By: Blonde Two
You would imagine, wouldn’t you, that a fox who is clever enough to spot a Blonde tent and raid it for pain au chocolat, would be intelligent enough to realise that he had already eaten all the good food from that particular tent. Our particular Dartmoor wild camping fox, however, had a university level qualification in tent raiding and a level of persistence that would impress the strictest of DofE assessors. Apparently, if you are a fox, stealing food from tents is a preferred occupation. Here’s how our night of fox defence at Dartmoor’s most atmospheric Foggintor Quarry went:
10:00 Arrive back at tent in darkness and enjoy shining the super-direct beam of the Ledlenser MT10 torch at the shiny bits of the tent, only to notice that our belongings have been strewn across the area and a new entrance had been made in our tent.
10:05 Find B2’s food bag minus food (he had even chewed the coffee sachets).
10:10 Undertake a rather worried inspection of our wild camping guests’ tents – experience relief that there is no damage.
10:20 Bedtime… but definitely not sleep time. Both Blondes make a concerted effort not to mention the distinct possibility that Mr Fox has actually been inside the tent.
10:30 Hear a whistle and a loud shout from Mr Guest 1 who had detected Mr Fox around his tent.
10:31 Both Blondes leap (well almost) out of the tent banging cups, stones and walking poles and managing eventually to scare Mr Fox off. Ledlenser MT10 torch demonstrating that foxes eyes, in the darkness, are red whereas sheep’s eyes are green.
11:00 (Time now becoming relative and very stretchy). Both Blondes startle awake to see their rucksacks, one at a time disappearing underneath the flysheet of the tent. Both emerge from the tent with previously mentioned cups, stones and walking poles and chase Mr Fox at least 5 feet away. Stone throwing results in his further departure.
11:20 Both Blondes return to bed (but not to sleep) nerve-enduced silly tent games and slightly hysterical laughter ensue.
12:00 (Time losing its significance as sleep continues to be evaded). Both Blondes startle awake after hearing rucksack nibbling. B2 is heard to tell the fox to ‘go away’ in rather colloquial terms, B1 is more polite. More chasing and banging but less laughter ensue.
Another time: Hear fox outside, B2’s rucksack disappears again, more chasing and banging, absolutely no laughing. B2 gathers ammunition in the form of throwing-sized stones right next to the tent door.
Another time: Hear fox outside (note he has lost the title ‘Mr’ by now and earned a far less polite monicker). More chasing, less banging (so as not to wake the guests), less swearing (so as not to shock the guests). B2’s walking pole becomes a spear in her enraged and sleep deprived head and is positioned, with stones, as ammunition right next to the tent door.
Another time: The wind gets up, thus rendering all hope of sleep as ridiculous, as every flap of canvas sounds exactly like a tent invading, Blonde-eating fox.
Sometime around dawn: B2 either dreams or imagines herself sitting sentry duty, back to the rocks, ammunition and rude words handy, a guardian of Dartmoor.
Dawn: Both Blondes wake up (so sleep must have happened) and discuss the possible early morning bedtimes of foxes.
08:30: Both Blondes wake up again (exhaustion must have set in) and realise that they have missed the sunset, their guests having breakfast and most of a night’s sleep.
If you do ever find yourself doing a bit of wild camping fox chasing you will need a specialist outdoor torch with a direct and long-reaching beam. The Ledlenser MT10 Torch can cast its beam 180 metres, it’s 1000 lumens aren’t bright enough to scare Mr Fox, but apparently only the sun can do that!
From time to time we Blondes are sent free outdoor products to field test and promote on social media. We will always be honest about our findings and any products we don’t keep for ourselves find their way into our expedition stores. Great for us, great for you and great for our youngsters!