I’m currently challenging myself to a month or 31 days of wild. As part of that I decided to sleep out once I found the right weather window. January could be the worst month to do this challenge as it’s cold and dark, especially when wild camping in a bivvy bag! I saw there was going to be a bit of a’ duvet’ of cloud, so I thought I would go for it. My wife @beautiful.tribe said it was the last thing she would ever want to do and many people on Facebook thought I was nuts when I posted the photo below with my intentions.
Having put the kids to bed, I headed out with two sleeping bags, a sleep mat, a plastic survival bivvy bag, three thermal layers and fleece and a jumper, head torch, mittens, beanie, snood, some sausages, porridge, coffee, cooking stuff, beer can stove, whisky and chocolate.
I knew I wanted to go somewhere close and somewhere I didn’t have to walk far, so I could get back to a meeting in the morning on time. So I went to Burrington Coombe – just half an hour from Bristol – and a section of it I’d been to before, which I didn’t fancy stumbling around in the dark this time round. I hiked up and with all the layers on I soon got a mental sweat on, I knew from experience and the map that there was a treeline and I thought I’d head for the edge of that and also get a view in the morning. This would give me shelter, but I quickly realised that wasn’t going to work with the gradient. In the end, I found a tree that I settled under for some shelter from the wind not far from the top of the hill.
I cooked up some sausages on my beer can stove, drank some whiskey and looked at the view.
I slept pretty well, with the sleeping bags pulled over my head and all those layers I wasn’t really cold. I woke a lot, probably due to the stangeness of the situation. But I really enjoyed that opportunity to look at the stars. I just wish I could have forced myself to get up and take some photos. Ah well I’ll just have to it again.
I woke up at about 8am (slightly over sleeping!) to a lovely view and pink skies. I got a brew on and headed back down the hill to a business meeting.