By: Blonde One

After doing the number of expeditions that I have this year, I think I’m fairly well practiced at identifying possible risks and dealing with how to manage them. Each trip had its own risk assessment with details of all sorts of events from the ones that are quite likely (dealing with the effects of weather) to the almost impossible (I hope) (injury from unexploded military devices). I have become almost expert at easing the anxieties of others on issues such as youngsters navigating through fog or camping quite far away from civilisation. I am also very well practiced at teaching those youngsters about minimising risks and conducting an expedition that is as safe as it possibly can be. With all this in mind, it may come as a surprise to you to discover that yesterday I ignored a lot of my own advice?! Yesterday I went for a walk on my own: that’s ok you might think. I deliberately did not tell Mr Blonde One or Little Miss Blonde where I was going. I did not leave a route card behind for anyone to use to find me should I fail to return home. I did not even tell the Blonde One family that I was going onto Dartmoor. All of these things are a definite no-no and go against everything that I believe is right. However, it was quite liberating to be out and gave me a feeling of freedom that would not have been achieved had I conformed to the normal sensible precautions. I had no set route and I enjoyed being able to make my walking decisions based on which direction looked particularly appealing. I walked towards hills that looked interesting and ended up having had the most satisfying day!

Like I say, don’t try this at home – it is important to let people know where you are going and when you expect to return. I am giving myself a slap wrist as I type for breaking my own rules!