She’s been asking for a while now, why do you like sleeping outside?
Its hard to answer really. Without trotting out a load of cliches about being one with nature, the birdsong, the sunset blah blah blah… best if you experience it yourself said I, thinking she’d never fall for that!
Hmm, she called my bluff and a date was set, the forecast looked perfect and I set about preparing to make sure that everything was perfect, choice of food, warm sleeping gear, nice location…
The day arrived and off we set, arriving via a fabulous lunch of prawn butties and earl grey tea, however it was raining, we sat in the car for a while, this wasn’t in the script.
We decided to set off and see what happened, bizarrely bumping into an old friend along the way through the forest, the rain had lifted but the dark skies remained.
By the time we got to the bivvy spot it was starting to clear up, I pitched the tarp so we could at least cook dinner without getting wet, the skies now clearing we (she) made a decision to camp, after all we were less than an hour from the car, if it went pear shaped we could pack up and head home easily enough.
So dinner (boil in the bag Tuna and rice) was served, followed by sticky toffee pudding and gin and tonics watching the sun go down, it was going well, this might just work I was beginning to think to myself when I heard the first drunken shouts…
It would seem that a gang of teenagers were wild camping a couple of hundred yards away, far enough not to be able to see them but near enough to hear them! fortunately for us a couple of the lads stumbled towards us and saw our bivvy, and cleared off back to their camp. They were decent enough to tone it down a bit and all was quiet by about eleven o’clock.
Now, you need to understand that deep and fulfilling sleep is never going to happen when you are bivvying, there’s always something happening that disturbs your sleep but tonight was perfect, about 12c temps, no rain and a light breeze to keep the midges away.
Until that light breeze turns to gusty wind and the tarp starts to flap in your face, well not my face, anyway, awake at 6 oclock, breakfast and coffee by half past and packed and riding by seven. She’s not yet asked about when and where the next one is but seems keen to tell her friends all about it, we shall see.
Words & pictures – Steve Makin.