Friday night dinner

I planned to camp in the woods last weekend but wimped out due to forecast high winds. The Met Office was giving a small window of half decent weather Friday, with wind and rain rolling in early Saturday morning and so with half my kit already packed, I took a chance…

The trails were dusty and dry despite frequent outbursts of rain during the week. A strong breeze was coming in from the Channel but I was heading North so benefited from a tailwind for much of the ride. Although not exactly warm, the sun was shining, bathing the trails in dappled sunlight.

Arriving in the woods, I spotted some folk with backpacks and roll mats, clearly I wasn’t the only one making the most of tonight’s weather window.

Voile Voile, oh oh…

I’m perhaps a little too excited by the simple things but for something so simple, Voile straps really are awesome!

Nicely sheltered in the forest, I pitched the Taga (3rd outing for this bargain basement ultralight tent) and set about fixing some grub.

Nothing fancy, precooked chops and Tesco’s microwave rice. Of course, no microwave in the woods but these handy little pouches cook up in no time and with just a tiny amount of water.

Worth schlepping the extra weight to enjoy a crisp ginger beer with dinner IMO.

There was plenty of time after dinner to mess about taking photos and just generally soak up the atmosphere of the woods – listening to the leaves rustling in the wind and the birds busily preparing themselves for bed. Darkness soon enveloped my camp and as the first owls started hooting, I retired to my tiny home for the night.

I woke early to the pitter patter of rain on my tent (isn’t that just the best sound?!) as the dark of night gave way to the blueish twilight of dawn. I’d heard a few voices from somewhere in the woods throughout the night, perhaps the campers spotted when I arrived but they barely disturbed a reasonably decent kip.

Unlike my first outings with the Taga I didn’t suffer any condensation which was a bonus and set about brewing up a coffee as the rain intensified around 5am, right on cue.

Waterproofs on and with the rig loaded up, I was back on the road by 6am, heading back to civilisation to enjoy a warm shower, hot coffee and breakfast served with a side of OS Map to plan the next trip.


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