Wild (bivvy) Camping

Most of the time I wild camp using a tent, either the Vango Nevis or my old Wild Country tent. But occasionally the weather and the location are just right for a bivvy camp. This camp was one of those occasions.

I happened to be working in North Norfolk on an event that was due to finish at 5pm and then had the next day off. The weather forecast was warm and dry for Saturday with rain coming in later on the Sunday – perfect timing.

With the Autumn Equinox upon us, we are getting roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness with sunset just after 7pm and sunrise just after 7am. I parked the car just after 6pm, an hour before sunset (the golden hour) and set off for the coast.

Arriving at my bivvy spot the first thing was to get some dinner made. On the menu was Bla Bands Indian Chicken Stew which turned out to be quite delicious.

Initially I planned to sleep where I could see the sea but after a bit of exploring I found the perfect hollow in the sand dunes. I set up my bivvy and sleeping bag – I use the Apkit Hunka bivvy with an Alpkit Pipedream 400 sleeping bag.

I could hear the geese in the fields just beyond the salt marsh chattering away but apart from that all was quiet and I was soon asleep. A few hours later I woke wondering who had left the light on only to quickly realise that it was the moon! The stars were also bright in the clear sky and the advantage of bivvy camping is that you can lie there star gazing and spotting the occasional satellite passing over.

At 5.30am I was awake again and ready for the sunrise – it didn’t disappoint. Over the next hour I sat with coffee in hand taking photos and watching the sun appearing over the horizon, lighting up the Marram grass across the sand dunes with its golden glow.

At the moment the sun appeared the geese got a lot louder and with a mass of honking took off across the marshes and then turned inland to fly to their feeding grounds.

With a walk to Wells next the sea ahead of me I packed up my stuff into my rucksack and headed off to find breakfast – but a whole lot quieter than the geese!

If you are interested this is a picture of the kit that I take for a one night bivvy wildcamp.

My kit is as follows : Alpkit Hunka Bivvy; Alpkit Pipedream 400 Sleeping Bag; OEX 3/4 self inflating mat; Primus stove and pan set; 2 x 2l Water bottles; LifeVenture flask; Montane Prism Down Jacket; Food which included a Bla Bland dehydrated meal, 4 croissants and 2 fruit bars; First aid kit; Headtorch – LED Lenser MH10; Hat and gloves; Rab Mantra Waterproof jacket; Decathlon lightweight waterproof trousers; Osprey Tempest 30 to carry it all in. I also had a spare headtorch battery, trowel and toilet paper, spork and some coffee sachets. At the point I took the picture I was wearing all the clothes I had taken including a Rab base layer and Rab mid layer.

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