Kennet and Avon Bikepacking – the video

I’ve made a video of the bikepacking adventure. Check it out here –

Kennet and Avon Bikepacking from mark chance on Vimeo.

July’s Microadventure biking along the Kennet and Avon Canal from the start in Bath to the finish on the River Thames in Reading.
Filmed using a Gopro mounted on my bike.

Music – Stunning Clarity by Signal Hill http://www.last.fm/music/Signal+Hill?ac=signal%20hill

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Sausages, Marshmellows and Coffee – June Microadventure

Last night was fun. No worries. Lovely wood and a fire. We had permission from the owners. What a difference a fire can make.

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We had hoped to be able to use the site all week and finally got the go ahead the day before. The weather and forecast weren’t the best, initially thunderstorm we’re predicated then just rain. In the end is stayed cloudy with some rain during the night and was very warm. Tim set up a Tarp to keep us dry and i set up my new Alpkit Hunka bivy bag underneath. It just about fits over my sleeping bag and meant that i couldn’t put the top over to hide from the early sunrise.

 

 

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Once the sleeping arrangements were sorted in was onto the fire and a beer.

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I’d popped to the local Butcher’s earlier in the day and picked up some of their fine home made sausages.

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The sausages couldn’t handle the heat and split but still tasted great with some bread. Dinner was followed up by some marshmallows and coffee.

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We discussed next month’s bike micro adventure and what to do the rest of the year. When the fire had died down and the beers had been drunk it was time for bed. I was toasty in my 2 season sleeping bag and Hunka bivy bag. It was a warm night. There was rain during the night but we stayed dry and it was a damp start in the morning. We had a coffee and packed up and headed home.

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Orchard Woods May Microadventure

Tim and I had a wedding to photography during the day and decided to stay over somewhere close to the wedding afterwards and enjoy a few beers. Some of the wedding guests were local and recommended a wood at the top of the hill. So once the wedding had finished we changed out of suits and into something for walking, pick up our rucksacks and headed up the hill. We found the suggested woods and setup camp.

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Greenham Common – April Microadventure

My kit has had an update of a new sleeping bag (see review) and ¾ roll

mat. This meant my bag was now lighter and easier to carry. We had been struggling with a location and ended up going quite local to Greenham common. Meeting with Alex, a friend of Tim’s we headed to a quiet corner of the common and found a suitable area to setup for the night.

I’d set my camera up and had short notice that the International Space Station (ISS) was about to pass over, so quickly lined up the camera.

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After the ISS i reset the camera to record a time lapse of the camp.

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I had a early start in the morning with a coffee before heading home to pick up the kids to run at Newbury parkrun on the same common.

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Wittenham clumps – March Microadventure

For March Tim and i planned to meet up with a group from

the Oxfordshire Microadventures Facebook Group.

They had recommended Wittenham Clumps near Didcot. After meeting up

at a local pub for a quick pint we headed up to the hill. It’s quite a steep

walk up the hill to the top but it was worth it for the view. Didcot and it’s

power station to one side and the river and Oxfordshire stretching around

us. At the top of the hill there was a “clump” of beech trees and we found a

clearing in the middle to set up camp. 3 of us were on the ground with bivy

bags, airmats while Dave from the Oxfordshire microadventure group set

up a hammock and tarp.

Once camp was set up we enjoyed some beers and cheese and relaxed and

chatted about pervious adventures and kit.

This time I had a massive rucksack (enter the details) and was able to fit

everything in it. The ground was soft and comfortable and although I woke

a few times during the night to see the stars above I had a good nights

sleep.

I woke early in the morning for the sunrise and then decided it was too

early and went back to sleep until later.

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When we all woke later, the camp was packed up and breakfast of coffee

and porridge (too much water turned it into porridge soup) before the

morning dog walkers came up the hill. We enjoyed the view for the last

time before heading down the hill and home.

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February’s Micro Adventure – Pheasant Woods

With January’s adventure completed it was time to start working on February’s. We decided on a woods near Walbury Hill, a favourite location of Tim’s.

The was a chance of rain so we took a Tarp with us. Walking towards the woods it became quite obvious that it was full of Pheasants. The trees were full of Pheasants nesting for the night. Was it still hunting season? Was there going to be a shoot the next day? What time do the beaters start in the morning?

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We set up camp anyway with a slight worry about the pheasants and shooting. The Tarp Tim had brought was massive and enough to cover a large group. Once we’d set up, we dinned on Cheese and wine!

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We woke early in the morning and decided to pack up and head to Combe Gibbet for a coffee before heading home.

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The start of a micro adventure

Before this year my idea of camping involved a tent, sleeping and air bed. I would fill up the car and set off for a camp-site for the week or weekend. We had everything we need to be dry and warm. The local chip shop or pub was included to provide food and drink we needed if we couldn’t be bothered with the BBQ.

This idea of camping changed this year when a friend introduced me to Micro Adventures and Alastair Humphreys. And it changed right at the beginning of the year in January! We didn’t normally brave the tent until the summer. The plan was to do an adventure each month starting in January. It’s cold in the UK in January.

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So we agreed a couple of location near to home and I pulled together what kit I had from camping, 2 sleeping bags, one of the kids roll mats (mine had gone to the bin last year), base layers and extra jumpers into a rucksack. I borrowed a bivy bag and we headed out.

The first location was let down by the very quiet pub. It was us and the landlord who was watching Rocky on the Television. We finished our drinks and headed to the second location (pub). That one was closed for a private party. Things weren’t looking good!

We braved on and after a visit to the local shop headed off to some woods over looking our home town and found a spot near some woods. I wore everything I had and both sleeping bags inside the bivy bag and was very warm all night despite it getting down to -6°C during the night.

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Breakfast was coffee and porridge before heading home for the normal “day”. It just shows what you can do with some determination and some basic kit.

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