Words and images by: Jason Rawles
I’m very fortunate to live among some beautiful mountains, but even with this fantastic playground on my doorstep, it can be hard to find the time to get my fix of adventure. I normally manage to get in a quick run, bike or walk after work, but sometimes I need something more, something that will allow me to truly escape from the everyday.
As the days start getting longer, it’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the extra hours of daylight and get your hit of adventure with a quick overnight camping trip. The longer days allow more time to walk in, set up camp and relax. A walk-in of less than 2 hours is perfect – make sure that you have your kit ready to go so you can head off straight after work.
If I think about adventure as a cake (and if you knew me, you’d know I like cake), then that cake needs a recipe. For a short, snappy adventure, here’s what you’ll need:
- Lightweight kit - tent, sleeping bag, stove
- Mountain essentials - head torch, first aid kit, map and compass
- Food and water, not forgetting the 'emergency' chocolate
- Location-specific information – weather forecast, sunrise/sunset, etc.
- Most importantly, the time and motivation to get outside and explore!
Source: Ordnance Survey Explorer OL17: Snowdon
A favourite local adventure for me is a walk out of Llanberis and up to Llyn Du’r Arddu, which is along the Llanberis Path. There’s some nice flat ground to pitch my tent (checking no environmental damage to flora/fauna), it looks out west for some dramatic views as the sun goes down and there’s natural water for my grub and tea! No water needed for a wee dram of single malt whisky, though.
With the right inclination, I can then pop up the steep path to under the bridge which then faces east for the sunrise. Depending on the time of year it could be sunset at 10pm and then sunrise at 4am, so it’s important I get my head down. It’s then a nice simple walk out back to my car.
Following my simple recipe, I’m able to pack this adventure into even the busiest week. I’ll finish work at 5pm, be on the hill for 6pm and in situ for 8pm … but this, of course, all depends on the weather. Then up at sunrise to pack down kit, ensure no rubbish is left, and be off the hill by 8am heading home to shower.
With the right information, adventures can be simple to plan, and with the right kit, simple to execute, so when conditions are good, get outside and make the days count!