You’re viewing a version of this story optimized for slow connections. To see the full story click here.

Closer Than You Think

Wild Camping in Yorkshire

Story by Tens May 4th, 2015

Guest Blog by Giles Smith

[Foreword by Tom] Giles, apart from being one of my favourite people from our home county of Yorkshire, is someone I try to get involved on creative projects as frequently as possibly as he’s rather handy with a camera. He also possesses a great thirst for the outdoors; his Instagram regularly feeding my phone with locations unusually close to home. I asked him if he’d mind sharing a few words & photos from his summer camping trips…


There’s a pretty great quote which reads “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all”. I heard it for the first time a few years ago, and have tried to keep it in my mind pretty much ever since. This Summer, some pals and I have tried to embrace it a little bit more practically, heading out into the Yorkshire countryside a bunch of times to get just a little taste of adventure.


Myself and my best friend Andy have been the constant presence on these little adventures (we used to call them microadventures, but that felt a bit unfair on them, so we stopped), and they’ve been driven by a few things. Primarily, we live in Leeds, and it’s the easiest thing in the world to get into the countryside from our house. We can hop on a train, and within 15-20 minutes be in the middle of nowhere. Add on a hour’s walk or bike ride and we can be in the middle of a really beautiful part of that nowhere.


The second motivator behind the trips, was, sadly, financial. Neither of us can really afford any exciting holidays to Mexico, or the Rocky Mountains, or Japan, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the world around us, or take some time out. With these little trips, we can leave our respective offices at a regular time, go out for a night in the country, and be back in work for 9am the next day (if we’re lucky!).


We decided on our first trip that we wanted to travel light, and with the minimal of hassle, so we sacked off the idea of taking tents with us, but instead just sleep in hammocks or on ground sheets and roll mats. The British Summer really can be pretty great, and with the exception of the odd rainy night, we’ve been very lucky with the weather this year. It gets cold at night, but nothing a sleeping bag and a warm jumper can’t overcome.


In the middle of Summer we’re normally asleep not long after nightfall, and then up with sunrise. We make a quick breakfast (show me a better breakfast than scrambled eggs cooked whilst watching the Sun rise and I’ll show you a fool), pack up, and are on the road again before most other folks are even awake.

Sometimes we get to enjoy a swim, depending on where we’ve stayed. This is the dream for Andy, though it tends to be accompanied by a ton of midge bites afterwards, we’ve discovered.

I could honestly write ten times as much as I have just here, such is my love for these little trips. I can’t legally encourage going on such trips (it’s a bit of a grey area, at best), but if you choose to go anyway (*ahem*), you’re almost certain of having a great time. Andy and I are going to try and keep going all through Winter, we’ll see how long we last!

– Giles