On a Camp 404 expedition you'll be part of a small group, and each day we'll walk together but then camp in solo tents. It'll be a balance of social time and solitude, with plenty of opportunities to be alone, to stop, and to soak up the views and the experience. To be, rather than to do. To slow down, calm the mind. Be in the moment. Think. Reflect.
We plan routes appropriate for each specific group, taking into account experience and fitness. Out in the hills we have to be flexible though, and expect to adapt those plans according to weather, ground conditions, fitness and also how people actually feel on the day. It should be a challenging and inspiring experience, and hopefully a launch pad to set you off on your own adventures in the future.
Camping in the hills has much to offer, but being in a remote location obviously means there are no facilities whatsoever. With no toilet to go to you will have to dig your own. Water will need to be collected from streams and rivers and filtered for drinking and cooking. Washing, cooking and disposing of waste requires great care to ensure the environment isn't contaminated or damaged in any way.
Perhaps none of this seems attractive at first, but once you've managed to do everything successfully and responsibly there is a strangely exhilarating sense of achievement and of truly being at one with nature!
You may also find the Wild Camping page useful.
We make all expeditions easily accessible by public transport and it is neither necessary or encouraged to travel by car. Our Sustainability Policy describes the reasons why we think this is important. We go to both moorland and mountain locations as this allows us to plan a varied programme suitable for a wide range of fitness and experience.
This is a great place to start if you're new to wild camping and want to give it a try. Also a good choice for previous Camp 404 participants returning for another guided expedition, especially if you prefer easier paths and gradients.
Each expedition will usually start from the town of Okehampton; with easy access by train, and a wild and dramatic landscape of moors and tors just a few minutes walk away from the station.
We keep to the northern edges of the moor as this gives us plenty of options. We can avoid civilisation altogether, or add a creature comfort stop at a pub or cafe for some good craic over lunch or coffee. Dave was born and raised in South Devon, not far from Dartmoor, and really enjoys leading these expeditions with Emma and helping to make your wild camping experience positive and memorable.
This expedition location is ideal as a next step for previous Camp 404 participants, or for anyone reasonably fit with other hill walking and camping experience. This could be another guided wild camping expedition where you can simply enjoy the experience, or an opportunity to focus on developing your skills and building confidence with the support of two experienced leaders.
We usually run these expeditions from Keswick/Borrowdale and although we keep routes relatively short and the pace leisurely, we'll be in the mountains and inevitably there are some steep ascents and descents. So this is more physically and technically challenging, especially with a big rucksack to carry. On a good weather day you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Lakeland fells and far beyond, but getting to those vantage points will require some fitness and determination.
Emma will be leading these expeditions, with Dave assisting. As part of a small group you can be sure of a very personalised and supportive experience whatever your expectations.
The short video below shows some moments from our first Lake District expedition in June 2021, with some typically awesome views and mixed mountain weather!
Preparation for an expedition is important. Camp 404 will help build your skills and knowledge beforehand, and this is described in detail on the Training page. What about fitness? Walking with a heavy expedition rucksack (12-13kg is normal) is something your body is probably not used to. And what about carrying it for several hours .... up and down hills? Our expeditions aren't designed to be an endurance test, the pace is leisurely and we have lots of breaks. However, we certainly recommend you build up your fitness and get your body used to carrying some weight. The more work you put in beforehand, the more you will enjoy the experience. Always build up slowly though, as injuries from being over ambitious are common. In order to take your time and avoid setbacks, start training sooner rather than later!
"Solitude helps you to redraw your own parameters, but its navigation takes skill and practice. Immersed in nature, you learn to look to the tides, winds, weather, currents, and raw elements more closely. That knowledge becomes instinctive. When I am alone, I am more focused and attuned to the particular nuances and subtleties in the natural world around me. Life is simplified. You feel your own humanity, physicality and interconnectedness acutely." ― Tamsin Calidas
“I was to find a spiritual and physical satisfaction in climbing mountains – and a tranquil mind upon reaching their summits, as though I had escaped from the disappointments and unkindnesses of life and emerged above them into a new world, a better world.” – Alfred Wainwright
The price for all expeditions (Dartmoor and Lakes) is £180 per person. There will be a maximum of 5 people per group, and there must be 3 or more bookings for the expedition to run.
All training sessions run online or from Camp 404 HQ in Little Walden are free, but with small voluntary donations requested to help cover expenses. However, it will be necessary to add a supplement to the expedition price when training is delivered as part of a Combined Training & Expedition package. This is because expenses are significantly higher. The following supplements will apply -
Lakes: + £45 (£225 total)
Dartmoor: + £60 (£240 total)
Two fully qualified, insured and experienced leaders -
Emma Holland (ML)
Dave Beare (HML)
Training and support before, during and after the expedition
All backpacking/camping equipment (rucksack, tent, sleeping mat & bag, stove and much more...)
Free waterproof and insulated clothing hire (subject to availability)
Training venue hire and any campsite fees (combined training package only)
What's NOT included?
Walking boots (waterproof, supportive, grippy)
Personal 'everyday' walking clothes eg non-cotton base layers, fleece, walking trousers (not jeans)
Travel to and from the expedition location
Please see the Training page for more information about expedition preparation and the training packages we offer.