By: Blonde Two

Storm ShelterThere are many things a girl needs in her life – good friends, good food, fresh air, laughter and somewhere to shelter from a storm when a storm comes along.  Like friends, food and laughter, shelters can come in many forms.  My favourite stuffs into a very small green bag, has just enough room for me and my rucksack and special pockets to put things into.

On Saturday however, I didn’t have my tent and the Two Blondes had a long wait at the top of an icily windy hill (ok so that was bad planning) whilst waiting for a team of youngsters to reappear.  In these situations, we have found that only two things will suffice – the first is a great big burly bloke to hug (two each would be warmer).  As big burly blokes rarely fit in rucksacks, we usually resort to option two when the weather turns cold.

Option two is called either a Bothy Bag or a Storm Shelter – which sounds complicated but is, in reality a big piece of orange nylon with a couple of odd shaped holes and a plastic window.  Like maps, they can be slippery characters in the wind but once you are established inside, they are quite stable.  The entry process goes something like this:

1.  Get the shelter out of it’s bag – someone clever attached the bag so you can’t lose it.

2.  Stand in a circle and hold on to it for dear life.

3.  At the same time as each other (this can be a challenge) lift the shelter over your head and sit down on an edge.

This sounds very simple but in reality, the shelter almost always manages to wrap itself around someone’s face, leg or rucksack (take it off first Blonde One).  You can get different size shelters but absolutely the most fun is to be had in one that is a little bit too small for the number of occupants.  I remember one particular cold day up on the North Moor when we were warmed up in no time by the amount of laughter as we tried to extend a walking pole to help keep the roof up – with four of us in the shelter, the only place left to put the pole was between my legs and you can imagine the comments!

I would recommend carrying a storm shelter on exposed walks and not just for the fun factor.  Anyone who has got out of one after even a few minutes will tell you about the difference in temperature and the consequently cheeriness they can induce.  Being very cold is no fun at all, it can effect your decision making and can be life threatening in some circumstances.  It would be nice though, if the shelters came in pink … or polkadots …