When I went to the Brecon Beacons in January, I was so intrigued by the shape of the main ridge I wrote a whole post about where it’s come from. More importantly though, it made me want to walk all along it, which is what I am planning to do in mid July.
I’m planning to wild camp somewhere along the ridge. Having read some hairy stories about camping on Corn Du, I realised I should probably prep at least a little for the trip. I’m mainly wondering about three things:
- How much of a banned thing is wild camping in Brecon Beacons,
- What do we need to think about if we have to pitch our tent in bad weather, and
- What supplies should we take with us.
Is wild camping allowed in Brecon Beacons?
As for point one, the National Parks authority doesn’t exactly encourage wild camping, but they don’t actually ban it either. It seems to be fine with the permission of the landowner. Not that I think we’ll be able to ask for it, but I guess if we stick to the usual pitch late, leave early, we should be fine.
How to pitch our tent in bad weather?
To start with, we should try to find a good spot for a camp, avoiding high ground to reduce exposure to wind, but also making sure we’re not in the lowest ground around to avoid water collecting in our pitch spot if it rains. If it looks like the weather will be bad, we should look for a pitch with natural anchors, meaning we can tie our tent down to some heavy objects lying around like stones, logs or trees.
When we pitch, we should build the tent so that:
- the short edge faces the wind
- the entrance stays out of wind
- and the tent is fully rigged
A number of sites also recommend pre-rigging the tent, which as far as I can tell means extending the guy lines with additional string to allow more flexibility in anchoring the tent to other objects than tent pegs and potentially also setting up guy lines in a way that allows to stake out multiple lines to one stake. I think I’ll refrain from going as far. I hope I won’t regret it.
Here are a couple of useful links about pitching tents in bad weather and difficult conditions in general:
The main thing we’ll have to think about will be the amount of water we’ll need to carry. To cover both days and the evening’s dinner, we should carry at least 3 liters per person. 1 liter per day of walking, 0.5l for cooking and washing, and let’s not forget 0.5l for teas in the evening and morning :-).
Otherwise, it will be the usual camping and walking menu: bread, cheese and salami for lunches, chilly con carne from the tin with rice for dinner, and oats with peaches for breakfast. Yom, yom.
- Trip report: Along the Brecon Beacons ridge
- Winter at last: Pen y Fan in snow
- Snowfall, waterfalls and mudslides in Brecon Beacons