Last Friday must have been the hottest day of the year, and today must be the dreariest & windiest! I took the opportunity to head into the Peak district to a spot I often go to on Stanton Moor, near to the 9 Ladies Stone Circle (Derbyshire). I thought aswell as spending time in nature it would be a great opportunity to test out the new bits of gear I have recently acquired (I have reviewed these below). I was joined by my friend Yannis and my little doggie, Merlin. This was Merlin’s 1st night sleeping out, he loved exploring the moor, loved it so much he quickly made it his home and barked at any poor bugger walking within 50 metres of our camp site.
Returning to nature , or returning home as I like to say, is a good habit. As I was saying in my previous posts on the podcasts which I featured on, nature heals. Lessons are to be learnt, observing the natural environment take its play. All lessons which can be applied to our lives & daily routines. So, I drop my bag and lay down. Nothing is more relieving than laying on the bare earth, letting go of the weekly baggage I may have picked up, breathing in & breathing out deeply. So peaceful & so blissful…. until Merlin comes jumping all over me, excited at the sheer fact he has so much space and freedom to run around, marking his scent and just being a general adolescent. Good to see the doggy having fun. Waggy tail & bags of joy, hooray. We arrive around 10pm, stars are out & we quickly get a fire going, not for warmth, but mainly for light, comfort & atmosphere. The amount of time I’ve spent gazing into a fire would amount to days or weeks even… Their is something quite primal about it. Our ancestors have been sitting round fires for years and years, and future generations will be doing the same. I sit for a while allowing the silence to soak in, the rustle of the leaves in the trees and subtly be heard on this relatively still night. I soon get tired and decide to turn in. Quite eager to test out my new sleeping mat, pillow and put the tent to further testing.
My sleep was relatively comfortable. Merlin was out for the count, I think he overdid himself today, all the excitement…. he’s just a small dog in a big world. Just like all of us, running round like headless chickens excited by the sounds & sights around us. How wonderfully beautiful this world is. and how wonderfully beautiful how each one of us perceives it differently, relating what we see to our own experiences. This is where we differ, as individuals. As I sit in my tent, Merlin to sleep & Yanis asleep in his tent, the silence which is shared is marvelous & something quite special. I will talk about the kit I use below quite reluctantly as laying on the earth, is quite enough to make me feel safe, secure, comfortable & protected.
Thank you for reading this blog post. I will be walking 650 miles from Hebden Bridge to John O Groats starting in the middle of May. I will be raising money for a charity called Survivors UK. Survivors UK support adult men who have been affected by Sexual violence & rape. My aim to raise awareness about these sensitive topics and to outline how walking & nature has a positive impact on well being as a whole. If you would like to read more about my campaign please visit my just giving page linked below. My target is to raise £1000 and I am currently at £573. Any heartfelt donations are ofcourse greatly appreciated