Earlier this week, I went to an area near the Welsh border, met up with Secret Squirrel, and went for a nights kit test and stealth camping.
Meeting at 20:30hrs, at a petrol station, we then went a few miles out of town not far from some cattle grazing fields, near the river Wye.
As darkness fell, we set up camp in a secluded corner of a quiet, uninhabited field, this brilliant picture above shows how little light was around.
We tested 2 different sleeping systems - a cheap '2 man' tent and a tarp and bivvi system.
This is a cheap small tent from Tesco, it claims to be a 2 man tent, well I'm 6'3" so it was just about big enough for me to sleep at an angle.
This photo shows the tent after being set up for its maiden voyage in the dark just using a torch. Its a little wonky but it did the job.
Inside you can see the British Army winter sleeping bag and a roll mat (also from tesco)
Its a little bright and stands out if stealth camping, but I liked it and dint get any unwanted attention as we set up 100m from the nearest path.
This was taken in the morning to show how both sleeping areas were set up.
The tarp was placed over a sleep mat with a bivvi bag and sleeping bag combination.
Dinner consisted of Military Ration Packs, my first ever experience of these wonderful goody bags, laden with calories and treats. a little out of date is not an issue with these, in fact 2010 wasnt an issue either....
My pack contained beef and vegetable stew for dinner and followed this with a delightful brick of traecle pudding. The biscuits were great and the remainder of items have been saved for my next outing. I was very impressed with these, and my kit worked very well heating them and making a brew.
As is always expected in the UK, it rained heavily all night long, and both set-ups kept us thoroughly dry and comfortable. My sleeping bag and sleep mat kept me perfectly warm. I think Secret Squirrel may have been a little chilly but perfectly dry. I'll definitely be experiemnting with my tarp kit a little more.
The following morning was still damp, in fact it rained right up until 08:00hrs. We were up at 06:30 for a brew and some army biscuits (again the fruit ones were very nice and filling)
A tree root stump makes for a good kitchen area in the morning - to add to the list though is a good shield for the stove.
Some time was allocated to a spot of target practise, this is something I havent done in a long while, and was really enjoyable...more to add to the shopping list I fear. There were a few bunnies around, but we left them alone for now. (ok they legged it and didnt show up again until we had gone)
The tents and sleep systems were all packed up early morning and stored well concealed by a tree. We left no trace of our camping.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, and will be looking for more little niches and areas to test out my kit again and again. I intend to learn the skills of using a hammock. This looks great fun and extremely practical.
Outdoorenthusiast101 shows his kit for using a hammock in a spot of wild camping: