A quick paddle and wild camp on the River Hamble
A little camping trip down the river....
So the idea was, in planning and preparation for a longer trip, for Tom and I to take the paddle boards and lightweight camping kit down the river Hamble and practise our wild camping and paddling skills - but thanks to the purchase of a new kayak (for the family of course!) and the fact that the winds were picking up and would make SUP's a bit difficult to handle when fully loaded with kit we opted for both double kayaks; the real benefit here was that we could "overpack" without too much of an issue as we had carrying capacity aplenty!
A quick note on the kayak's...
Tom's kayak is a Perception Gemini Scooter and mine is a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 135T - both double kayaks and great for the family - to explore the river and local coastline that we're so lucky to have around us.
Time and Tide waits for no man...
We'd picked the weekend of the 3rd/4th June as the tides were perfect for our trip - the plan was to set of late afternoon when there was enough water to put in from Botley Mill and then be back mid morning on the Sunday (5th), making the most of the double high tides around the Solent area.
|Saturday 3rd June 2017|
|Sunday 4th June 2017|
|Final checks before heading off|
|Checking out the overnight potential|
Kit, in summary, consisted of;
Hammock (DD superlight) x 2
Tarp (DD again)
Overnight things including windproof and warm layers
Small hand saw
Gransfors small hatchet
5Ltrs of water
Sleeping bag x 2
Testing, Testing, 1, 2.....
|Camping location "found"|
|All set and ready to cook|
On the subject of rain, as we'd finished setting up the hammocks and I'd shown Tom the few useful quick release knots that I favour for their set up a few spots of rain started to fall, blown in by the breeze that had been against us during our paddle along the river - so we opted to pitch the tarp as well - it had the dual purpose of sheltering us for cooking while also providing a nice camouflaged backdrop to anyone looking in from the river and would mask our bright kayaks nicely!
So with camp set all that was left was to ket the kettle (or Jet Boil) on for a cup of tea and think about cooking our tea on the Trangia whilst listening to the various river and woodland animals and the small waves of the river lapping against the banks a few meters from our campsite.
Wakey wakey, rise and shine!
In stark contrast to our idyllic setting on the bank of the river we awoke to a message from my wife informing us of the horrific terror attacks that had taken place in London that previous night, follwed by another message from her simply saying "what is going on? stop the world, I want to get off".
Something sombering to think about as we went about striking camp and packing the kayaks up again for our short paddle back up the river with the incoming tide back to Botley.
|The river Hamble, before anyone else is on it!|
All in all we had a great paddle and overnight trip and learnt some good lessons on kit to take, how to pack and ways to locate and pitch a quick efficient campsite - lessons that we hope to put into practice again soon on a longer trip along the Basingstoke Canal and Beaulieu River
|A quick #goproquik video from our trip|
The 2 legs of our wild camping paddle - recorded on my Garmin Forerunner 935XT