Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal

Paul Mobbs’ photographic record of his walks around ‘Banburyshire’ and ‘The Irondowns’, and occasionally, as part of his work around Britain, the areas beyond.

Backpacking & Wild Camping

This area of the Banburyshire Rambles Photo-Journal documents my experiences backpacking & wild camping, exploring the transition between day walking and true ‘wayfaring’ through the landscape.

I’ve rarely taken a camera backpacking; given the pack weight, available space, and distance to be travelled, I looked upon it as a ‘dead weight’ that added nothing to the purpose of travelling – which was, to get ‘out in the sticks’ for a few days without having to come back to ‘civilisation’.

That’s a pity, because I think people have lost the sense of what it is to ‘travel lightly’and right now I could use some pictures and video for some work I’m doing on that.

In these pages I hope to remedy my previous oversight, documenting backpacking trips so that I can convey the delights of lugging heavy loads cross-country.

These pages are being created as part of a project with the Free Range Network, and will link to the resources being created as part of that project. For more practical information, see their web pages.

& Wild Camping

Backpacking is not ‘like camping’. When you must carry everything with you on foot, what you choose to take, and how you might use it, requires a wholly different set of principles to site-camping. The reward for that, though, is that you are able to explore the countryside in more depth, roaming to places that you might otherwise not be able to appreciate when day-walking.

As I collect backpacking/wild camping journals, I will post the best here. What these posts seek to illustrate is ‘the experience’ of backpacking and wild camping – rather than the purely ‘technical’ issues which are documented as part of the project for which these trip are being undertaken.

Past backpacking trips:

Landscape image, ‘Adam and Eve, Longstone Cove, Avebury’ Banburyshire Rambles Journal,
30th April to 2nd May 2019:

‘A Beltane Backpack’; Revisiting a once much-walked ancient landscape

Confined in bed for ten weeks after last November, I hatched a simple plan to get back into multi-day backpacking again: Wild camp for four days across the Wessex Downs; stopping only twice for water in Avebury and Marlborough; and all along the route, photographing as many of the lesser-known prehistoric sites as possible. 35 years after I first backpacked around the area, I’m looking forward to the walk with anticipation.

Route: Devizes, Cherhill Hill, Windmill Hill, Avebury, The Ridgeway, Fyfield Down, Marlborough.

Metrics: Distance, 48km/30 miles; ascension, 740m/2,400ft; duration, 3 days.