Wild Camping in the Black Mountains

I have been thinking about wild camping in the nearby Black Mountains for the last couple of months but never really got round to it. A weekend came up when I had no plans, but was charged with looking after the dog so I figured we would go for it. After a few delays I eventually packed a bag, grabbed some food and set off.

The nights are creeping in fast and it was getting late. I would not be hiking far tonight. It was pretty much dark before I knew it. As I got to the top of Twmpa the sky looked incredible but the wind was howling. Not ideal for wild camping. The plan was to find somewhere a bit sheltered to set up camp.

I chucked the tent up in record time, swapped from shorts and a tshirt into trousers and a big jacket, dug out the head torch and got some dinner on the go. After a week in the office, being in the middle of nowhere with no phone signal is quite odd at first but then refreshing.

Sleeping arrangements were fine for me, but the dog was not happy with the little sheepskin I brought for him. After trying a few different configurations he forced his way into the sleeping bag and settled there.

As is normal when camping we woke pretty early. The dog was excited to wake up and be on a walk already! The wind was still howling and made packing down camp and in fact doing anything pretty cold. We started hiking early. After an hour or so I fancied breakfast so stopped in a shelter and got the coffee pot on.

The sun was shining but the wind kept it cold. We kept walking round the hill tops and came to Waun Fach which I have hiked from a totally different angle before. The views were stunning and a couple of hours in I had only crossed one other hiker, and seen a couple of others in the distance.

After a coffee stop and a bit more hiking I figured I wanted to get out of the wind. These hill tops in the Black Mountains are pretty exposed. I could see a reservoir down in the valley to my left so I started making my way in that direction. There did not seen to be any obvious path, so after a bit of scrambling and a couple of stream crossings we made it down there.

The second we dropped down out of the wind, the temperature soared. It went from gloves and jacket to t-shirt in very little time. By the time I was at the Grwyne Fawr Reservoir it was full on summer. I changed back into shorts and the dog went for a dip.

We rested and had some lunch at the waters edge. After a little sunbathe it was time to get moving again and make our way back along the edge of the reservoir and up onto the hill tops again.

By the time we got to the car we had covered some miles! It was good to explore this area a little further and spend some time outdoors.

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