I first came across the idea of squeezing in adventure during the working week reading Alistair Humphrey’s blog and the concept of the 5-9 adventure. The idea is to finish work for the day, get to a suitable location and then set off on an overnight adventure.
With a rucksack ready packed in the car I can be off on an adventure whenever the opportunity presents itself. It is all about making those opportunities happen and being ready to go. I have a 30l Osprey Tempest rucksack containing the following: Sleeping bag, mat, stove, waterproofs, down jacket, spare layers, gloves and hat, headtorch and spare batteries, charging pack and lead, mobile phone, small trowel, a couple of dehydrated meals and a water bottle. I then add to this with either a bivvy bag or tent depending on where I am heading and the weather forecast.
So how can you create opportunities? Maybe like me you have to travel for work. This week I was in the Liverpool area and then had to head further north from there making the Lake District an ideal place to aim for. It is all about seeing what is available in the area you are in, and making the time to go on an adventure. Opportunities for adventure can be found in all sorts of places.
One consideration for me is always about finding a suitable place to leave the car. My car is generally full of training resources, outdoor equipment and my own clothes etc. so I try and find places where it will hopefully be safe whilst I am away. So far I have not had any issues.
Once that is sorted it is then just a case of looking on the map and finding a suitable spot for a wildcamp. In the Lake District there’s no shortage of places to choose from, sometimes I only need to walk for 20-30 minutes and I can be in complete solitude.
Sometimes I find that other people have also had the same idea so then it is either a case of moving on to another area or finding a spot at a suitable distance. Last night I found that a group of 4 lads had occupied the spot I was heading for so after a few minutes chatting I moved on to find another space.
At this time of year a decent headtorch is important especially if you are trying to find suitable ground to pitch a tent on. I like to be sheltered if possible but a great view from the tent is also a bonus.
So having arrived in the dark and pitched the tent, what next? Something hot to eat is a good start to the evening. I am an ambassador for Activeat foods and totally recommend their dehydrated meals. Compared to most others that I have tried these actually taste of real food.
Having eaten my meal I then add some hot water to the pouch and reseal it to use as a hot water bottle. You have to be very careful not to lie on it accidentally as the seal will burst and then everything will be wet! With hot food in my tummy and my hot water ‘pouch’ I can then settle down for the evening with a good book and some time to myself.
In the morning it is great to be up early and see the sunrise. I was so lucky this morning as it was a clear day and as the sun rose it lit up the ridges across the fells with a golden glow. I sat and ate an Activeat Strawberry Granola breakfast just gazing across the fells and reflecting on what a great decision it was to take the opportunity to wildcamp instead of being stuck in a hotel and missing nature’s offerings.
Breakfast over it was time to pack everything away and head back down to the car. The rucksack is still packed, waiting for the next time…
Photos by Maxine Lock and @tableproductions. All photographs are subject to copyright please do not use without contacting us for permission.
Where would you go on a 5-9 adventure? Let me know in the comments below.