wild camp south downs

Posted on June 18 2015

Shot by Tom Ballinger & Freddie Henwood

Some of the best adventures occur close to home. We caught up with Tom and heard about his South Downs wild camp:

"Upon my return to Sussex for the Easter period, I found myself longing for the open farmland and chalk paths of the South Downs. I arranged to meet my good friend Freddie on the outskirts of Worthing on the morning of Good Friday. The plan was to hike roughly 20km to Amberley via the South Downs Way to then wild camp the night at the national park owned site there.

The weather was not ideal. Pouring rain and thick fog obscured most of the views I had hoped for, but an eerie stillness surrounded us and the low visibility created a strangely unique and captivating aesthetic. Neither of us had done any expedition style walking, so we were a little apprehensive at the thought of quite a long hike. Despite our worries, heavy packs and rain, the miles flew by. We headed north from Worthing and hooked up with the South Downs Way at Chanctonbury ring, taking the trail west down into Amberley.

That night my Bivvi bag received its first rain test (it passed) and a substantial campfire kept us both warm. I awoke to grey skies above me, but bacon and camp-coffee made the situation a lot better. Trips like these are a humbling reminder that you don't have to travel far or have good weather to have an adventure. All you have to do is pack a bag* and get outside.

*warm clothes recommended."

Wherever you adventure, leave only footprints.

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tags: adventure

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