Mays microadventure worked out pretty well.. Mark and I were photographing a wedding during the day, and had also kindly been invited as guests as we knew the bride and groom. The wedding was quite a distance from home (in terms of taking a taxi) so it made sense to combine the shoot in the day with a few drinks and a microadventure overnight..
After the wedding rather than waiting outside on a lovely night to get into a Taxi we simply changed from suits to outdoor gear and walked past the guests wishing them a good night, and headed out up the hill.. From speaking to several people that knew the area there was some nice woodland at the top of the hill nearby, so we started our walk straight up the hill, which after a long day, many drinks and carrying our kit felt like a walk up a steep mountain path..
After only 15 minutes we reached a likely looking area, this had been referred to as the orchard, and rows of trees were neatly laid out. The minor problem was that most seemed to be carpeted with new Nettle growth, which we weren’t keen on sleeping in the middle of.. Thankfully there was a small copse of Sycamore which looked perfect, soft ground, lots of room and a few feet from the path.. We rolled out our kit, and in a short space of time found that after walking up the hill we were pretty warm, the night itself was lovely, a slight haze blurred the stars above, the trees were still as there was very little wind and we quickly crashed out.. it had been a very long and active day..
I don’t think I have ever slept so well outside.. perhaps it was being tired, slightly under the influence or the ultra-comfy Alpkit Airo120 sleep mat but I really did sleep well.. I woke around 5:30, expecting to hear my youngest waking up, but discovered a lovely morning outside.. A blackbird was singing close by, which has to be one of the best ways to wake.. I did on this occasion decide to have a lie in… in a wood… and slept again soundly for another couple of hours.. it felt like luxury!
Re-awakening to the blackbirds song we got the Jetboil on for a cup of coffee, there’s something quite special about sitting up in your sleeping bag, and getting the water on, knowing where all my kit was and within a few minutes the friendly steam was rising from my insulated flask. We enjoyed some sips of truly hot coffee, and then set about packing our minimal kit away.. there seemed to be no rush and little effort to repack, I guess it’s down to getting the hang of packing our packs up and setting back off down the hill..
I really enjoyed this microadventure, it was great to combine it with the wedding, we certainly got some “you’re crazy” type comments, along with many “That sounds fantastic” remarks.. I really do think that many more people will cotton on to spending more time outside.. My one night a month outside really has helped me relax after busy weeks at work and the pressures of life, I’ve also started to rediscover my adventurous side, and can’t wait to get on with some trips planed through the rest of the year!
If your reading this and not been out overnight… Go for it… you will not regret it!