By: Blonde Two
At the beginning of January (the month of my 50th birthday), I set myself the Get Outside challenge of sleeping outdoors (or very nearly outdoors) for 50 nights in 2018. That works out at about 1 outdoor sleep per week across the year. I decided at the start of my challenge that my outdoor sleeps are allowed to be campsite camping, wild camping, camper van camping, hammock camping, bivvy camping or any other weird combination of camping events that I or my friends can think of. This May most of my outdoor sleeps have been upside down ones, on the other side of the world in New Zealand. I have also had a Worcestershire bivvy with my sister. 18 outdoor sleeps sounds good but, by my calculations, I was 2.8 sleeps behind at the end of May.
May Wild Camping – #50sleeps #14
Location: Somewhere at the top of a Worcestershire hill
Date: May 5th
Reason: My sister’s first bivvy
Supper: Provided by Mum, ham and baked potatoes
First Breakfast: Baked beans cooked in the tin, wraps and chocolate
Second Breakfast: Full English courtesy of Mum
Comment: Ali’s first bivvy and my first one in a (semi) cave. We arrived in the the near dark and lay giggling under search light (head torches) whilst a group of serious sounding walkers stomped by. I slept a good 8 hours, Ali didn’t but she did a good job of waking me up to watch the sunrise.
May Wild Camping – #50sleeps #15
Location: Otamure Bay campsite (run by the Department of Conservation), New Zealand
Date: May 20th (autumn!)
Reason: Campsite 2 of a road trip to the northern tip of New Zealand. The first campsite stop was in a cabin (which had a loo so doesn’t count).
Breakfast: Boiled eggs, bread and butter
Comment: A tent pitch approximately 50 metres from the beach, with amazing views and Pohutukawa trees for hammock hanging. Swimming, hammock napping, reading, star photography. We were overwhelmed with the beauty of our location and our little $35 tent from Kmart performed surprisingly well!
May Wild Camping – #50sleeps #16
Location: Puriri Bay Campsite (run by the Department of Conservation), New Zealand
Date: May 21st (still autumn!)
Reason: Campsite 3 of a road trip to the northern tip of New Zealand
Supper: Noodles (again but with onions and mushrooms this time), Speights Super Dark beer
Breakfast: Boiled eggs and rather stale bread, cups of tea (notice a pattern here?)
Comment: Another stunning campsite and this time it wasn’t just peaceful, we were the only people there and had the whole of another stunning beach to ourselves. Swimming, reading, light photography fun.
May Wild Camping – #50sleeps #17
Type: Front seats of the ute (Toyota Hilux)
Location: Maitai Bay Campsite (run by the Department of Conservation), New Zealand
Date: May 25th (autumn now beginning to show itself with sudden rain showers)
Reason: Campsite 4 of a road trip to the northern tip of New Zealand (just after 3 nights in a rather nice motel with a spa, pool and washing machine!)
Supper: Smoked Trevally (fish) from Mangonui fish shop, bread and butter (famous for fish and chips). Eaten in the front of the ute out of the rain.
Breakfast: Boiled eggs and fresher bread (not that we were stuck in a breakfast rut)
Comment: Possibly the most beautiful beach complete with a rather soggy underfoot campsite. We weren’t sure of the integrity of our $35 KMart tent and tried other options… there is a longer story to be told here but it turns out that you can have a good night’s sleep in the front seat of a ute. Sleeping bags protected from the rather soggy floor by bivvy bags so I guess I could chalk this one up as a bivvy!
May Wild Camping – #50sleeps #18
Location: Taputupoto Campsite (run by the Department of Conservation), New Zealand
Date: May 26th (still autumn but now a very windy one)
Reason: Campsite 4 of a road trip to the northern tip of New Zealand, chosen because it is the most northerly DOC campsite in New Zealand
Supper: Ribs, spring onions and tomatoes fried sitting in the back of the ute out of the wind, bread and butter, Speights Super Dark beer
Breakfast: Boiled eggs, bread and butter
Comment: This was a very windy night and we had to weigh the tent down with the chilly bin (cool box) until we got into it (the tent not the chilly bin). We were fascinated with the waves rushing into the sea lagoon at high tide and enjoyed the sound of them again early in the morning. A near sense of humour loss was experienced at the number of short, sudden showers in the morning.