Monday, 8 December 2008

Backpackers Club Christmas weekend

Each year, this is held at Biggin, several miles north of Ashbourne in the Peak District. Members camp at a farm site some 200 yards up the road from the village hall where we get together on and off during the day and for the Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Numbers attending were down this year compared to 2007 for some reason.

A little snow had already fallen and it was quite cold. I brought my tent this time, a Wild Country Sololite, after the bad time I had last year with my tarp (see http://litehikersblog.blogspot.com/2007/12/backpackers-club-christmas-weekend.html It took only a few minutes to put up.

On Saturday, a few of us took a walk down Biggin Dale, up Wolfcote Dale and then across some fields. over to Hartington.

We had a pint and lunch at the Devonshire Arms next to a fire. It was a wrench to leave for the walk back. The weather was clear, crisp and cold - a perfect day but it was going to be cold on Saturday night.

During the past week, I'd been thinking that wearing longjohns during the cold nights camping mightn't be a bad thing. I'd never worn them before and looked in my local Co-op. They had them but not in my size at £14.99 (for two pairs). M&S have them so I stopped off in Stratford-upon-Avon on the way up to the Peak District. I never got to M&S, however. Stratford market had them at £3.00, a very tasteful dark grey. Sorted. I put them on on Friday night and they stayed on all weekend. The pack recommended that they be washed before wearing which obviously was not feasible. However, this would have made sense as my legs were a grubby looking grey when I got home. I'm now a definite convert to longjohns but no photos available.

The temperature on Saturday night dipped to minus 3°C and I kept very warm but the tent looked like this when I emerged in the morning.

It was good to meet up with others, some of whom we hadn't seen since the last pre-Christmas do.

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