A 4 day wild walkabout on Dartmoor, in an emergent, creative state of glorious ‘lostness’
“The right way to wholeness is made up of fateful detours and wrong turnings”
On this emergent journey we shall explore the unknown, as we explore the secret, wild places on Dartmoor. We shall take all the food and basic equipment we need to look after ourselves, making any civilisation unnecessary. What might we find if we allow ourselves to become, and linger, voluntarily and wonderfully lost?
To help ourselves, we shall do several things:
On the ‘plus’ side, we bring back into ourselves how to navigate: in the daytime, in the dark. We’ll navigate using compasses and maps, but also through reading the land, sun, clouds, stars, our own urges, and orienting ourselves accordingly. Some old cultures had a song for every riverbend, a story for every crag. We might get a taste of how it feels to belong in that way.
We shall also start to restore the vital skills that support self-reliance and resilience; expeditions offer us this, when we’re out on the moor and there’s no-one to do it all for us. We shall befriend darkness, solitude, uncertainty.
On the ‘minus’ side, we shall take away the things that block our direct experience of things. That’s right: no phones, no GPS, no cameras, no watch, no torch – leave all that tech scaffolding behind. What might the world feel like and offer up in their absence?
We shall also do away with goals and itineraries. In the absence of a fixed destination, where might we go instead, and how different might that feel? Does it matter if we don’t know precisely where we are, or if it’s about to get dark? How at home can we be with meeting the world as it meets us?
What this programme might really be about
Maybe we need to get lost, in order to find ourselves, to discover those secret threads that help us understand who we really are, that lie hidden in the Unknown, where all the true treasure awaits us?
Away from the shining lights and the always-get-it-rights, when you have made friends with ‘Lost’… that’s when mysterious things might make an appearance. If that happens, you never know what you might find, and what gifts the ancient wild land of Dartmoor might grant you.
“Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that first, bright and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart” David Whyte
Event Leader: Chris Packe
Chris has a few descriptions that he tries not to cling onto too tightly: guide, mentor, bushcraft instructor, woodsman, comedy performer, plenty of others. He is particularly interested in leading curious people into less familiar environments and conditions: where the emergent and unbidden may play out, and things may be seen from an alternative perspective. He used to be an investment banker, but somehow he got thoroughly and very fruitfully 'lost' along the way…
A detailed set of arrival instructions and equipment list will be emailed about a month before the event start date.
Equipment – On this trip you will be wild camping, either in your own tent, with a tarp / bivvy bag combination (highly recommended, and bivvy bags can be hired at £10 if you don’t have one and want to try one out)
Meals & Drinks – Participants bring their own food, and meal planning advice will be provided to make sure you have appropriate meals for an expedition. We will need to purify our water as we travel, and guidance for this will also be provided in the detailed course info
Duration – 4-day trip in Dartmoor: arrive 1100 on Thurs 1st Sep and depart 1600 on Sunday. Precise rendez-vous point to be confirmed
Minimum Age – 18, this event is aimed at adults
Insurance – Whilst not essential, it is recommended that you have simple adventure travel insurance to cover yourself and your possessions whilst on this trip. No outdoor activity is entirely without risk, as you may be using sharp tools or walking across uneven terrain – accidents can happen. Wildwise and Chris Packe have comprehensive public liability cover.
Difficulty Rating / Health Requirements- This trip will at times be reasonably challenging. Not only the physical element of hiking and wild camping, but also the special conditions that we are choosing for this trip (in seeking a certain type of ‘lostness’!). If you have any concerns about your personal fitness or physical capabilities, then please contact us. We will need to know about any relevant medical or dietary information that matter to a trip like this.
Course variables – The outline itinerary needs to remain flexible to take into account inclement weather conditions and other unexpected events.
How to Book:
1. Email us: please provide your contact details and how you would like to pay i.e. BACS or card (no additional charges)
2. By phone: call 01803 868269 (message service when office unattended)
3. Online booking via Eventbrite: instant booking with immediate confirmation. Eventbrite fees apply. Click below for this option.