Wild camping is one of the more challenging ways to get out and enjoy the UK countryside, and Wales is one of Wild Wolf’s favourite destinations! After a long drive up to Snowdonia on Friday night, we arrived at our campsite, Dolgam, where we pitched up in the dark and went to sleep, ready for the weekend of expeditioning fun ahead!
The next morning we had a lovely lie in (compared to most camping, anyway!) and packed our expedition bags, ready to set off from Plas y Brenin, just a short drive away. With our massive rucksacks (mine being taller than me) we started our walk and took it in turns to navigate up Cwm Tal-y-Braich where we stopped for a relaxed lunch.
Hill tip #101: don’t keep your lunch at the bottom of your bag...
Nearing the end of the day, we were getting very tired, but reached our extremely windy camping spot, Ffynnon Llyffant, in good spirits. We then had to spend an age trying to get our tents up in the very powerful wind.
Hill tip #102: never let go of your tent on a windy day (Nico and Oscar learnt that one the hard way!)
Next, after putting on a lot more layers, we just about managed to find a couple of sheltered places to cook dinner.
Hill tip #103: get rid of bulky plastic packaging before you leave so that it’s not taking up room in your bag when there’s food in it, or even when your carrying the rubbish.
Everyone was exhausted from the long 8 hours of steep walking (we had ascended about 800m!) and got straight into our tents and went to sleep.
On Sunday morning we packed up as quickly as possible and left as early as we could. Today we would be ascending 3 of the >3000ft peaks in Snowdonia and had the steepest bit right at the very start, however after this the walking was quite relaxed and we had a very sunny, yet cool, enjoyable day.
Hill tip #104: if you know you’re going to be doing some steep descent, bring hiking poles as it eases the pressure on your knees.
Once reaching the final peak we started a steep walk down to meet Dave in the minibus at the bottom, as he had left us to go down the afternoon before.
Finally, we had a brief stop for some delicious ice-creams at Caffi Siabod and then hit the road, for the 6 hour drive all the way back to Scout Park.
It was a brilliant weekend and quite a challenge, but it was manageable and it was a very small group with only four Explorers and three Leaders. This was my first experience wild camping and it’s very different not having the usual campsite facilities like toilets or a water tap (so don’t forget toilet paper or the trowel of Destiny!), but it was a lot of fun and I would recommend giving it a try, to anyone who’s done a bit of camping and a bit of hiking and is looking to try something new and adventurous.
Written by Priya, a Wild Wolf Explorer