Updated: Jan 23
Lone Wolf Campsite
The Lone Wolf campsite at Glyn y Mul Farm is a privately owned 20 acre woodland available for back to basic minimalist camping. It is informal, it is quiet. There are limited facilities of a couple of portaloo toilets, a hot shower, a small kitchen area and a washroom. Depending on how far you decide to venture into the woods will depend on obviously how far the walk is back to these limited facilities can be. It could be 3-4 minute walk plus from the Woodlands to the facilities depending on exactly where you choose to set up camp.
The Woodland has been divided up into great camping pods with plenty of deciduous woodland for hanging hammocks from and there are pre-built set fire pits dotted around that you can use for heating your food and making your cups of tea.
On arrival, you hike across an old railway track and down into the woods to find a spot. Basically, you pay for permission to camp on the owner’s land and have access to the facilities. It's only £7.50 for a night and is in keeping with the wild camping ethos of leave no trace and aim to not be seen. Booking is essential as the campsite does tend to get busy and wild camping becomes more popular. There is limited car parking available so it may be worth you telephone ahead and checking out how busy it is before setting off.
Children and dogs are welcome and dogs must be kept on a lead always because it is a working farm. There are grass areas available for caravans and small motorhomes but obviously they can't go into the Woodlands. The picture on their website says leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time; what a fabulous ethos to live by. There are recycling and waste facilities at the yard so be sure to make use of them before leaving or take your rubbish home. Leave the site in the state that you would expect to find it on arrival. Let's be kind to other campers, let's keep this wonderful site open for many more years to come.
Glyn y Mul Farm
Glyn y Mul Farm is located just outside Aberdulais in Neath SA10. It has got stunning countryside and woodland all around and a stream running through the site providing water which you can filter and boil for your camping needs. Sat Nav is pretty accurate and the site has a dedicated postcode so sat nav should get you where you're supposed to be going. If you want to do it the more traditional route using ordinance survey, you need the landranger map number 174 the Vale of Glamorgan or Explorer map 1654 Swansea and you can get the grid reference from their website. The Lonewolf website is extremely detailed well laid out and user-friendly so be sure to head there and have a good scout around and good luck before you head off.
Our party for this trip was in two parts, those who only came for the BBQ and company and those who were staying the night too. Because there were some who wanted an introduction to wild camping I brought two shelter types, the hammock setup I have and the floor setup I use on most of my ‘nights out’. Glyn y Mul is beautiful. It’s far enough away from the A465 so you can’t hear traffic. Just birdsong and the river flowing past. The insect count was very low. I did use repellent but didn’t notice any anyway.
The woodland is as described above, so easy for setting up a hammock. And the ground in the pods has already been cleared so is also very comfortable for floor camping too. One thing to note, the source of the river is up in the Brecons, so there is a flow of cooler air if you’re set up nearer the river. I did notice this in the hammock ut it is possible to set up slightly further away from the river to avoid this. Or do as I do and equip for one season cooler.
Setting up hammock and tarp
Picture below is of the hammock and straps used in this build, courtesy of OneTigris. This hammock has a side pocket that the whole thing packs into. It makes a good phone / torch pocket once you are in the hammock.
The hammock goes up first to check the distance between the trees is appropriate. The ideal angle for the straps is approx. 30 degrees. Note that the end of the straps hang below the hammock. This is ideal to give any rainwater dripping down the strap a route that isn't into the hammock! Also check the ground under your hammock, it is a lot easier in the dark if it is clear in the middle where you'll step in/out of the hammock.
Also check getting into and out of the hammock, so you know the height is comfortable, plus how much it may or may not sag when you get in. If you are happy with the hammock's position hang the tarp above. I use 550 paracord. I use a loop for each connection and a bungee ball at the end to give it tension.
The reason for using loops rather than single lengths of cord is if there ever be a problem in the night there is always more than enough cord ready for repair. I also tend to leave loops attached from previous set-ups still on the tarp. It makes set up quicker next time. This Tarp is the DD Tarp 3x3 - MC. It's slightly lighter than the smaller British army issue tarp/basha shelter.
One thing to note with this set up, the tarp connection to the straps is offset from the corner. This was due to the distance between the trees here. I then tied the corner to the other side (as shown below) just to avoid flapping in the breeze.
And finally, the view from in the bag.
Set up British Army Basha / tarp
Below is the basic kit I use when wild camping the 250cm x 220cm issue tarp (NATO stock number 8340-99-667-1242). 8 x Aluminium Y pegs. 2 x Fizan compact 3 walking poles for basha poles. 6 x bungee balls to give each line tension. Note I've already attached loops to all 4 corners and longer ones for the two ridge ends.
Firstly, lay out the basha flat on the floor, it'll show you where you need to clear (roots etc. will make it stick up). Then stretch out each loop, it'll show you where you're going to peg. In turn add a peg and bungee ball to each loop and peg down so the whole tarp is under a very small amount of tension.
Once that is done set the poles to about 1m, and place these upright at each end of the ridge as below. This will now tension the whole tarp properly.
As you can see below the tarp the area of shelter is more than enough for two people (the blue sit mat was for me to kneel on when I put the Thermarest Z Lite sleep mat under the tarp).
Here below is the finished set up. I keep the rucksack at my feet, but I know some use their bag as a pillow, I tend to use the 8L Alpkit drybag with the spare clothes in it. The two fibreglass poles are for putting my footwear on, so they can dry. The lightweight groundsheet is again just so I have something dry to crawl on, getting in and out. If I am having a brew I'll normally have the stove where the sit mat is, away from the mosquito net. The rucksack is the Osprey Exos 58, 2014 version.
And the view from the far end. I'm using a mosquito net by The Friendly Swede, hung from the top of the basha pole, as it was my first visit to Glyn Y Mul I wasn't sure how bad the insects were, in the end it wasn't needed at all. The sleeping bag is the Snugpak jungle bag in red and black. Not sure it's available in these colours anymore. The Gelert Solo tent was for a friend.
If you are planning to have a fire you will need to carry in your fuel for it. We did so we could have a good BBQ. Hmmm burnt meat!
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