I hate camping! In fact I detest it! Why anyone would want to camp in the UK is absolutely beyond me. When I was young and naive, I may have been duped by the adventure of it all, but I’m older now, and wiser, the victim of multiple, miserable, camping trips that have invariability involved: rain, midges, mud, showers with only two settings – scold or freeze – and zero sleep. Sod adventure, what’s wrong with civilisation!
So heaven only knows why I was stood in the middle of a sodden field, rain bouncing off my sodden hat, under attack from waves of sodden kamikaze midges, staring down at my sorry, sodden, excuse of a tent, which had disintegrated the instant it was pulled from its bag.
… And that would have been the end of the matter had not – at my moment of total abject despair – my co-campers Lynne and Brad turned up, bringing not one spare tent, but two! No chance now to duck and run. No way of escaping the misery of it all.
The reason I was stood, bedraggled, in a field, surrounded by crazy campers, was a late decision to walk up Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak, in preparation for higher and longer walks to come, and a desperate, last minute, search for accommodation that had proved fruitless. It was camp or nothing and I should have chosen nothing, but I didn’t. Idiot!
Wind the clock on 18 hours and at 1pm the next day we were stood on the summit of Scafell Pike, the air as still as I’ve known it, the sun breaking through, the horrors of camping a dull and distant memory. And with the majesty of the Lake District spread below us a quick change of plan was agreed and we descended down a different route to discover Piers Gill.
These moments of discovery, even within a familiar landscape, are the reason I head to the hills; a view I never realised existed revealing itself for the first time, for a moment it almost made camping seem worthwhile … but only for a moment!
Having a a camera at hand at those moments brings me neatly on to the Sony RX1 rII. Tiny, light, solid as a rock, fantastic IQ, low noise, huge dynamic range; I’d carried it around all day without noticing; no need for a tripod, no need for multiple, heavy lenses, no need for a bag full of grad filters, no need for a carbon fibre camera strap.
They say the best camera is the one you have with you and I can’t disagree!