By: Blonde Two
It has to be said that Mr Blonde Two and I were a little perturbed when Six-Foot-Blonde arrived from the depths of Up-North, and announced that he would like to hang us both. We felt better (although maybe only marginally) when he produced three hammocks and explained that he wanted to take us out hanging (hammocking) on Dartmoor.
It would have been churlish of us to refuse for two reasons: 1. Because Six-Foot is somewhat of an expert on hammocking (he writes his own blog Hammocker). 2. Because during his childhood, we made him sleep in all sorts of unusual places.
Although I had a few ideas of where trees might be, it took a little while to find the perfect spot for this expedition. I was told that it required three trees, none of which were allowed to be under a ‘widow-maker’ (a dead tree that might fall on unsuspecting hangers). The search was hampered a bit by the dark and rain; but Six-Foot was up to this challenge and soon had a large tarp rigged with a range of mystical devices such as prusiks, figure nines and bulldog clips.
The rain increased, joined quickly by the wind, and we huddled underneath to plan the next stage.
I have to confess at this point, that I wasn’t very keen on the idea of ‘hanging’; mainly because I couldn’t get past the thought of being desperate for the loo, and unable to dismount. My reluctance meant that I was quick to volunteer for a bivvy bag when it became clear that we were not going to be able to rig three dry hammocks. I think I got the best end of the tree, because by morning there were no dry hammocks! It was this two hammock, one bivvy plan that led to our nearly bunkbed arrangement, in which I was on the grass, with Mr Blonde Two and Six-Foot-Blonde hovering unnervingly above me. Indeed I was so close to Six-Foot that our bottoms were touching for most of the night.
Much laughter (and a fair bit of swearing) ensued as we assembled our respective beds. I didn’t tell anyone off for the swearing as I think most of it was coming from me. Six-Foot got grumpy with his ‘under-blanket’ (a strange affair which hangs underneath the hammock and traps warm air), Mr Blonde Two struggled to get into a sleeping bag, inside a bivvy bag, in a rocking hammock, and I got grumpy because they both kept banging into me.
Bizarrely, I found this strange sleeping arrangement both comforting and comfortable, and was able not only to sleep for some of the hours, but to read my Kindle for a whole five minutes! Mr Blonde-Two took to hammocking like a duck to water (he did collect some water) and snored; whilst Six-Foot and I wriggled rather more, and ended up having to change ends because of wind blowing rain under the tarp.
By five o’clock I had woken everybody up with my in and out of the bivvy contortions. We sat in bed for a while and laughed at the amount of water we were lying in, and then voted for a quick exit to the truck and home.
Despite the damp, and the fact that I didn’t get hung; it was a marvellous adventure. Not least because, in that weird adult/child turntable thing, the child had been in charge!