A team from Taunton Leisure recently embarked on our yearly Dartmoor training tip. We tested new gear, learned about the products, and picked up new skills to bring back to the stores. This helps us keep providing the high-quality service Taunton Leisure is known for!


Our trip started at Ivybridge train station. One of the great things about Dartmoor from south to north is how accessible it is. You can take the train to Ivybridge and then, when you finish, catch the train from Okehampton. This means you don’t need a car to complete this beautiful route!

We started our walk at 16:30. If you start earlier, this 30-mile route can be done in 2 days, but we wanted the team to have the chance to spend 2 nights on the moor. Our first evening on the moors included a 12km walk to our overnight camping spot. Before that, it was time for some training. Team leader Dave showed the team how to fit packs, pack rucksacks, and use walking poles.

Once this was done, we headed to our first camp. In true Dartmoor style, we had some unexpected rain. Giving the team a chance to test the RAB Firewall Light jackets and Berghaus Deluge Trousers they had been given (reviews coming soon), as well as their ability to pitch tents in challenging conditions!


Day 2 came with heavy rain throughout the night, but as the team got their gear ready and cleared down camp, the weather started to improve. Because of the breathability and weight of the RAB Firewall Light, many of us kept our jackets on in case of rain and for wind protection. A true testament to how comfortable these jackets are!

After a short walk, we reached a small river, perfect for some water filter training. Team leader Dave explained the different water filters we sell and the pros and cons of each. The staff then got a chance to use the filters and form their own opinions on each option! The most recent addition to our water filter lineup, the GRAYL UltraPress was a big winner for its convenience and ability to remove viruses!

Once we were all topped up with water, it was back to the trail. The weather had started to clear up, and we set our sights on our first proper stop of the day, Combestone Tor. Once there, the team laid down their packs, and we took the chance to gather some images of the kit we were testing for our upcoming blogs and reviews. We decided to make this a shorter stop and instead head into the valley to enjoy lunch by the river. This gave us a great opportunity to get some extra photos, have lunch, and refill our bottles!

After all the photos were taken and the team had some food, we set off for the next leg of our journey to Postbridge. This part of the walk is beautiful and includes the summit of Bellever Tor, which provides breathtaking views of the moors. You can also see your campsite from the previous night and the rough area where we would be camping tonight! Of course, we snapped a couple of pictures and got a group shot before starting our descent to Postbridge.

Postbridge was a great opportunity for the team to rest, use the restrooms, and stock up at the local shop. Once fueled up, we set off on the final leg of the day. Before leaving, we had to get a photo on the old Clapper Bridge. The next stage of our trek was mostly uphill, climbing all the way to Sittaford Tor. This was a great test of everyone’s determination and the equipment they were using. Going from resting and cooling off to working hard moving uphill is a great reminder of how important proper layering is and why it’s crucial to consider this before setting off. You know what they say, “Be bold and start off cold.”

After climbing to Sittaford Tor, we decided to dig deep and tackle one more hill before setting up camp. This meant we wouldn’t have to start our 3rd day with a hill! As we reached our camp, we were lucky enough to meet another hiker down from London. When we explained that we were from Taunton Leisure, he revealed that both his bag and sleeping bag were original Taunton Leisure products purchased 40 years ago! A great reminder that quality kit, when treated well, lasts!

After a good chat with our fellow hiker, the team downed bags and started setting up camp for the evening. The team swapped tents at this point so everyone got the opportunity to try something new. We had brought a wide selection of tents, from 1-man options to large walking pole tents. This experience gave our staff an understanding of what it’s like to stay in different options and what the pros and cons are of each. Once the tents were up and everyone had done some basic admin, we sat down for a late dinner before retiring to our tents for a good night’s sleep before the final day!


On the final day, the team woke up with a new sense of determination, knowing the finish was in sight. Before packing up, we had a quick discussion on layering and what we had learned from the previous day, as well as how we had fared with the various stoves we brought on the trip.

Then, we put on our packs and began the final stretch to Okehampton. It was great to hear the team being so positive about the kit they were using and sharing their experiences and thoughts as we made our way across the moor. One particular item we all agreed had performed well was the RAB Muon; each staff member attending had been given one to use, and the feedback was great! This stretch of the moors can be quite barren at times, so it was nice to have some clear weather to keep spirits high!

Before we knew it, we were descending the final hill to Okehampton. The team had done amazing and learned a lot about the kit we sell and how it can be applied to real-world scenarios. Trips like these provide our staff with incredible insight into how kit performs and the limitations some items have.

This, in turn, provides them with an understanding that is passed on through exceptional customer service! Having staff that are experienced, passionate, and capable is what makes shopping with Taunton Leisure such an amazing experience.

We would like to finish by saying a big thank you to all the brands that have supported this trip by supplying kit and equipment. These amazing contributions allow staff who may not have the appropriate equipment to still get out and enjoy everything the countryside has to offer, and learn a bit along the way!