We were meant to be going to watch the Downhill World Cup at Fort William at the weekend, but my Mr’s work commitments meant we couldn’t make it. Understandably, I was pretty disappointed. But rather than moping about what could have been, we decided to make sure that we had fun anyway. So on Friday night we decided to camp in the garden. We recently bought a new tent and would have been trying it for the first time in Scotland, so thought we’d give it a go at home instead. It was fun and felt like being a kid again. I wasn’t so keen on the massive thunderstorm that we encountered in the early hours of Saturday morning, but I enjoyed myself all the same.
Then on Saturday something awesome happened. A parcel arrived from Amazon and inside it was this book:
Ladies and gents, if you want some inspiration to just get out and have an adventure, you need this book in your life. Alistair Humphreys is an adventurer, the sort who goes off and cycles around the world, rows across oceans and run marathons in the desert. But he’s also the kind of adventurer who wants other people to have adventures too, adventures of all shapes and sizes. This book, as the title suggests, is all about microadventures – adventures that you or I can fit into our normal lives, to try something new and see things we might not otherwise.
The book is written in such an engaging, friendly tone of voice and, after just 34 pages, I decided that I wanted some of what Alistair was describing. So, I took a trip to the local outdoors shop and purchased two bivvy bags – one for me and one for the Mr. We took a look at a map of the local area and picked a place to try wild camping for the very first time. We settled on somewhere that wasn’t too far from home – a 40 minute bike ride tops – checked out the tips in the back of Alistair’s book, packed our bags, ate some tea and headed off into the wild.
I have to admit, I was pretty anxious as we headed out of the door. What if I hated it? What if it rained? What if we met someone who wasn’t happy to see us curled up under the stars? So many what ifs! But they weren’t big enough what ifs to put me off going and trying something entirely new and entirely exhilarating. So off we pedaled, with our backpacks and bivvy bags and a flask of hot coffee for the morning.
As we pedaled through town on a Saturday evening, I couldn’t help chuckling to myself – we were about to sleep in the open air! This isn’t something ‘Normal People’ like me do! I really did feel like I was going on a full blown adventure. And it didn’t feel any different when we arrived at our location and picked a spot to call home for the night. It was already getting dark and we selected where we’d sleep and the sky was looking pretty incredible.
As I snuggled on down into my sleeping bag, I felt my worries subsiding. This wasn’t scary – this was fun! There I was, lying on the ground, looking up at the sky, with a rucksack, a bike and my husband by my side. I was surprisingly warm too; wearing merino base layer and a down jacket was as good as being tucked up in bed at home with pjs and hot water bottle!
I’ll admit, I didn’t sleep terribly well. This was mostly because my thoughts were whizzing through my mind, faster than I could keep track of them. I think there was some adrenalin pumping through my veins! I did sleep for a few hours though, comfortably too. I didn’t mind the bivvy bag being zipped around me and found that if I pulled my buff down over my eyes and nose, I couldn’t feel the plasticy feeling of the bag on my face, making me a lot more comfy.
I woke up at 4am to some bird song and awesome views. The sun was rising and I sat there, looking out across the water, feeling incredibly peaceful. The Mr woke up shortly after and was pleased to find me still happy and quietly grinning to myself.
We stayed there, enjoying the peace and quiet for a short while before packing up our things, jumping on our bikes and riding off into the sunrise. It was the most peaceful, enchanting and adventurous experience I’ve had in quite a while. I recommend you give it a go!