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. September’s calendar was scarily full so I entered the month not expecting to get many outdoor sleeps in. Luckily three opportunities presented themselves in all of that busyness. I now have nine sleeps to go until the end of the year, which means 3 per month… plus something special for sleep 50 I think!

50 Sleeps for September 2018


Outdoor Sleep 39

Type: DofE Silver
Location: Dartmoor (riverside site)
Date: Friday 7th September
Reason: Supervising with B1 for a Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award practice expedition
Supper: Chile con carne with bread and cheese
Breakfast: 1st breakfast – flapjack and tea. 2nd breakfast – sausage bap from the fabulous Fox Tor Cafe
Comment: I was fibbing when I called this an outdoor sleep as we were joined on the site by a harmless but very noisy group who managed to stay up (in shifts) the whole night. I occupied my night plotting weird and wonderful revenge… but can’t tell you about any of this on a public forum! Luckily the youngsters slept much better than their adults did and were up in plenty of time the next morning.


Outdoor Sleep 40

Type: DofE Silver
Location: Dartmoor (campsite)
Date: Saturday 8th September
Reason: Supervising Silver night 2 (a Silver expedition is 2 nights and 3 days – that’s a long time to carry all of your gear and sleep in a tent!)
Supper: Fish and chips
Breakfast: More flapjack and tea…
Comment: A much better night’s sleep. This campsite also had other young people on it but they were of the well-trained type and on their Gold DofE expedition. Our group were up and packed really early… they nearly caught us by surprise (we like surprises like that!)


Outdoor Sleep 41

Type: Street2Peak
Location: Gilwell Park, London
Date: Thursday 13th September
Reason: To deliver some navigation training to the Street2Peak team before their attempt on Ben Nevis (I didn’t join them up the mountain)
Supper: Delicious mix of curries and tasty bits provided by Gilwell Park (UK Scouts)
Breakfast: Cooked breakfast after a very early start checking out a navigation route around Epping Forest (who knew they had forests in London?)
Comment: I slept really well and didn’t even have to pitch my own tent. We were pitched next to the girls, for whom it was their first night camping. It was a pleasure to listen to their happy chatter and even more of a pleasure when their voices tailed off into contented sleep. I am really pleased to have finally spent a night up at Gilwell. During my years as a Scout leader I didn’t manage to get there and we had a lovely welcome.