Falling into a bog is a Dartmoor right of passage, but it may leave you extremely chilly and at risk of hypothermia (as well as horribly smelly). The Dartmoor bogs can be incredibly deep and hazardous, however there are several Dartmoor places that are totally formed of solid ground. These include Exmoor National Park and the Teign Valley.
Bogs are areas of spongy soil that accumulates waterlogged vegetation. They are found on most soils except for those that are granite or shale based. Bogs can be very dangerous if you fall into them because they can be deep and it's hard to escape from. The edges tend to be rocky in places so make sure you don't stumble upon one of these areas after dark.
Dartmoor is known for its high winds, heavy rain, and wild animals so safety is important when visiting this beautiful part of England. Make sure to use common sense and follow all signs posted for visitors. A trained ranger can provide information about local conditions and show you the safest ways to explore the park. Never enter a forest or walk alone; take a guided tour if possible.
Dartmoor has many unmarked paths and shortcuts which can be tricky to navigate if you're not used to them. Always check with a ranger before setting out onto unexplored territory.
In conclusion, Dartmoor is an amazing place full of history and wildlife.
Dartmoor is well-known for its free and legal wild camping. However, it is not widely recognized that camping is still illegal in many places of the national park. During Dartmoor's rainy seasons, flood plains and marshy places may quickly turn swampy. This makes some areas unsuitable for camping.
The National Park Service (NPS) publishes a list of public camping sites each year. It can be found online at www.dartmouth.edu/~nmrs/camping/index.html under "Find a Site." The site list is also printed as part of the annual "Dartmoor Guide". Download a copy from either the NPS website or from a bookshop in Devon.
There are two types of camping area on Dartmoor: designated sites and free sites. Both are clearly signed with small yellow posts bearing black arrows. At designated sites, you must buy a ticket to camp. These can be bought at the visitor center in Princetown or at some of the other National Trust properties on the moor. You can choose between a half-day ticket for £4.50 or a full-day ticket for £8. You can also buy weekly tickets at these prices: £22.50 for a half-week; £45 for a full week. Children go for half price.
Dartmoor's rivers rise rapidly. Any location where people interact with water has the potential for danger, and water should be treated with care at all times. Rainfall in Dartmoor, on the other hand, may be abrupt and heavy, causing rivers to rise swiftly to dangerous levels. The reserve's granite rocks are prone to flooding, and during thunderstorms, electric currents can be drawn into these waters, even though they are not actually connected to any power source.
There have been many deaths on Dartmoor over the years. In winter, streams can become completely frozen over, presenting a hazard for anyone who might cross them. In summer, the heat of the sun can cause large rocks to collapse, trapping people beneath them. There have also been cases of people being hit by falling trees or hitting their heads on submerged objects.
The reserve's main road, the A3062, crosses several streams including two broad ones known as Hells Mouth and Blackbrook. If you're planning to go hiking or rock climbing on Dartmoor, make sure you check the weather forecast first. Even if it isn't raining when you leave home, something could change between then and when you reach your destination, so always take appropriate precautions against danger from ice, floodwater, and falling rocks.
Some places of Dartmoor allow backpacking. This is accomplished by carrying your own kit as part of your trek and staying for no more than one or two nights. This is only possible in specific regions (see map below). There will be no overnight stays in cars, campervans, or RVs. No sites are provided, so you will need to find your own spot to pitch a tent.
The main region where camping is permitted is known as "the core". This area covers most of the central moorland and stretches east as far as Hound Tor. It's well used by visitors because it has easy-to-find sites with little risk of being near a busy road. There are also some campsites in the west of the moor that are less well known but just as peaceful. These tend to be located on streams or other damp areas where there are few risks of finding someone else's toilet paper!
Outside of the core, you'll need to make your way to one of three small designated sites. These are usually away from roads and have been set up by the National Trust. You can stay here for one night only. They're perfect if you want to get away from it all but don't want to go too far - transport options are limited.