cause any damage. Infact the only damage done was to the bikes being rattled to pieces which resulted in one of the pannier racks snapping a bolt that held them to the frame, had to make a bodge repair to get us on our way. We found that more damage was being done by farm vehicles/4 wheel drive jeeps and quads and people dumping rubbish between rocks, whitnessed a lot of this damage in various places throughout our route. None the less we will not be taking the bikes on our next visit in a weeks time, have opted to take backpacks and hike for a few days instead. Dartmoor is a stunning place full of natural beauty and I guess the best way to enjoy it is slowly and on foot. If anyone hasnt been and is thinking about it, I say go for it, the place is awesome, just remember to leave no trace that you were there when you leave just as we did. Carry out your rubbish, bury your s√?√?t well and respect the land and its habbitants. Velz.

  6. #26
    ‹bermensch Jake's Avatar
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    Velz, if you have seen rubbish being fly-tipped on the moor, I strongly recommend that you report it to the relevant authorities.

    As for your experience trying to cycle it, you're absolutely right; walking is the better option. Apart from anything else, when the scenery is that good, why would you want it to go by any faster than at walking pace?

  7. #27
    Widdler
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    Too right Jake. Had to learn the hard way. Going back in a week or so, on foot. So much to see there magical place.

  8. #28
    Initiate Toot's Avatar
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    Would love to hear of your routes? I did the army "ring-road" on cyclo-crosser weekend before last and it was great. Hike since was in fog - probably my favourite weather - but all good. Yes, there are many more routes better for foot than bike and knowing which is which is handy! Glad you liked the scenery at least.

  9. #29
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    Hi Toot how are you. Well we set out from Princetown, between the Plume of feathers pub and the Country charm shop up the path to the gate onto the moors. Followed that track up and down hill for about 5 or 6 miles to the bottom of Sheeps Tor, we could have viered off right after the first mile and taken another route passing the Crazy well pool but at the time looked like it was going to be a an impossible task with laiden bikes. So we continued straight to find out at our cost that the route was longer and more punnishing that we anticipated. It was more a rain washed gulley filled with rocks from pebble size to bolders the size of basket balls, deep puddles that resemble small ponds which you could not ride, but had to push the bikes, which we did most of the way. We arrived at sheeps tor passing by some houses up a track which to our blessing was even ground then tarmac which led us to the base of Sheeps Tor where the track ended and became moorland. Pushed our bikes to the top of the tor and set up camp for the night. I can honestly say that we didnt even so much as leave a single tyre track tho we witnessed many from allsorts of vehicles. Next morning 6am started packing away our gear and took someone elses rubbish with us which was poking out of some rocks. We then made our way slowly down to Burrator resevior and onto Dousland to camp for another night.next morning we stopped at the Burrator Inn for a nice hot meal before setting out on the monster task of riding the bikes with all our gear along the road which seemed allmost all up hill back to Princetown..

  10. #30
    Initiate Toot's Avatar
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    Not an ideal route on a bike Velz... To be fair I can't remember the last time I saw loaded MTBs on the moor itself, other than a couple doing the Okehampton camp "ring-road". That's not truly rough going and there are plenty of adjacent places to pitch, which is why I suggested that one along with some other less arduous ways I think I mentioned. We learn by experience I guess, but there genuinely are cycle routes around the moor that wouldn't have shaken you to bits. Hills are not uncommon though!

    Many of the MTB types I see on Dartmoor are uber-fit (or pretending to be!) and going unloaded as fast as possible from A-B in the search of adventure or challenge - not my way of doing things, nor yours perhaps. On foot or bike I like to stop and smell the roses as I please, rather than try to push limits or beat clocks.

    I'm certainly not part of the MTB gang but I know even my local club (Department 26 at Bude, Cornwall) have done Dartmoor trips, just don't ask me where. In fact, I'm not sure they know for sure as the last tale I heard was of them getting split up and lost! There will be more local and knowledgeable MTB clubs no doubt, and perhaps a member viewing here may chip in so far as Dartmoor advice goes. Failing that, Department 26 are on internet and someone there may be able to advise if you made contact.

    As for walking and camping Dartmoor, there have been plenty of suggestions made here in recent times and all will remain valid as the moor doesn't alter in a hurry! Inspiration is certainly available from the Dartmoor related websites mentioned previously too. For a random read I can also pick up Crossings Guide to Dartmoor and often find something interesting to go and visit as a result - it's a guide-book from 1909 and not unlike Wainrights more famous efforts. Again much of the book remains valid due to an unchanging moor, with only a few by-passes and new reservoirs making any great difference to 100 year-old descriptions. I suppose the websites I referred to, and photo's on them, are a more familiar source of info these days...

    Any idea where the on-foot journey may take you?

  11. #31
    Widdler
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    Hi Toot. Well Im not sure as yet where to even start. The place is vast as you know far better than I do. I would like to spend three or four nights on the Moors in a different place each night walking in the day stopping along the way to take in the sights and enjoy the moment. Camp in the evening preferably in places that are close to a water source that I can filter water from and which offer views that are pleasing to the eye. Ultimately going full circle back to where I would have parked the car which seemed to be a bit of a problem when I arrived last week. After an hour on the phone to the park authorities and local council which didn't help at all we found a kind gentleman whom allowed us to park on his land for a donation to Cancer Research. We had a bit of a tough time of it on the first trip, however we won't let anything put us off. The short twelve or so miles we covered gave us a glimpse of how beautiful the Moors are and that it has so much more to offer which we are keen to explore.

  12. #32
    Ultra King Mole's Avatar
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    Park on street somewhere like Okehampton?
    At least 3 foot routes in and out to the Moor.

  13. #33
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    Thanks Mole. I will take a look at the map on that.

  14. #34
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    Okenhampton to princetown or Ivybridge to Princetown.

  15. #35
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    Maybe Ivybrige to Okenhampton.

  16. #36
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    Maybe N-S or S-N? You might have to select one or the other for planning purposes Velz! If on the North moor in those 3-4 days you'll need to discover what military firing will take place and on which ranges during your stay - flying bullets tend to limit route and campsite choice. You wont need to worry about getting water or pleasing views, as both abound - all you have to do is make a choice. The links below show recent route suggestions made by regular OM visitors and there's plenty of flexibility in them, plus useful links to other things within the posts. Viewing these alongside a map will probably be a useful exercise. OM-ers Rob Dixon and Mole make experienced suggestions I usually agree with, which may be worth noting if you are of a similar mind - learning from brains-that-know is efficient and avoids many trial-and-error disappointments. Be aware that first-timers often suggest lengthy hiking routes which might impress but aren't always practical and thus not best sense for the unknowing, especially this time of year when wet from the sky or underfoot can hinder progress, swell rivers and reduce enthusiasm. Daylight to do anything by is also reduced, low cloud can reduce visibility to bugger-all, and if it is "inclement" your gear and capabilities will be tested. All that said, if you can enjoy yourself in those conditions you'll gain what could be a lifelong and essentially free playground - I recommend trying it! It may be worth reminding yourself of any kit irritation or failings you noticed on the last trip, and doing something about it now - failing kit doesn't improve itself and repeating mistakes isn't smart.

    Several other comments are in mind but I will post them later for general consumption or maybe PM you with anything specific. Right now I need to sort out for a 60-mile bike trip tomorrow, which looking out of the window seems to have been the idea of an idiot! Still, it'll be an adventure of some sort eh? Get the map out and clicky below and you should be amused for an hour or two.

    http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/s...es/69119-2.htm

    lhttp://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/w...ike/65082.html

    http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/w...elp/65070.html

    http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/t...p/64289-2.html

    http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/w...tes/63205.html


  17. #37
    Widdler
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    Thank you very much Toot, ive just got in the door but will surley spend a good amount of time studying the links you have provided a little later on aswell as taking on board everything you have said. hope you have a good trip tomorrow regardless of the weather and I look forward to hear from you soon. All the very best, Velz.

  18. #38
    Initiate Toot's Avatar
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    So, how is the route-planning coming along? Anything in particular you're interested in seeing or experiencing?

    Wanting camp-sites with pleasing views may persuade me towards the tors of the North moor - see previous links and avoid firing times! Water wont be a problem if it's not pouring from the sky, or too much is flowing too fast in a river you aim to cross - a specific point to remember as a big soggy catchment area means they can rise very fast when it rains. Where you aim to get over a few days may depend on weather and will depend on movement ability, especially navigation skills if you want to be somewhere specific rather than somewhere vaguely in the area...

    I don't often see mentioned the many advantages there can be to not camping stream-side in a valley, but higher up, even at a tor peak. No, I wouldn't stay at a peak if there's lightning, and yes you'll need to take water up with you - but it wont be far away. It could be draftier up higher up but there will be a sheltered side to a tor, and whilst valleys can offer shelter they may "funnel" winds along their course instead.Colder air also settles lower down, and when elsewhere is bright and sunny a valley can soon lose sunshine as it sets and remain misty cold and moisture-laden and in shadow until a long time after the sun rises enough to shine a warming light into it.

    Higher up you wont have to worry about run-off water or the stream flooding if it rains as you sleep, and higher up tends to be far drier ground to camp on anyway. Apart from that, being high up will offer far-reaching views, sunrise/sunset is likely to be a more colourful picture, a star-gazing sky will be wider from a hilltop and far more impressive than you'll see near a brightly-lit city, and without surrounding hillsides you'll see more of limited daylight for tasks and more of sunshine (maybe) for drying gear. With regard to sunshine I don't think I've seen mention here that tors tend to be wide areas rising to a central peak rather than a peak along a ridgeline, so it's easy to select a side to camp on that will receive and be warmed by the first light of the day - rather cheering and inspirational, and handy for airing kit before packing up and moving off.

    Details to bear in mind when planning perhaps.

  19. #39
    Widdler
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    Hi Toot, sorry its taken so long to reply, had internet troubles. Thanks for all the useful info, I had a brief look before my internet went down. Love the story about the guy in the shinny blue coat trying to impress his blonde girlfriend, had a good chuckle at that. Well ive decided to put off any big walks on the moors till next year, however I was planning to visit the moors for a shorter walk and camp this weekend. Was thinking of walking from Burrator res to Shavercombe waterfall as the fall is something ide like to see. Was going to use the road skirting round Sheepstor, Narrator till I get to the Bridal way by the Ford and Scouts hut,then onto the Edwards Path all the way to Ditswothy Warren House and down to the River Plym. I believe there is an FB to cross the river? as I would like to cross to the other side and follow the river passing the Pillow Mounds upto to where I think there is an SPR for refills then down to Shavercombe Brook Waterfall. This route looks all well and good on the Map, not sure if its the best route, if you have a better route for me it would be very much appreciated. I was planning on camping for the evening tho I been thinking about what you said about finding where to camp ie not to high because of lightening and not to low as the ground will be boggy.. any sudgestions on where to camp on route or nearby would be great. Finnally its good to be back and cant wait to get up on the moors.

  20. #40
    Widdler
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    Does anyone know if the FB at 258221e 066090n crosses the plym and is it possible to cross this time of year?

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