Our Top 10 Wild Camps (as of 2021)

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Gutter Tor Two Tarp Dartmoor Wild Camp

Since beginning the channel, in 2016, I have managed to get out for a UK Wild camp a staggering 24 times! Sometimes with Nath, sometimes with others, sometimes solo camping. I’ve done wild camping on Dartmoor, mountain top camping and stealth camping on the coast.

I’ve camped in a tent, roughed it in a tarp and relaxed in a hammock. I’ve camped in snow, camped in the summer, and camped in some extreme gale forced winds and torrential rain, and each and every experience has been recorded and uploaded for you to watch on Summit or Nothing, so make sure you SUBSCRIBE now, and ring that bell to receive up to date notifications.

So, until the next time I am able to get out, here’s a run down of my Top 10 Favourite Summit or Nothing Wild Camps to date.

10 . Watcombe, Woodland Hammock Camping at Torquay (2020)

Our Hammock camping set up

I had owned a budget Free Soldier Hammock for about a year before I managed to get out in it. I didn’t want to just go at it like a bull in a china shop and completely mess it up (I know, I know.. it hasn’t stopped me before… see my Lanshan 2 debut!). I wanted to have some idea if I was doing it right, and to go out with someone of experience to show me the ropes (excuse the pun).

It was during a guided charity walk that I had organised that I met Hammock camper Andy, administrator of the Hammock Campers Facebook group, and avid Summit or Nothing fan (OK so I added that title myself, but its bound to be true). He offered me to join him for a hammock camp, and so, several months later, on a cold and damp January afternoon, I finally took him up on the offer.

Andy, an experienced Hammock Camper

I was glad that I had someone who knew the craft to discuss what I needed to take with me beforehand, as I probably would have left half of the essential gear behind, especially the Lixada Underquilt, which I managed to get just in the nick of time. (In this LOAD-OUT VIDEO I run through everything that I packed to take with me) and once out, Andy was a great help in aiding me to set up my own hammock and DD Hammocks Superlight Tarp.

Whilst there was no real hike involved (carrying so much gear would limit the amount of miles somewhat) the experience of Hammock Camping was absolutely brilliant!

Not only was hammock camping completely relaxing way to camp, but it was a lot more of a sociable experience than tent camping is. Plus we got to build a camp fire, something that I have missed since camping on Dartmoor forbids it (understandably so) and just like an old cub camp jamboree (without the singing) we cooked baked potatoes on the fire with some chilli and stew that I bought along with me.

Watch my first ever Hammock Camp here

Join Hammock Campers Facebook Group here

9. Great Staple Tor , Dartmoor, Wild camping with My Son (2019)

The Lanshan 2, Wild camping at Great Staple Tor Dartmoor

It was late in the summer, or early in the Autumn of 2019, and I had intended to get out for another Dartmoor solo camp, when my son piped up and said that he would like to come, too. Well, this was very rare behaviour from any of my children so obviously I leapt at the chance, and after a quick trip to Go Outdoors to buy him some adequate footwear, we drove onto the moor and set off for a quick overnighter on Great Staple Tor in the Merrivale area, quite near to Tavistock along the bottom of the North Moor.

We packed up the Lanshan 2 ultralight backpacking tent and as I had my son in tow, took only a short walk, making our way over to Great Staple Tor, via Middle Staple Tor.

Camping on Dartmoor with my son

He loves to leap and climb about on the rocks, and I like to have a near heart attack as I watch him clumsily manoeuvre near the edges! He loves to see my face drop as he declared that he needed poo, only then to burst out laughing as he admits he was winding me up (where he gets his hilarious quick-wittedness, I’ll never know).

The weather was absolutely stunning, and we spent a pleasant evening under the granite rock stacks of Great Staple Tor, and the beautiful red sunset skies, and we woke in the morning for a stroll over to Roos Tor, before coming back to be visited by a family of Dartmoor ponies. We then set off home under a rainbow. It really was the stuff of dreams.

Watch my Dartmoor wild camp with my son here.

8. West Mill Tor, Dartmoor Wild Camp (2017)

It was early summer, and a year since Summit or Nothing had begun, so it seemed only fitting that we revisited the area where it all began. This was our third camp as Summit or Nothing, and along with Nathan and Moby the dog we set off up to the very north of Dartmoor, to do some hiking and wild camping on some of Dartmoor highest Tor’s.

A beautiful dawn sunrise at West Mill Tor, Dartmoor

We followed a hike which was sent into us from a viewer, Andrew Ross, and we planned to set up camp towards the end of it, Nath in his old 2×3 tarp shelter, and me in my brand new (well, second-hand) Vango Banshee 200. At last, my very own tent. 

The hike took us all day, and what looked like it might be a wet one, turned out to be some of the most ideal conditions that we had ever hiked and camped in – that still didn’t stop Nath from having a shit old time of it, though.

A ten mile hike took us over the top of Meldon Reservoir, we paid a visit to Black-a-Tor Copse, the stunted oak forest and Nature reserve and then we hiked on up to Dartmoor highest Tor, High Willhays. Then it was Yes Tor, and West Mill Tor, before ducking down and finding an ideal camping spot between West Mill Tor and Rowtor.

A ten mile hike took us over the top of Meldon Reservoir, we paid a visit to Black-a-Tor Copse, the stunted oak forest and Nature reserve and then we hiked on up to Dartmoor highest Tor, and the highest point south of the Brecon Beacons, High Willhays. Then it was Yes Tor, and West Mill Tor, before ducking down and finding an ideal camping spot between West Mill Tor and Rowtor.

The night was pleasant, still. I enjoyed my new tent, and Nath, who camps in a tarp to save weight, picked up a whole machine gun belt worth of empty cartridges to add to his backpack… go figure. I enjoyed the new tent, and woke to watch the sunrise, only to notice that the tarp shelter under which I had last seen my friend was empty. Still, I made the most of the fantastic dawn as I got some timelapses of a cloud inversion from Rowtor and paid a visit to the military railway loop.

Watch the re-edited and digitally enhanced revisit of the West Mill Tor Wild Camp here!

7. Moel Siabod – Ridge climb and a Mountain-side camp in Snowdonia (2019)

Heading into the mountains, Moel Siabod Ridge Scramble and Wild Camp

When I met up with fellow YouTuber Joss, for this early Autumn camp, I was a little anxious to say the least. Not because I was about to embark on some mountaintop wild camping in Snowdonia National Park, but because of how we were getting up to the top of said mountain; with a ridge-climb up the Daear Ddu Ridge.

Moel Siabod in Snowdonia is a 872m’s tall, so not the largest mountain I have been up, but its prominence among the surrounding mountainous landscape makes it seem imposing. And when I looked at it from below, and as the wind began to start whipping by, I pictured the ridge as a spine, like Crib-Goch, and I felt a lump in my throat and the chance of going home in brown trousers very seemed likely indeed.

We had set out from Capel Curig, and the weather seemed OK, but the promise of high winds as the evening progressed did threaten to throw a spanner in the works, but Joss assured me that we would be safe enough with our chosen route. And he wasn’t wrong. Having scrambled up to the top of Tryfan before, and also Cadair Idris, this ridge scramble was not as fearsome as I had suspected, and was a great work out as well as offering fantastic views as we gained height.

Reaching the summit of another Welsh mountain

From the summit we could see the neigbouring mountains of Snowdon as well as the mighty Tryfan, but the wind was picking up, and there was some heavy rain forecast, and so our plan to camp up top was abandoned. We made our way down the mountainside, and camped in the valley below.

I had bought the trusty Naturehike Cloud Up 2, and as the winds flattened it whilst putting it up, I swiftly fastened another guy line to the rear wind and this additional prop made all the difference and held tight for the night. Joss had prepared a smashing curry, which we ate together but the freezing Autumnal wind’s soon persuaded us to retire into our tents early. Still, it had been a great day with memorable views, and I was glad to have made this last of the year trip up North.

Watch the Moel Siabod Scramble and wild camp here

Follow Joss on YouTube here

And for more outdoors channels, pay a visit to Joss’s Great Outdoors TV facebook page 

6. Hound Tor – Illegal 2 Tarp Dartmoor Wild Camp (2018)

Wild Camping at Hound Tor

It was mid-summer, the World Cup was underway and England had a pretty important game coming up. Seemed like the ideal time for Nath and I to escape to the moors. We chose the Hound Tor area as I still hadn’t seen the amazing Bowerman’s Nose and had always wanted to and having just recently had a birthday, I had received a DD Hammocks Ultralight Tarp shelter and had only tried it out once so far.

So, a day of hiking in this beautiful area, taking in Bowerman’s nose, Kitty jay’s grave, Chinkwell Tor, Bell Tor, Bonehill Rocks and then back for a wild camp in the shadow of the notorious Hound Tor, the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes Hound of the Baskervilles (and home to the fast food van known as the Hound of the Basket Meals).

OK, so admittedly, it was another location where we were not actually supposed to camp, (Hound Tor falls out of the permitted land as found on the Dartmoor Camping Map), and at this point we still were not aware of the camping map, but we left no trace and lit no fires. So, an illegal camp but one that was well worth the risk.

The infamous Bowermans Nose,

OK, so admittedly, it was another location where we were not actually supposed to camp, (Hound Tor falls out of the permitted land as found on the Dartmoor Camping Map), and at this point we still were not aware of the camping map, but we left no trace and lit no fires. So, an illegal camp but one that was well worth the risk.

The whole day was a scorcher, and the vibrant sun only made the astounding views around us much more rewarding, but it did have its draw backs, especially for poor old Nath. Water consumption was high, and we had to filter throughout the day. Unfortunately a fault with nath’s MSR Trailshot may have led to him being severely ill in the week, or it may have been his reaction to he numerous insect bites that he acquired through the day.

Despite this, this camp was a relaxing and rewarding one, and offered a fantastic evening sat watching the sun set in a fabulous red sky to the west. Oh, and as we were just a few miles from Widecombe on the Moor we travelled there for a pub lunch and a pint before setting up camp – a privilege we rarely take advantage of whilst out on the trail, but after such a scorcher of a day we felt that we deserved it.

Watch the Hound Tor Two Tarp Wild Camp video here 

5. Cadover Bridge – Dartmoor Wild Camping in 60mph winds (2018)

Wild Camping by Penn Beacon on Dartmoor with Thom from Off The Beaten Pot

It was barely spring, Nath had departed from Summit or Nothing, and I had arranged to meet fellow YouTuber and Trangia Stove chef Thom from Off The Beaten Pot for the first Summit or Nothing collaboration. What had convinced me to do this was Thom’s amazing video in which he cooked a roast dinner with all the trimmings on a Trangia stove. I didn’t realise the possibilities of Trangia cooking were so endless, and wanted very much to learn.

The week leading up to the camp had been a write off, wet, windy (ideal conditions for a Summit or Nothing Camp you may add), but we monitored the weather reports and by the weekend it looked set to be OK after all, so off we set.

A good day of hiking ensued, and within no time these two strangers seemed to be hitting it off just swell. Thom showed me how to cook Chilli Choritzo Pizza’s and we took in many sights starting at Cadover Bridge, Trowelsworthy Tors, Hen Tor and ended up at Penn Beacon where we decided to camp on the south side of this prominent hill, looking over the Cholwitchtown claypits opposite us.

Spinach and Coconut Dahl, cooked on a Trangia

It was a grey day, but dry for the most part, and actually by the time we set up camp, there was a break in the weather, and we were treated to a calm and pleasant evening. I set up my Naturehike Cloud Up 2, Thom set up his MSR Elixir for its maiden outing, and I fund myself being somewhat jealous and a little defensive of my lightweight budget tent.

We also set up my DD Hammocks Superlight Tarp shelter as a kind of communal area so that we could cook tonight’s main meal, which was a tasty Spinach and Coconut Dahl with trangia cooked Bannock bread, another fantastic recipe of Thoms anda really filling and satisfying meal to end the day on.

It wasn’t until we retired to our tents that Thom finally checked the wetaher which had since been updated to announce a weather warning of 60mph winds, heading straight for us, directly at the south face of Penn Beacon. We got absolutely annihilated! My Naturehike kept getting flattened then springing back to shape during the few brief lulls. Eventually it seemed crazy to stay where we were so at 5am we packed up our tents.

Naturehike Cloud Up 2 in high Winds

As soon as my tent was out of the way, Thom’s MSR received the full force of the gale, and also flattened. Unfortunately for Thom, his tent actually buckled and twisted and his poles were badly bent and had to be replaced. On a closer inspection of the Cloud Up 2 in the following week, it appeared that the tent was fine, and that the poles just sprang back to life. As mentioned in Moel Siabod (above) an extra guy rope to the rear window and this tent bared up a lot better in high winds. Very pleased with this great little budget tent.

You can watch the Cadover Bridge Wild Camp here 

And can subscribe to Thom’s channel here

4. Easedale Tarn, The Lake District (2018)

Easdale Tarn – Wild Camping in the Lake District

It was the end of a brilliant day yet misty summers day hiking up the mighty Hellvelllyn in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District. I was in the company of yet another outdoors YouTuber, Alan Metalman. Alan and I had never met before, but we had followed each other on YouTube for a few years now, and it felt as though we had been friends for along time. He made a brilliant guide into the area.

After the days hike, and once the mist had finally cleared off, we ventured to the quaint village of Grasmere where we parked our cars for the night, loaded our packs and set off into the hills to find Easedale Tarn for my first ever go at Lake District Wild Camping (a tarn, for those of you who don’t know is a mountain lake).

On the short hike up to the tarn, we stopped at the impressive Sourmilk Gill waterfall and took in the views back to Grasmere, and up towards the impressive Tarn crag looming over us. When we arrived at our destination, I was instantly impressed. This tranquil location set beneath the mountains was idyllic and impressive. For this camp I had packed the Lanshan 2, and it was a pleasant and comfortable home for the night, but the calm weather and warm temperature was no real test. We spent the evening outside under the red skies chatting away until late.

In the morning, the scene was just as idyllic as the night before, until we discovered a tent just around the corner, left by some disrespectful campers, with rubbish and waste of every discription littered all over the place. Holes had been dug, fires had been lit. It was absolutely heartbraking to see and it really makes you question the sensibilities of someone to enjoy a beauty spot like this whilst practically destroying it at the same time.

Watch the video of the Easedale Tarn wild camp here

And follow the adventures of Alan Metalman here

3. Great Mis Tor, Dartmoor Wild Camp (2018)

Great Mis Camp with Stan, The Lanshan and the Star River

It was early spring, still a real nip in the air, but despite that fact, the fair weather had convinced me that it was a great time to get out for some more wild camping on Dartmoor, and I even managed to encourage my good friend Stan (whose name is James) to join me. In all fairness it was a great night for a camp.

We ventured to the Merrivale area where an afternoon of hiking led us to Kingstor, then Swelltor and Foggintor Quarries. The day was as bright and dry as you could ask for, without the relentless heat of the summer, and so made perfect hiking conditions. We took in the sights, enjoyed some of the Merrivale stone rows and antiquities, and then we headed up to Great Mis Tor for the camp.

Great Mis Tor is a fantastic tor, a large and prominent collection of interesting granite rock formations perched on top of a hill, and with plenty of flat grassy areas to pitch a tent or two for the night. The 360 degree views of the surrounding areas from here are far reaching and you can even make out the impressive Haytor over to the East.

This was Stan’s first time wild camping, and I wanted to make it as good an experience as I could, so think that by choosing Great Mis as the location, I had made the right choice. This was, afterall, the location of the very first Summit or Nothing wild camp, although back then, as we arrived after a long day’s hiking, the low laying cloud beat us to it and shrouded the views from us.

An amazing Dartmoor sunset

I was once again out in the Lanshan 2, and I had leant Stan my spacious Naturehike Star River 2 – which was to be the first time this tent had actually been used. Once we had set up the tents we tried and failed to locate the Devil’s frying pan among the granite rocks, and then sat and marvelled at the most impressive sunset that I had personally ever witnessed, the sky literally turning a deep blood red as the sun sank behind the horizon.

Once the sun set any warmth that it had supplied was instantly stolen from us too, and so we retired to the tent where we ate some “gormet” camping food (Stan’s words – not mine) that I had prepared at home and frozen in boil-able foiled pouches… much tastier than an over priced boil in the bag meal. He had a spicy sausage and pasta and I had a beef stew, both home made and full of flavours.

The night was calm and breathless, albeit a little cold, and although I missed the sunrise, the dawn light views were still something special. It had been a top notch camp and we had both enjoyed ourselves a great deal.

You can watch the video of this camp here!

2. Cadair Idris (Snowdonia) Mountain Top Wild Camp (2018)

Camping on the summit or Cadair Idris, Snowdonia

Originally intended as a camp in the mid winter months (which both Nathan and myself often reflect would have killed us) the very first spot of mountain top wild camping from Summit or Nothing was postponed until early spring the same year. The choice of mountain had always remained the same, Cadair Idris, or the Chair of Idris, situated in Snowdonia’s southern mountains.

It had been Nathan’s grandfathers favourite mountain, and my late friend Paul had recommended it to me on several occasions too, and now here we were. We had travelled through the night from Cornwall, arriving at about 1am, then we kipped in the car at the foot of the mountain before rising relatively early for a campsite fry up before setting off up the pony path.

To save weight and also to help create warmth through the potentially icy cold night, we took Nath’s Vango Mirage 200, a slightly larger yet heavier tent, and so we split the tent and shared the contents between us. It had been a pleasant hike up, and we exploited the time at hand, and stopped frequently, taking in the views and setting timelapses etc. We were passed by several of the same hikers on their way up and down, who must have thought we were dragging our heals a bit… well, we were.

The views from up top were amazing, and we watched clouds forming from nothing over the surrounding mountain ridges. We visited the hut and trig point at the top and then dropped down a touch to set up our tent (precariously close to the mountain edge) where we watched the sunset behind Barmouth in the distance. When the sun dropped out of sight, the moisture in the air turned to ice, and then whipped up into a brief snow flurry.

It was a great experience and one that kept on getting better. In the morning, whilst watching the clouds rolling beneath me, the sun rising behind me cast my shadow onto the a cloud, something that I never thought I’d see. It was agreat and memorable camp, and after breakfast, it took us just over an hour to get down the same route that took us in excess of five to get up the day before.

Watch our Cadair Idris Snowdonia Hike and Mountaintop wild camp here

1. My First Solo Camp – Hare Tor, Dartmoor (2018)

The Cloud Up 2 on Hare Tor

A little before Nath threw the Summit or Nothing towel in, we had planned a number of wild camps which he couldn’t make as we finally reached them. Eventually, I was running out of footage to upload and so I realised that I would have to take the plunge and embark on something that I had probably been putting off for a good while; my very first solo wild camp.

It was October, and getting very cold out. The clocks were set to fall back that night, and the weather was chucking everything at my house in the morning I was due to set off. Should , shouldn’t I? I was torn, but as the blue skies began to break through the dark grey clouds, it looked as if it was going to clear up and so, yes, I thought, this would be the time to go out.

I checked the Dartmoor camping map before I left and decided on my location… Great Links Tor! And so I set off, relatively late in the day for the time of year. I don’t know at which point on my journey I changed my mind, but for some reason Ger Tor, overlooking Lane End car park sprang to mind for a better suited camp, it was closer to the car, I think was the main reasoning.

When I arrived and after a quick walk up the tor in the bitter wind, I examined the surroundings and wasn’t overly impressed with the options for camping. There seemed to be one spot, and that proved to be a bit of a wind tunnel, and so, I looked further into the moor, over to Hare Tor n(which turned out to be a no camping zone), and was sure that just beneath the summit I could make out a little plateau which from this distance looked like a good camping spot. I had better get a shift on if I wanted to set up in daylight.

Hiking over the Tavy Cleave on Dartmoor

From being such a horrendous morning, it turned into a beautiful eveng, and as I set up my Naturehike Cloud up 2 tent once again, I sat and watched the clouds pass over beneath a blazing sun and a beautiful blue sky, a little anxious but very excited for the night to come. I had the moors to myself, and felt for the first time a real sense of isolation.

In the night, it sounded like a patter of drizzle, but when I looked out of the tent, I was surprised to see a considerable dusting of snow all around me. How exciting! Not only had this been my first solo camp, but also my first camp in the snow. As the night turned to morning, the morning light bought with it some stronger winds, and whilst packing up my tent, the thing nearly took off!

Getting this solo camp out of the way was like throwing open the floodgates. I could do it, I really enjoyed it, and from here on in, I would never think twice. Exciting times lay ahead!

You can watch the full video of my first solo camp here

Or watch the collection of my solo camps in this playlist here

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