/ Dartmoor Conditions?
Having had a fair bit of experience of Dartmoor, I would say that it will be very wet underfoot. The streams will usually be passable with care but expect the West Okement river to be difficult if we have a lot of rain this week. That said, I think that the bogs add to the charm of Dartmoor, and have spent many a happy hour with soaked feet there. Watch out for ticks as well.
From Okey there are loads of options using the military tracks which are good to walk no matter how wet it is. To the West side there are also former tram/trackways especially heading away from Sourton which you can use to sneek past the wet and get out as far as the Rattlebrook (Bleak House, Kitty Tor etc etc).
It is a bit squelchy to the East side of the moor although the track which gets to Gartaven Ford from Buttern (edge of the moor from Throwleigh) is OK and gets you past the worst of it (Steer clear of the various "pools" and "mires"!).
The stream heights do rise but also fall extremely quickly. Have a look at the graphs shown on the Environment Agency Devon River levels website. Only a few hours after the rain has gone the upper streams drop to near normal. Do take care though.
I would use the military tracks to get out past Hangingstone Hill then wander about from there (do check the range isnt operating!!).
Have fun, its a beautiful place even in the rain!!
Thanks both, great info.
A couple of quick follow up questions if anyone cares to chip in:
Is the midge count likely to be high (if it is still and overcast)?
I'm going to be scrounging water up from somewhere, is clear running water from the tops OK to drink without boiling/steritabs? I will of course boil where possible but would rather not resort to steritabs if I can avoid it.
Re midges, Jut let me know when you are up on the moor, I will go for a walk and all the midges will follow me, like they always seem to!!
Having been on the southern moor around Burrator a few time in the last week, its fairly wet underfoot at the moment, no more so than your average winter but fairly sopping for July!
As others have said the rivers are very flashy, and rise and fall quickly.
Personally wouldn't drink from any of the rivers or streams due to the amount of dead livestock that you encounter. Midges haven't been a problem as it's been so windy, but watch for ticks.
Thanks again all!
Just reporting back - conditions were fine. There was a fair amount of water underfoot but no more than I'd have expected, the streams and rivers all looked like they were running at about *normal* levels. As far as water goes - I had to fish a couple of litres out of the stream by Bleak house, I drank it after giving it a rolling boil for 5 minutes and don't seem to have suffered any ill effects. The idea did occur that the streams on the ranges themselves are more likely to be contaminated with human excrement. Midges - we did get thoroughly midged and had to evacuate our first campsite to go to higher ground with a breeze. it was not quite Scottish but the worst I have had in England.
A final note - for a range the Army do an extremely good job of keeping it free from rat pack litter and brass, go them.
think you'll find its not really the army, thats why its clean :)
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