Wild camping goes hand in hand with landscape photography and this year I made my first outing to the Lake District National Park. Over the winter and spring of this year, I have been buying equipment and planning my trip. Keeping light was my main focus. The thing I purchased was my tent. I opted for a Berghaus 3.1 Peak one man tent. At only £70 it's not a top of the range tent but more than adequate for my trip which was planned to be in good weather anyway
My sleeping bag is a Vango Nittest AR250, and at only £30 its not going to break the bank. My sleeping mat is an OEX Fulcrum EV Inflatable Sleeping Mat which is very comfortable and lightweight. For cooking, I had a C100 gas canister and a small burner. I found that the gas canister fitted perfectly into my metal mug, perfect for saving space. Water is a big issue and weight problem, 2 liters of water weighs 2kg. To reduce weight I used a pocket filter system by MSR. This brilliant piece of kit is ideal to save weight. I only took a 750ml bottle of water with me, full to start with but filled up from mountain streams on the go. I can tell you there is nothing like drinking fresh mountain water on a morning. Other items included Spork, maps, torch, first aid kit, knife, compass, whistle, phone, maps, energy bars, spare lightweight down coat, waterproof coat and of course my camera equipment. All this equipment fitted perfectly in my Mantona Elements Pro Drone camera bag. I got this several months ago just for my drone. But the camera inserts are easily removed as well as the zip partition. This gave loads of room for the equipment to fit in. The bag is extremely well made and comfortable to carry.
I first arrived at Seathwaite at around 5 pm. After a quick bite to eat I got my gear together and set off. The first part of the walk goes through Seathwaite farm to then pick up a trail following the river Derwent to Stockley Bridge. This ancient packhorse bridge is full of photographic potential in itself, that wasn't my quarry anyway, but it was hard to walk on by. Once over the bridge the grind really starts. Carrying 16kg of gear on your back on a red hot afternoon is no easy task, well not for me, I'm not in peak condition. So after a few rests and all my water nearly gone I made it to Styhead Tarn. This gorgeous tarn is in itself worthy of a shoot, next time maybe. I knew it was not much further so I pressed on reaching the stretcher box at the foot of Great Gable. At this point, I made a left turn to start the final part of the walk to reach Sprinkling Tarn. By this time I was pretty glad I had made it. Not in a way of thinking, oh thank god I've made it, I was made up, I felt like I had conquered Everest. I didn't have that long really to celebrate, and with only 45 minutes to sunset and the light was pretty damn nice now I still had my tent to pitch. Well, it was only my second time pitching and when you're almost exhausted that is a real test. Let's say I had several attempts at it, enough said. So with 20 minutes to sunset, I got my spot after a quick scout around. Perched on top of a rock with my camera on my tripod I could relax and shoot away.
I searched around for some sort of foreground interest which was a bit of rock outcrop. There are plenty to choose from. I set up to start off with using my 16-35mm canon f4 to get in the whole scene. With a cloud formation forming to the right of Great Gable I wanted to capture this too. Using my 70-200 f4 canon lens I grabbed a shot of that too. It looked awesome with the sun dropping behind it. Then it was back the 16-35. I just kept on shooting and enjoying the moment, I had worked at it but felt I had found my spot and I was happy to stay put and not moving anymore. After the light had faded I it was time to get some sleep. I made my final recording for my YouTube vlog but just then I looked out of my tent door to see the beauty of the evening light. Without hesitation I planted my tripod and camera just outside of my door to take one last exposure, It was simply beautiful to watch.
It was then time to pack up and head on back down to Keswick for some well-earned breakfast. I thoroughly enjoyed my first outing wild camping and landscape photography and I cannot wait for my next expedition. You can watch the video I made in the link down below.
The next morning I awoke expecting a glorious sunrise, but the clouds had rolled in from the east and It was looking unlikely. After an hour the sky did start to break up for me to capture the morning light, Luckily the sun was not too harsh by this time with the low ceiling of clouds offering some light diffusion.