Trip Report Took too long but back out, in a tent? With gourmet Spam?

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tracker1972

Forager
Jun 21, 2008
247
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Matlock
So it's been literally months, my regular first of the month (which was never that regular) kept slipping, my motivation kept slipping... It all just kept slipping. Then up stepped my hero (wife). She had tickets and was out for the night, my kids were going to their grandparents... "why don't you go out for the night?" she said. And even then I wondered. That was only days after declaring my intention to get out more for my physical and mental health and build up for a big trip... and I got a new tent for Christmas... Didn't really have a choice!

Fast forward to Friday, finish work, rush home and start packing (yes, I'd done nothing during the week, too busy) open the cupboard and try to find something, anything to take to eat... Hmmmm, even more slim pickings than usual... Still, can always make some bannock, and had an old packet of raisins and cranberries, and some Bacon Spam... Probably get a breakfast out of that... Another tin of normal Spam, and a sachet of tomato lentil stuff? What the heck, lets give it a go!

So, loaded up with a traditionally overloaded pack I set off, but not up the usual hill from home, oh no. The previous weekend my eldest (8yo daughter) out for a walk so we can begin preparing for a larger summer adventure. Just shy of 3 miles to where I wanted to camp. I had no idea if there was anywhere to put the tent so I had the bivvy bag as well, just in case. I quickly left the main road behind, made my way past the lads giggling like sheep and smoking something sweet and herbal and I was in the first patch of woods. It was a cold but windless evening, dropped to a about 6C by this point but keeping moving I was fine in a t-shirt and I was immediately struck by just how much I'd missed this kind of travel. I was back on a country road for a section but the stars above, the cool breeze, the sound of footsteps to mark my passage... brought back fond memories of night walks, cycle rides, cycling the Coast 2 Coast cycle route and just the sensation of travel. At that point (if I were fitter and had eaten already) I felt like I could have walked all night. However I had a date with a cliff top and a sunrise to meet.

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After an hour or so I approached my chosen spot, and could hear hushed voices, then spot head torches. Oh, well, no reason for me not to be out for a walk, with a huge rucksack... As I rounded the bend I saw a couple of bivvy bags in the gloom and a stove on the go.
"evening" I opened "out for a brew?"
"ermmm, yeah" one replied.
"I've come for my tea" says I, putting down a massive rucksack.
"yeah, we might be camping out as well" they offer.
"and that's a bloody big rucksack for someone who is only having his tea!" and our true intentions were revealed. We chatted a while before I left my bag and set off to try and find a spot big enough to house my new tent. A Zephyros 1. Nothing spectacular, but small and not too weighty. After a long search in the dark I thought I'd found a spot that I thought I could get to work and, long story short, it did. Such an easy tent to pitch that even with it only being the second time ever, in the dark, in a pretty restricted space with all sorts of leaf litter and sticks to deal with it still took only 10 minutes or so. In open ground it'll be much quicker.

Time to eat! Oh, and remember my cup, at home, ok, time to eat from a pan, and drink from a 14cm Zebra billy. Worse things happen at sea etc. The gentle hiss of the Trangia reminded me just how quiet it was and tea was dispatched shortly whilst a largely unsuccessful time lapse of the stars was completed. Then the million dollar question... will I get on with the tent?

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As some of you may have noticed, in my previous wildcamps the closest I have come to a tent is a tarp tent, with the hole it has in the front and I was genuinely worried that the sealed nature of the tent, the inability to see what is around me, would make it all seem a bit alien, a bit spooky. Needn't have worried, not only did I sleep like a baby but I didn't even need a, ermm, relief break in the night! Awesome!

Waking with the dawn I snoozed for maybe an hour or more before venturing out. By this point my fellow campers had packed up and had come back from their cliff top bivvy spots (not as risky as it sounds) to see what was back where I was having never explored the area. Daylight afforded not only a much better route to the cliff than that I had used, but also fairly extensive hammock potential. I suspect it will not be the last time any of us are up there. Pleasantries and stories exchanged it was time for the main event, a beautiful misty valley as a backdrop to breakfast.

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I have nothing against trail meals, re-hydrated stuff, I've had it and it's perfectly fine. I like to have a play though, and try something new, or a twist on something old. Black pudding in bannock I have done before, but not Spam. So, mixing up the bannock whilst the Spam cooked through was a lovely way to pass the time as the sun rose higher, slowly burning away the mists. Wrapping the Spam seemed to work and the warmth of the cooked meat (well, it is mostly meat) was instantly doing wonders to help the bannock rise.

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First turn, I haven't burned it, in fact, it's nigh on perfect...
Second turn, oh my, it's still looking awesome, but the edges might need a bit more time... hmmm I wonder, yes! The Trangia mini frying pan makes a perfect lid for another mini oven attempt. Then before long it's time for the first bite... and what a bite! A perfect crust yielded a soft and light bannock beneath. Sweet from the raisins, more sweet and tart from the cranberries and the Spam was simply amazing! Honestly, it worked together like a charm! I'd forgotten any sugar for the bannock so it was simply self raising flour, a tiny pinch of salt and a bigger pinch of baking powder mixed up with water but it was all amazing together.

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Anyway, some drinking from the billy later the tent was packed away (with the damp outer easily separated to keep the inner dry) camp was struck, no traces were left of my visit (or of the visits of my companions for the night) and an uneventful and relaxing walk home in the sun was had. With me asking myself, repeatedly, why don't I do this more often? A question I have to seriously answer, because, as I suspect it is for you, it is really good for me.

Anyway, if you got this far, thanks for reading the drivel and if you want to see what I'm on about, feel free to swing by YouTube and have a look. About 40 minutes if memory serves so It'll take more than a brew!
Thanks for listening, and providing enough reading material on here to keep me fired up enough for next time.
Chris.

 
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Zingmo

Eardstapa
Jan 4, 2010
1,276
90
S. Staffs
Excellent write-up. Thanks for taking the time to write this for us.
Whereabouts in the country are you?

Z
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
5,366
1,852
W.Sussex
Good trip out by the looks of it. Those Spam bombs look lovely. :)

Never thought I’d see the words Spam and gourmet in the same sentence. :D
 

tracker1972

Forager
Jun 21, 2008
247
58
49
Matlock
Excellent write-up. Thanks for taking the time to write this for us.
Whereabouts in the country are you?

Z
Thank you Zingmo, as I've said in the past. Trying to write it up helps relive the trip a little and if I enjoy it, maybe others will too. Much like making the video. It's a faff, but an interesting faff :)
We are in Matlock, so just outside the Peak District to the south east.

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tracker1972

Forager
Jun 21, 2008
247
58
49
Matlock
The location looks outstanding. :emoji_thumbsup:I would have to stay at least a week.
It is just a lovely place to hang out. If you were there a week though you'd certainly have to make it down the valley to the local pub. Some lovely real ale to be had :)

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tracker1972

Forager
Jun 21, 2008
247
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Matlock
Good trip out by the looks of it. Those Spam bombs look lovely. :)

Never thought I’d see the words Spam and gourmet in the same sentence. :D
Was a much needed return to the outdoors! As for the Spam, I've used it before as it's too easy to leave in a cupboard "just in case" but I was just as amazed as the next man at how well it all turned out. I mean, I hoped it would but my oh my, it really was excellent :)

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Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
5,366
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W.Sussex
Was a much needed return to the outdoors! As for the Spam, I've used it before as it's too easy to leave in a cupboard "just in case" but I was just as amazed as the next man at how well it all turned out. I mean, I hoped it would but my oh my, it really was excellent :)

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Two words. ‘Bacon’, ‘Grill’. That’s got to be your next Bannock Barm Bacon Bomb. With a slice of Dairylee in it. For extra energy like...:D

Can’t get it anymore, but Spam with garlic was superb stuff.
 
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tracker1972

Forager
Jun 21, 2008
247
58
49
Matlock
Two words. ‘Bacon’, ‘Grill’. That’s got to be your next Bannock Barm Bacon Bomb. With a slice of Dairylee in it. For extra energy like...:D

Can’t get it anymore, but Spam with garlic was superb stuff.
Bacon Grill? Is that the Tulip stuff that keeps an eye on me from the shelf next to the Spam? I do keep wondering, then thinking I should do some sort of back to back testing (as if it's that important!) However, too much Spam may not be a good thing for my weight, so... I've begun to think of low calorie, diet versions! I'm sure it'll be practically like eating sawdust...
4e088c9e36505a1355a630d6b24b1595.jpg


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Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
5,366
1,852
W.Sussex
Bacon Grill? Is that the Tulip stuff that keeps an eye on me from the shelf next to the Spam? I do keep wondering, then thinking I should do some sort of back to back testing (as if it's that important!) However, too much Spam may not be a good thing for my weight, so... I've begun to think of low calorie, diet versions! I'm sure it'll be practically like eating sawdust...
4e088c9e36505a1355a630d6b24b1595.jpg


Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk

Tulip, that’s the stuff, there are other makes, but it’s pretty much all the same spam type stuff with added smoke flavouring. That Spam Lite looks to be some sort of dangerous biohazard. I’d avoid that, it lacks nutritional HydrogenatedFat and probably the essential vitamin Trans-Fat. :D
 
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tracker1972

Forager
Jun 21, 2008
247
58
49
Matlock
Tulip, that’s the stuff, there are other makes, but it’s pretty much all the same spam type stuff with added smoke flavouring. That Spam Lite looks to be some sort of dangerous biohazard. I’d avoid that, it lacks nutritional HydrogenatedFat and probably the essential vitamin Trans-Fat. :D
Don't worry, I think it just has a touch less salt and sugar, I think all the essential fats are still present :)

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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,355
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McBride, BC
Everything looks like a fantasy. What a trip. Next time, remember that Spam needs brown sugar and cinnamon. 1/2" sliced and fried apple won't hurt it.
 

Tony

White bear (Admin)
Admin
Apr 16, 2003
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www.bushcraftuk.com
Missed this before. Thanks for the report, it was great and I think you've reflected a lot of people and how life is.
goodjob and I'm looking forward to hearing about the next one :beerchug:
 

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