Gearing up for Dartmoor


Megan is a big fan of the UK. She’d never use the F-word in that way, but she has studied in the UK (Oxford), she has repeatedly vacationed there (with and without me), she’s an avid reader and viewer of all sorts of UK things ranging from Jane Austen to Doctor Who and Sherlock … you get the idea.

So it should come as no surprise that she has always wanted to “walk the Moors” as they say over there. That is, take a long trek around the big national park known as Dartmoor in southwestern England. And this year, 2014, we’re going to do exactly that: we’ll spend a little over a week in August walking an 80-some mile loop around the southern half of Dartmoor.

UPDATE: here’s a link to the blog post after the trip, summarizing our experience.

We’ve been planning this for some time now – the file Dartmoor-vacation.pptx on my laptop is up to 10,609KB as of this writing. And in recent weeks, we’ve both selected and purchased the backpacks we’ll be using for this trip. Here they are:


I’ll be carrying a bunch of camera gear, plus a laptop computer for processing and posting photos of our adventure, and a couple changes of clothes and other details. Megan will be carrying food and water and clothes, and perhaps me as well if I don’t get in a little better shape by then.

To that end, we took a hike yesterday (below) with our new packs, and we’re both quite pleased with them. We’re bummed that the dogs can’t come along, but they’ll be happy at home with our good friend Tom, aka Dogboy, and his family.

test hike with the new packs

For those curious about such details, we’ll spend nights in Bovey Tracey, Buckfastleigh, Ivybridge (two nights), Two Bridges (two nights), Chagford and Exeter. Here’s a map of the route we’ll be walking:

Dartmoor route



  1. Peggy Droesch on

    This is wonderful, it looks like you two will be trekking right in between two areas I’ve spent a good bit of time in — Cornwall & the area west of Weymouth. Lyme Regis is worth a trip if you have the time, between Jane Austen & John Fowles it’s got quite a respectable literary presence. And Cornwall… if you get tired of dodging all the Arthurian-legend tourist traps, there’s always Daphne du Maurier, Jamaica Inn & looking for the ruins of Manderley in between cream teas to help you while away some very enjoyable hours!

    The UK is a lovely place… it’s been almost 20 years since my last extended trip there so I am seriously overdue. One of the best thing about it is all the public footpaths; a stack of their incredibly detailed ordnance maps & you can find all kinds of great places to walk. And the pubs… & the people you meet along the way… oh my. Giving myself itchy feet already.

    I look forward to hearing about your adventures. [I really need to bookmark this page so I visit more often.]

  2. Thanks, Peggy, those sound like great options. Cool to know you’ve spent time around there.

    We’re working through our packing lists, and almost ready to take a practice hike with our full loads. My legs just winced when I typed that. 🙂

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