Sunday 13 October 2013

Windy Wild Camp Knock Pike

Took on the morning
On October 12th 2013 I set off from a place called Knock just next door to a lovely little village, where I had in the past stopped in a B+B with my ex partner Joanne, where we did our first big hill so to speak, which turned out to be one of the worst walks we/I had and still have ever done, the hill Great Dunn Fell tarmac road all the way up.

I had my faithful companion and who Dave calls "my wife" I call her Izzie shes my 3 year old lurcher, we set off after a couple of pints in Dufton, this was my first taste of alcohol since I took a break from it 5 weeks and 5 days, I never did think it was possible as I do like most people enjoy a drink.

I had done what I always do before a trip out and that is become a weather pervert, I watch it day in day out to the run up using different forecast from the net mobile apps and tv, it still only to be taken with a pinch of salt as they as you probably are aware can change as quick as pulling a different pair of pants on, however it was gona be gales this I was sure of, the speed is always a thing I get enjoyment out of recording, my geeky side, I do love my gadgets and have been called gadget man from my good friend Gill.

Getting back to the trip with weather in mind forecast says 60mph max gust, I was quite excited for it to be and actually hit this speed as since I bought my Hilleberg Soulo I've only had it out in winds of a max of in the high 30's which for this tent is nothing, so to double this was going to be a real treat.  So off we went me and the "wife" Dave and Paul.

Knock Pike is not a very big hill and talking and stopping to spy around us it took us less than an hour to walk up just over  a mile, yea I know your reading this thinking a mile only 396mtres high this isn't wild camping, get over yourself and piss off to someone elses blog, this is my blog you don't have to be here.

Once near the top I could feel the ind picking up it was dark now too so head torches where on and the drizzle started, now drizzle for me is the worst kid of wet stuff to fall from the sky cause once you get a 30mph constant wind behind it it becomes a real pain and you and your furry friend gets wet quick.

So the race was on, not a running race but a race for me to get the dog into dry shelter before she became too wet to get fully dry, rushing to put my tent up I failed to get the back end of the tent into the wind but I did make sure to get my guy lines out as far as possible and pegs in firmly.

Out of the weather I got my warm kit on and waterproofs and went out to see if anyone wanted a hand, the ground was hard with rock under so pegs were a pain to get in, I knew Paul (kilburnicus) from YouTube had only had his tent up once and am not too sure if he had put it up with strong winds so I thought to lend him a hand first.

He was putting the final pegs in the guy lines and had done well to get it up so quick Dave had already sorted his trusty Akto so I headed back to my tent for my food and to feed the wife. 

When I started out wild camping I bought a vacuum sealer machine from a local company to make my own boil in the bags, once you boiled the bag in water it would always leave a plastic taste and spoil the food, so after a few attempts I left it in the cupboard and bought my meals, however my mam recently bought a bag for me to try and low and behold no plastic taste, bought at morrisons its a pour and store bag, as for the food well thats the best there is, why cause I make the best casseroles hahaha.

So the longish night was about to start a film loaded on my phone would have been good but I hadn't put one on so with full bellies the wife went to sleep and I put on some music and checked out the net and what it had on offer.

Now and again sticking my hand out of tent with my kestrel 3000 wind gadget its a canny little device but on reading instructions takes 3 seconds to record wind now you and me know well you do if you been out on a hill in wind, them gusts can be strong but only for a second a quick sharp blast can flatten a tent but my gadget would probably say 20mph lol, so its not as accurate as I would like I popped out to capture some night shots too.
Dufton pike and Dufton village at night

As the night went on if you've watched the video you will see the speed was increasing tent standing up to it like a 'boss' remembering too that I had it with the wind on the side.  It was getting towards 11pm and I thought to get my head down as I had to be back home to pick my daughter up at 10am.

An hour sleep and the wind woke me up I could still hear Dave and Paul chatting away they had went outside for a chat, I stuck my ear phones in and put music on low to send me back off, not having my usual half a bottle of brandy sleep is a hard thing to achieve, not that I think tent would blow away or get damaged etc I have full trust in this tent (Hilleberg Soulo).  So music on low setting could I hear it nope so turned it up and just shut my eyes and enjoyed what I could hear, time passed and a light came over my tent, I took my ear phones out and looked out it was Dave asking if I was asleep and how could I sleep in this, meaning the wind had picked up think off hand it was over 50mph by now, tents at this speed are really noisy.
Another looking at Dufton Pike+ Paul's tent

Trying to get back off to sleep was not going to happen but listening and watching the tent was enough for me I was free from the city, I didn't care and I had me wife with me. I did finally fall asleep just before 5am and woke up at 6am with the great sound of my alarm going off great, it was still dark outside and unbelievably Paul and Dave were still gassing in Paul's tent, just woke up and just couldn't help myself a wind up that I am, so I shouts across asking if they were having sex lol, needless to say I make myself laugh and Paul was hanging out of his tent shouting back that they were talking which just fanned the fire it carried on for a few minutes they came over to see me cooking bacon peering into my tent the banter carried on "so how was your sex this morning?"
after sex (sorry lads)

All fun and games we are all good friends and that's what makes our trips fun. I'm not sure if I finished my bacon sarnie before the wind started to pick up from a 50+ to a highest ever recorded speed I have seen on YouTube 85.5mph that is max gust speed, the tent was blowing about a little the noise was terrific a real head ache I imagine for my wife who know was right next to me panting and looking very scared, I reassured her but I couldn't control my excitement where had this wind come from it was sudden and no sign of stopping.

Watching Paul get out of his tent his tent was lifting and out went his sleeping bag a few hundred pounds worth in what seemed like a second, I was shouting at him and he ran off to get it he disappeared over the edge of the summit and to be fare I wasn't sure if he too had been blown away.  Camera on he came back into view no sleeping bag, I had been watching his tent and began to shout at the top of my voice to get back in as his tent was going to be next, he couldn't hear a thing.

Dave was also now getting blown about outside with his camera phone on, it was comical watching them but my eyes were peeled on the clouds, I could see what I can only describe as a funnel forming (tornado) really could this be why the sudden change in wind.
This is the clouds forming what looked like a funnel

I had my plan if this thing turned out to be one and hit the hill then my exit was to run with the wife and leave the tent grab the camera and film what maybe my last minutes.  Excited wasn't the word I felt alive I can only imagine what a storm chaser gets from following the storms in the USA.  The wind still battering the tent the clouds were actually going round the funnel looking thing, it never did turn into a funnel like a tornado and the wind dropped back down to gale force this was my opening to drop the tent and get down so I would be on time for my Daughter.

Dave offered his help to get my tent down as the winds were still very strong but I wanted to see if I could manage it myself, I did and it felt good, I was all packed and said my goodbyes to my mates, I told Paul I'd keep an eye open for his sleeping bag.
took on my phone this was looking back to where I had camped

As I walked down the hill I thought I'll venture over to the opposite direction to where I was heading to a small ledge to see if I could see it, wouldn't believe it I could see it a bright orange bag, I shouted and shouted I wasn't far from the summit and as there was no wind where I was I could hear the 2 lads saying that they could hear me shouting, they walked over the summit and I waved them down to where I was the chuffed smile on Paul's face when I showed him where his sleeping bag was will stop with me sometime, its nice to end it with something happy and not the usual we lost this or that got broken.

I headed back and made the car in perfect time I set the satnav away and I would reach my Daughter dead on time so a nice steady drive home lots of pop and a full big bag of sweet was consumed to keep me awake.  At home I was still buzzing with excitement my tent had done what I trusted it would do, this trip won't be forgotten.

People may leave you but they can't take away your memories, my advice to people would be to hold on to them and next time your out in crazy weather grab ya camcorder it don't have to be perfectly lined up on a tripod capture the time.  Thanks to Dave and Paul.

A big thanks to all that follow me on YouTube for the comments likes and subs, it really does mean a lot and I dig you all thanks for being my friends. I hope to watch your wild camping vids.

Be safe and always have a plan to get out of a situation but also remember sometimes staying put is the best way but only you can make this choice.

Enjoy the outdoors where ever it may take you.

your friend Paul

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