Brecon Beacons Basic Tarp Camp 2020/01/22
First trip of 2020 and what a way to kick off a new decade than with
a basic tarp camp enjoying the great outdoors. The Brecon Beacons
offers some stunning scenery and hills which are tall enough to offer
some walking into higher country. Forecast was a mixed bag, wind with
rain but with chances of sunshine breaking through. This weather would
normally warrant a tent, shelter that completely cuts you off from the
view. So this year I would be working on a means to pack lighter,
utilise more open style shelter techniques and strive towards a
simpler method of moving though the land. One that would maximise
views when resting and sleeping.
Arriving just after dark which meant a long moonlit hike up to the
start of the upland areas. I tried to use the last of the natural
light to navigate my way and managed without having to turn on the
head torch. Honing one’s senses is part of the exercise offered when
Basic tarp Camp
Up on the high ground and a suitable spot located. Utilising two hiking
poles and a small tarp you can be out of the wind and rain in no time.
Another positive is that you sleep surrounded by fresh air and expansive
views. In sharp contrast a tent locks you away from all the wonder you
have come to enjoy in the first place. There are some specific ‘hill’
style tarps on the market but alas I do not own one of these. Instead I
use a more traditional rectangular shape which sadly has certain
drawbacks. For example it is very hard to completely close off the
weather from sneaking in to your shelter area. To solve this a bivi bag
has to be brought along too but the wind still gets to you.
Another problem is that a tarp does not
trap any heat and so in the colder months this choice of shelter makes
for an even colder trip. Seems like a tarp may not be the best idea due
to these problems but when you bed down with the stars above all visible
from your place of rest it makes it all worthwhile.