A Bit About Me…

I am a bloke on the wrong side of 50 (nearly 60) who sits in an office day in, day out. I love my job as a Technical Author but I do feel the urge to get outdoors regularly.

I am also a photographer who’s passion is waterfalls, weird eh? I’ve photographed many weddings over the years and I do enjoy it but I have decided to take a couple of years off and to use my camera, get outdoors and get some memorable shots for me and my family.

My wife is very patient, she has no desire to go wild camping but encourages me to get out on my micro-adventures, I’m very lucky. My two grown up kids often take turns in coming with me and so does my 10yr old grandson, he loves it, I have well and truly planted the seed in his head, I’m convinced he will be an explorer when he grows up!

As a soldier of 24 years I’d really had enough of sleeping under the stars; knackered, cold, wet and hungry were the pictures I had in my mind placed there from my past life as a squaddie. But the feeling of joy being in the outdoors has never left me.

I don’t profess to be a Bear Grills or Ray Mears type, I just like the outdoors and spending time in it with my camera. When I returned from a wild camp on a freezing January night in the Peak District people questioned my sanity and I can’t blame them. However, they don’t know how it feels and how much peace I find.

My blog will follow my experiences and show you what wild camping is like for me. I don’t expect everyone reading this to run out and buy a tent and run into the hills but if you do, I hope this blog can be of help to you.

So why wild camp?

Spending a night outdoors where no one is going to bother me, where I can photograph sunsets and sunrises, wild animals and amazing landscapes is like pressing the reset button on my soul. If its going to be below freezing I make sure I take plenty of kit to keep me warm.

Wild Camping isn’t going to be the most comfortable you’ve ever been but you can get a decent nights sleep if you think about what you’re doing and what you need to keep comfortable. Lets be honest, any idiot can be uncomfortable.

So what exactly is Wild Camping?

Well for a start, its against the law in most parts of England and Wales unless you have permission from the landowner but that makes it more fun and secretly rebellious knowing you are being naughty. However, I have never heard of anyone being dragged through the courts for doing it. I don’t normally ask permission but I have done on a couple of occasions like Kielder and the Yorkshire Dales although the latter charged me £5. Nevertheless it’s a fantastic place to go.

Dartmoor National Park does allow wild camping and there are specific areas within Kielder Forest that allows it too.

Wild Camping is about stepping outside, away from the towns and finding a remote spot where no one will interrupt your peace and quiet. Its about carrying everything you need on your back, shelter, bed, sleeping bag, food, water and any luxuries you want to enhance your experience. In my case, thats my camera a weighty Nikon D4s, I am still physically able to justify taking it with me but boy does it add weight to the trip!!

My aim for an enjoyable wild camp is to find the right location. I am very fortunate to live on the edge of the Peak District so I have enough to keep me going for a few nights! People often ask me how I know where the good spots are, I don’t, I just know places I like, some within 30 min drive from my house, some much further away. When walking or driving you may sometimes see somewhere thats made you think “I would love to spend a night there”. Well, there you have it, you just found the right spot.

Any spot you use should be left completely as you found it, “Leave no Trace” as the saying goes. If you need a dump, make sure you bury it well. The last thing a farmer or walker needs is to step into a pile of human cack.

Take litter home, be aware of wildlife or farm animals around you and respect the countryside. Its ours, its for us all to use so act responsibly and be nice!

13 thoughts on “A Bit About Me…

  1. Thanks for the Glen Ey recommendation, It looks a great place to get away from it all….
    A great blog to read, Checking out the Peak District stuff now 🙂


  2. Hi,
    I have really enjoyed reading through your blogs. My friend & I are hoping to do our second wild camp in the Peak District and would love somewhere around Dovedale, parking near Ilam. Is the Ravens Tor place too small for a 2 man tent? If so could you suggest somewhere else in the vicinity to head for? It says to contact you but I’m not sure if this is the best way? We are very much into pitch late, leave early and LNT.
    Thank you


    • Hi Wendy, thanks very much for your kind comments, it’s much appreciated.

      I struggled pitching up a one man tent when I first went there, I honestly can’t imagine a two man tent pitch anywhere in that area. Whenever I go there now, I use a bivvi bag as it’s much easier. If you are willing to walk a couple of hundred yards away from Ravens Tor you will find a spot. I always park in Milldale though, in the National Trust car park.

      My very first blog was above Dovedale which is about three hundred metres from Ravens Tor and there is plenty of room there for a two man tent. If you want a grid ref let me know.

      I also have a YouTube channel which you may get some ideas from.


      All the best,



      • Ah thank you so much for your reply and for the very useful information. I’m not sure I am quite ready for a bivvi bag yet though!!, so I will walk a bit further, but never say never. Keep up the great blog.


  3. Hi Mark,
    We are all set to leave after work today and a grid reference for a spot just away from Ravens Tor to aim for would be very useful if you don’t mind sharing it? Loving you videos, had chance to watch a couple now. Keep them coming 🙂


    • Hi Wendy,

      Here are a couple of grid references.

      SK14035 53793
      This one is near to the top of Ravens Tor but as you can see on the map, it could be a bit of a squeeze. I have walked by there a few times and always have it banked as a backup.

      SK13957 54020
      This one is lower down the hill, I pitched up a 2 man tent here when I came out with my daughter, its the first blog in Wild Camps 2016.

      Be aware there isn’t water source unless you fancy the hike down to the river Dove. The hike up would be a killer so I would take water in if I were you.

      I have just checked the weather an I reckon you may be lucky to get a cloud inversion over Dovedale in the morning so make sure you have a walk up to Ravens Tor in the morning. I filmed it once:

      Have a great time.

      Although I’m sure you will please leave no trace, it would be much appreciated.

      Let me know how you got on markintapton@gmail.com




  4. Hi Mark, really enjoying reading your blog and seeing the great photos, particularly love the drone video above Ravens Tor! Although a bit dismayed that people feel it’s ok to leave litter and expect somebody else to clear it up, well done on you for making the effort.

    Like Wendy I’m planning my first wild camp and was looking for somewhere near Dovedale, Ravens Tor probably isn’t ideal and I note you camped a bit below it on your fist camp, I think I can spot on the OS map roughly where it is, but would love to get a grid reference if possible, I can’t find a way to contact you privately, do you have an email? or Could you email me on email.darrenmurphy@gmail.com?

    I’ll be packing an extra rubbish bag when I go, just in case there have been other inconsiderate people about, hopefully I won’t need to use it!

    All the best, Darren


Leave a Reply to Mark Jones Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s