An early spring wild camp in Badger Wood – Hertfordshire

by martinxo on April 13, 2014

I had been looking forward to my first wild camp of the 2014.

I had hoped for a camp in January and February, fantasising about waking up in a silent-morning wood with frost, or better still, snow on the ground.  But alas we were denied a winter and instead were given an angry, wet Autumn that never quite seemed to end.

And then suddenly a break in the sodden season, a warm, dry spell develops in March and I take the opportunity offered.

Badger Wood (my name) lies between two medium-sized towns in Hertfordshire.

Entrance to badger wood

Entrance to badger wood

I arrived late in the afternoon and set-about looking for a suitable place to pitch-up.

The camp...

The camp…

I chose an spot on a flat piece of ground near to the edge of the wood, I decide to set the shelter (half  of a Polish army lavvu tippi) facing the east so I could catch the sun rising in the morning.

Spot the camp!

Spot the camp!

I walked back to the public footpath that cuts through the wood and looked back at my camp, it was almost impossible to see, which made me happy.

Camp sunset

Camp sunset

The sun began to set, I set up my IKEA hobo-stove and made a cuppa tea, followed by a dinner of chilli-con-carne mopped up with a baguette.

An hour or so later a rising moon had replaced the sun and the wood was bathed in a silver light.  I brewed up a hot-chocolate, laced with a generous helping of whisky, sat back and watched the moon and accompanying stars.

It felt good to be in the woods again.

I sat by the hobo-stove until about 10pm and then decided to call it a night.  I didn’t sleep that well, I  had underestimated how cold it would be and my ground mat wasn’t sufficient to keep me comfortable.  So I was pleased to finally hear the dawn chorus and watch the sun slowly rising over the crest of the wooded slope.

Early morning in Badger Wood

Early morning in Badger Wood

I set about making tea.

Morning tea

Morning tea

Followed by some breakfast.

Breakfast

Breakfast

And then another cuppa tea.

Another cuppa

Another cuppa

It was a beautiful morning in which to laze about in the woods, sipping tea and feeding the hobo stove.

With the sun climbing high in the sky I packed up my stuff and erased all trace of the camp.

Leave no trace...

Leave no trace…

I thanked the wood for keeping me safe.

Spring morning stream

Spring morning stream

Leaving the wood I crossed a sparkling stream, it felt good to be alive.

Here’s a short , very rough, video of the camp:

(with thanks to I.G.)

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

linda Padilla April 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Lovely first over-nighter of the year! Nice open wooded area & looks to have been a nice sunny day. If it was a clear moonlight then it was a chilly night indeed! Many of those underpads have had mixed reviews & I’m sorry you were cold. I’d rather be over-warm than over-cold any day of the year! If you’ve a dog, there is your bedwarmer!! I look forward to viewing your future adventures that you choose to share with us on Google+.
Nature Lover!
Linda

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martinxo April 13, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Hi Linda, I think I learnt a good lesson on that night about temperature and yes, maybe I’ll take my dog along next time : )

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Martin Rye April 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Thats luxury camping. Warm fire, bowls and the works. Impressed :)

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martinxo April 13, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Pleased that you’re impressed, it didn’t feel like luxury camping at the time ; )

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Ioannis Karlis April 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm

It looks lovely! Hope I can join you next time! I hope you didn’t dive into the stream!

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martinxo April 14, 2014 at 6:29 am

Not sure stream is deep enough for swimming, though it might be good to try it out in the summer ; )

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Ross-Barry Finlayson April 13, 2014 at 10:43 pm

An awesome post with great images and video. This is camping at it’s very best. Looking forward to more of the same.

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martinxo April 14, 2014 at 6:29 am

Hi Ross-Barry, thanks for commenting and really pleased you enjoyed the post, more to follow!

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Herbert April 14, 2014 at 3:40 am

Lovely first wild-camp of the year, Martin!! Except for the cold. Next time, if you’re cold and you’ve got a newspaper with you (books won’t do), it can keep you quite warm – you stuff in down your trousers and in the arms of your coat/jacket and it’s amazing – take that from experience (though some of that more modern newsprint might not work as good – haven’t had to use it or try it for a couple of decades – and hope not to have to do so in the future!!)!!

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martinxo April 14, 2014 at 6:30 am

Hi H, yeah, I learnt a lot from that night out, thanks for your tips. Looking forward to hiking with you later this summer.

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Herbert April 14, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Yes, I am looking forward to it (most likely after mid-September)……

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martinxo April 14, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Good stuff, can’t wait : )

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Melinda April 14, 2014 at 6:21 am

Nice! I feel relaxed enough now to get back to work! Thanks.

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martinxo April 14, 2014 at 6:31 am

Hi Melinda, glad you enjoyed the post : )

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Allysse April 14, 2014 at 7:01 am

It looks like it was a lovely spot for wild camping :)
I hope your next wild camp won’t be as cold during the night.

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martinxo April 14, 2014 at 9:24 pm

It was a lovely spot, I’ll be going back in the summer, might have a dip in the stream next time : )

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Bob April 14, 2014 at 10:47 am

lovely wild camp and description . Wish my ageing joints and thermoregulator could still take it . Ever thought of joiniing the naturalist poets society?
Bob

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martinxo April 14, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Hi Bob, perhaps we could drive down to the woods and go for a walk about one weekend?

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Oliver April 25, 2014 at 9:19 am

Marvellous wild camp impressions Martin! Lovely writing and for sure some moments of inhaling crisp air and pure life, huh!? Btw, the “hobo stove” is most intriguing indeed… :)

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martinxo April 25, 2014 at 10:49 am

hi Oliver, thanks for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, the hobo stove is intriguing and I’m planning a post that will praise its wonderfulness : )

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Oliver April 25, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Great stuff Martin, I will certainly keep my eyes peeled!

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