From The Archive: The Wild Camping Special, Proper 38

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Drop yourself back twelve months and place yourself in the gooey, gluey mess that was peak lockdown. Sure, a bit of time sitting at home sounds great at first, few box sets, bit of Joe Exotic and that thing about murdering cats. Redirecting your commuting and socialising money towards Uber Eats. Joy. A great laugh. But 12 days later, with a sleeping pattern resembling a child’s drawing and a distinct lack of fresh air, and the desire to get outside began to grow. When we wanted to climb hills, we ended up climbing the walls. 

With gyms closed and all other routes to peak physical fitness seemingly slammed shut, the ignominy of running up and down the stairs and doing star jumps in a cramped living room space took over. It only served to fuel a bit of wanderlust that had previously kept itself well hidden.  

As the wheels of normal life slowly began to turn once again, the Proper team tentatively returned to work, but the thought of a jaunt to the great outdoors refused to budge. Think of it as an anti-works night out. A team trip that doesn’t end with hangovers and shame. 

Naturally, the idea grew legs and it went from being a hike to a wild camp. The only tent we owned between us was a pop-up effort with offensive daubings painted on it from a past festival experience. It was time to contact a few brands to see whether we could give their products a trial run.  

Months later, with a pile of test products sitting in the office we had our own clutter mountain and it was time to finally put our muscles back to work.  

With time at a premium, but a desire to not take the easy way out we headed to nearby Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District at the end of September. This is not El Capitan, but it’s far from easy even for someone in shape. After two aborted plans to head out, we finally set off into uncharacteristic October sunshine, only to find our preferred route to the summit was impeded by a road closure. We were intending on camping at a spot called Snake Woodland, just off Snake Pass but resurfacing work along the notorious passage from Sheffield to Manchester put paid to this plan.  

Undeterred, we managed to still have a decent laugh, encountering a little adversity is character building, isn’t it? 


Mark Smith, , and

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