Night Under the Stars: Sam & James survive a soggy camp in Cumbria
“The tent is in the Tarn!”, not what you want to hear at 2am halfway up a mountain.
On 30th September James & I decided we would take part In the Nordisk Night Under the Stars. An evening where Nordisk were encouraging outdoor enthusiasts around the world to get outside and enjoy nature. Love it, we were on board!
We had a route in mind, Small water tarn near Kentmere. A gentle meander along the river and a wander up to 500m for a pleasant camp on the banks of a tarn. Ideal.
We set off up the valley but I couldn’t help thinking that the forecast might not be right. It started to rain, a lot. The clouds looked ominous, the wind was picking up. Hmmmm…
As we headed up Nan Bield Pass the weather picked up pace. But it wasn’t anything we hadn’t faced before & we were confident in the kit we were carrying so we ploughed on.
We reached our campsite & pitched the Telemark 2, which is always super quick. We jumped in our Stoke down jackets, rehydrated some meals, zipped up the tent and settled in to listen to the storm that had developed outside.
It kept raining…. The tarn was growing.
The wind whipped up hitting 50mph now. It was turning into one of those nights where it just wasn’t happening. The ground started exploding with water, our Telemark was sinking. As a last ditch effort we relocated our tents to find some dry ground closer to the rocks but the Cumbrian weather was winning.
We’re both experienced fell runners, we’ve done countless days in the hills, but this was bad. An important skill that comes with experience is knowing when it’s time to turn back. We had reached that point.
After only a couple hours of sleep we abandoned camp. It had been one of the more challenging wild camps either of us have attempted before, but we’d had fun and had a story to tell.
It’s not always about sunny days & epic views. Getting out in less than perfect conditions can be just as rewarding.
Thanks to Nordisk for giving us an excuse to head into the hills, we look forward to next year.
“Thank you Sam for your account of your Nordisk Night Under the Stars evening, sounds like you & James had a bit of an epic.” – Team Nordisk
Sam & James kit choice:
KIT LIST (Total pack weight excl. fluids ~6kg):
Jetboil Flash + 100g gas
750ml water bottles
500ml soft flask
Adventure Nutrition Main Meals & Dessert
4 x IPA
Waterproof Jacket & Overtrousers
Spare socks & underwear
Hat & gloves
Trail Shoes & Equipment:
25 litre rucksack
Carbon running poles
Phone and power bank
Map & compass
Assorted dry bags