By: Blonde Two
From time to time we Blondes hear tales of ripped tents, stolen food and sad, breakfast-less campers. These are Dartmoor wild campers who haven’t heeded warnings about the damage and nuisance that foxes can cause.
The rules for Dartmoor fox damage avoidance are simple:
1. Seek local advice on camping areas (for example the Scout Hut area at the bottom of Gutter Tor is well known for fox issues).
2. Take all food into your main tent (not the flysheet) and sleep on it if necessary.
3. If you leave your tent take all traces of food and food rubbish with you.
Last weekend we Blondes (despite having warned our wild camping guests) forgot rule 3 and paid for it with a ripped tent (not ours) and a very sleepless night. (Our tent, by the way, was my new favourite and super lightweight tent – a Big Sky Chinook and behaved most marvellously all night despite its fox damage).
We had had a most satisfying night walk and viewed all kinds of animal life, little expecting, when we arrived back at our tent (pitched in the Foggintor area) to find that we had played host to some of that animal life.
I was admiring our tent’s numerous ‘shiny bits’ when I noticed a general ‘strewning’ of our belongings out either side of it. I was sure that neither of us had left our rucksacks (still quite heavy despite being almost emptied), our cups and various other items spread across Dartmoor, but there they were, for all to see… and apparently for all to eat because, once we had found my food bag, we discovered that Mr Fox (hence christened with a much ruder word) had made off with my breakfast (obviously a fox of discerning, continental taste because it was pain au chocolat).
We were obviously, at that point, all happy and smiley and had a friendly discussion about how cheeky foxes were, but still cute!!!
I will tell you more about our Blonde night with Mr Foxy in another post, but for now, do please heed our warning. If you are camping in a popular or inhabited area, guard your breakfast carefully!