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Thread: Isla and her first overnight camp.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    19

    Isla and her first overnight camp.

    A much needed night out was needed. A chance to escape, relax and allow the inner self to recharge, reflect on recent events and work out a way forwards. I normally prefer to take the hammock but I was taking Isla out for her first overnighter. I figured it would be easier to keep an eye on her if I took a tent. Plus she makes a great bed warmer and of course company and amusement.

    Here is the tent. I believe it is a CVRT crew shelter, the date stamp is 1973. I had to make the rear support poles as it would normally be attached to a vehicle. As soon as it was up the Isla made herself at home inside. This was fine by me as it stopped her from wandering off with tent pegs or the mallet in her mouth.



    Isla on guard sat inside the tent. I think looking back that she is making her claim to the sleeping bag.



    Looking back to base camp.



    The shadows began to grow in length so it must be time to fire up the ammo fire box and start getting some food ready. Sausages cooking and browning nicely on the hotplate, watched intently by Isla just out of frame while the foil wrapped baked potatoes cook on the grill to go with the chilli on the Coleman stove. Isla had the sausages with her dry food, dogs digestive system with spicy food in an enclosed area? Enough said.



    Soon after food was consumed the Sun began to drop and so did the temperature.




    Remove the hot plate and grill bars and stoke up the fire. Isla spent a few minutes by the fire and a few minutes away sat staring into the darkness. I am not scared of the dark or the noises nature makes. It was great to be able to sit there and be able to hear and pick out/name the various animal calls and direction. Isla has the advantage with her big ears and used her to back up my idea of direction. All was going well as I sat feeding the fire, staring into the flames. "GGRRRR!" Isla suddenly started to growl at the darkness. I called her but she ignored me and now stood up and so did her hackles!?!? What would you do? Ignore or investigate? I decided to investigate, grabbed my torch. Isla and I walked towards the source of her attention. I shone my torch beam in the direction and a set of eyes glinted back at me. I blinked and tried to focus but they were gone with out a sound!?!? I looked at Isla who had already turned round and was heading back to camp.



    I put the fire out and turned in for the night. I had to fight Isla to get into the sleeping bag. Once more in the night Isla was growling and snarling in the same direction as before!?!? I turned a torch on tapped her and said that what ever it was, this is their ground and we are the guests so hush up and settle down. I woke the next morning with Isla wrapped up/under the poncho liner snoring loudly. Outside was covered in frost but it soon cleared as the Sun came up. I took Isla for a good walk and play to warm us both up before getting the breakfast on. Isla sat in the Sun and again on watch duty, well watching the fried breakfast coming together.



    All to soon it was time to pack up and return to civilisation. One of the biggest thrills is to vacate the area leaving no trace of ever being there. I was hoping to have took more pictures and some video but this trip was more of a personal escape and relax mission. I think I may just have found a new and unspoilt location. A good distance away from the nearest well used path/track and screened by lots of bushes now in full leaf. A few vehicles went by, a group of dirt bikes but no one stopped or looked in my direction. The two mountain bikers and dog walkers also went by without even a glance.


    The pictures and history to the sleeping bag fight.

    Before this trip I ordered a new sleeping bag. I unpacked it and tried it out at home before the first trip out. Isla watches before deciding that she needs to give it her own test for size and warmth.



    "I cannot see you, so you cannot see me hiding in here"



    "What you mean its time to get out? You left it on the floor, so its mine!"


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    France
    Posts
    252
    Charming pics & write up, well done sir.
    Looking at the pic showing the view of your pitch , seems like you were on a path in a forrestry plantation.. were you ?
    Lucky the dog walkers didn't see you as they are notorious for telephoning the fuzz if they spot anyone enjoying themselves in the woods.

    That's quite some set up you've got there, I presume the car wasn't too far away

    Isla is gorgeous & she has got her priorities right, comfortable sleeping arrangements & grub.
    Dogs growling at something in the middle distance or in the tent in the middle of the night does tend to get the old ticker pounding, even though in our gentle climes it's more likely to be a hedgehog shuffling by rather than a man eating grizz

    So how did your new Highlander sleeping bag work out ? with a comfort temp. rating Of -4C you might have been flirting with it's limits, though you did have a 'bed warmer' with you.

    Thanks for taking the time & effort ot post this, thoroughly enjoyed it.......
    Properly trained, a man can become a dog's best friend.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Lochwinnoch
    Posts
    850
    Isla is a cracking looking dog. And a good bedwarmer too I bet

    Like Blacktimberwolf I am assuming you did not have to carry the set up far or are a good bit fitter than me. That's were the canoe comes in handy for a luxury set up.

    Between your blogg and my camp out in the garden with the girls you have really put me in the mood for a night out in the woods.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    19
    I can only give you my name, rank and service number .
    I cannot confirm or deny that the location may have been close to a forestry plantation.

    The passers by were on the very old right of way/byway/long distance footpath. My pitch is off down an old and partly overgrown track with plenty of cover between it and the main track. I did a walk by on the main track with the intention of trying to pick out my tent. I know where it is but only once managed to catch a glimpse but only because I was deliberately scanning the area and stopped to stare. There are two permanent looking set ups right on the edge of the right or way, one a converted Luton box body van and a campervan and have been there for the last 2 years that I know of. You are right there is still a high risk of being reported and moved off.

    I did use the car to get the gear close by and then park it further away, in an attempt to divert attention from my pitch.

    If you want the warmest and most comfortable spot then you have to move Isla. Just like me she loves good food.

    I will admit that the heart did quicken the first time she growled and raised her hackles . I thought I had been rumbled by someone but all was well.

    The highlander bag did work out very well. I had two good layers of insulation under me and a army poncho double up on top. At some stage Isla gained the poncho liner all to herself. I guess the tree cover, between mixed deciduous and pine provided a bit of protection from the frost? The open grass area 100 yards away was covered in frost.

    I will try and share more of our adventures or at least a few photos in the coming months. That reminds me, I have a couple of walks with great views from Scotland to add from last year

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Lochwinnoch
    Posts
    850
    I keep forgetting about not being allowed to wild camp everywhere in England. I am so used to the Scottish access laws that I tend to forget how restrictive it is for you.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    France
    Posts
    252
    Where there's a will, there's a way master John.

    Although you have much wider land access & greater tolerance of wild camping up in Caladonia, you can't just pitch your tent or tarp anywhere you lke either....try making camp on the Balmoral estate, though I have heard there is an obliging ranger whom, after the proper presentations have been made & he likes the cut of your gib, will allow the odd wayfarer to pass the night under canvas in the more remote parts of the estate.
    Properly trained, a man can become a dog's best friend.

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