By: Blonde Two

There are few things more satisfying than a challenge completed, even if it is a challenge that you have set yourself (with your own rules), that plays to your strengths (in my case sleeping) and encompasses one of your favourite hobbies (camping in any form).

On New Year’s Eve 2017 I set myself the challenge of sleeping outside (ish) for 50 nights in 2018, to celebrate the fact that January 2018 was going to contain my 50th birthday. 50 nights, as it turns out, is quite a lot (almost one a week) but I have succeeded, with a section of December still to go, in sleeping in various locations, in most of the weathers, without inside toilets, in my bivvy bag, in a camping pod, in a bothy, in my hammock, in our campervan, in tents of various sizes, in the front seat of a truck, in a beach hut, in both hemispheres, in all months of the year, with Blonde One, with Mr B2, with a great group of ‘friends who say yes’, with my nephew, with my sister… and with an enormous amount of satisfaction. I’ll tell you what the experience has taught me in another post, but for now, here is my 50 Sleeps Factfile!


Total nights out – 50

Nights out spent in a tent – 17 (including 1 with a TV camera crew)

Nights out spent sleeping in the front of my Uncle’s ute – 1 (thank goodness!)

Nights out spent in the campervan – 15

Nights out spent on Dartmoor – 15

Nights out spent solo – 3 (all in the campervan)

Nights out in my hammock (50th birthday present) – 3 (2 on Dartmoor, 1 in New Zealand)

Nights out spent in a (rather crowded) bothy – 1

Nights out that weren’t in England – 12 (7 in Wales and 5 in New Zealand). Or maybe 14 if you include the Devon/Cornwall border.

Number of months that included a night out on Dartmoor – 10 (I now wish I hadn’t missed May and November)

Most luxurious nights out (but still no loo) – Hengistbury Head beach hut

Most southerly night out – hammocking on Norm’s farm in New Zealand (37.2 degrees S)

Most northerly night out – a campervan lay-by stop somewhere around Betws y Coed (53.1 degrees N)

Night out with the most cows for neighbours – bivvy on Exmoor (approximately 25 big ones)

Night out with the most slugs for neighbours – bivvy on Dartmoor with my nephew (one went up my nose) (slug, that is, not nephew)

Night out with the most ‘aunty points’ – bivvy on Dartmoor with my nephew (and the slugs)

Night out with the most ‘sister points’ – bivvy on the Malvern Hills with my sister (and the marching night walkers)

Best night’s sleep – hammock in New Zealand (Mr B2 tried to wake me up at 8 in the morning and couldn’t, so just set me swinging instead!)

Worst night’s sleep – Dartmoor bivvy with my nephew. The slugs were the main problem, but I didn’t mind the other issue at all which involved B. snuggling up to me in the night.

Favourite method of spending the night out – all of them… but I do love my hammock. Plenty of ‘day hangs’ and the only reason I didn’t sleep in it more was that finding trees in camping-permissible locations can be quite tricky.

Favourite people to spend the night out with… well all of them of course. I definitely couldn’t have done it without them so a big hug and cheer for Friends (plus Nephews, Sisters, Sons and Husbands) Who Say ‘YES’! #FWSY




Will I be setting myself a similar camping challenge for 2019?

I don’t think so, but I have enjoyed and benefitted from my nights outside, I won’t be stopping them anytime soon… who knows where I might end up sleeping out in 2019!

I do, however, have my Polar Bear Outdoor Swimming Challenge to complete before the end of March… going well so far!