Out Under the Stars: Our Sleepover Season
The Family Adventure Project is having a sleepover. In fact, we’re having loads of them. In different locations. With our kids. Because everyone knows that kids love sleepovers. But they also love their bedrooms. And we don’t want our kids to stay in their bedrooms. So, with the help from Terra Nova and Hi-Tec, our sleepovers will all be out under the stars…
Are you afraid of sleepovers?
Does the word sleepover strike fear into your bones? Does it conjure up thoughts of all night policing, overexcited kids, and noise until the early hours? Or does it make you come alive with delicious thoughts of midnight feasts and pillow fights?
Well, our sleepover season may well have sleepless nights. And we might slip in a few midnight feasts. But pillow fights aren’t an option. Because we won’t have any pillows. Or a tent. We plan to sleep in a range of different wild places, with just bivi bags to keep us warm.
What do we know about bivvying?
What do we know about bivvying? Well nothing to be honest. Until last weekend we’d never done it. So we’re going to ask experts to help, by either sleeping out with us, or giving us advice before each outing. Terra Nova will be loaning us an extra bivi bag just for them. We hope to attract mountaineers, film makers, adventurers and wildlife enthusiasts to fill us in on the world of wild camping. If you’d like to join us, get in touch; we’re open to offers.
Experiencing different environments
We plan to make our makeshift camps under the stars, over the space of a year, in a range of different locations. We’re thinking a beach, a cave, a forest, a field, a lakeside, a poolside, a mountain, a valley, an island, perhaps a ditch? To be honest, we’ll consider anything, as long as it’s safe for kids and can guarantee at least forty winks.
A practice run
Of course we can’t announce a project like this until we know that the kids are comfortable with it, and that we are all happy to commit to it. So last weekend we hit a field near Coniston in the South Lakes, to test out a selection of smart bivis and tarps loaned to us by Terra Nova.
Luckily bushcraft guide, Chris Binks, from River Deep Mountain High agreed to help us set up camp, although he abandoned us at bedtime. I say luckily because it rained. All night. From the moment we finished pitching. And we hadn’t a clue how to deal with rain. Not without a tent in our armour.
Ah so that’s how the tarp works..
Without Chris’ help we would have wondered what to do with the tarps. And we’d never have thought to pitch them so low down. We’d have camped in the forest and tied them high in the trees for shelter. But here we were, in the corner of a field with low strung tarps right over our heads, rain bouncing off and wind whistling over the top while we looked out onto the world and the kids chatted on walkie talkies and played with their torches.
In at the deep end
It wasn’t an ideal scenario for our first bivi. It rained all night. The wind threatened to throw the holding stones off the tarps. There was no chance of seeing a star there was so much cloud. But we were dry. And we were safe. And dare I say it, we were enjoying ourselves. We’re no strangers to camping but this is very different to a tent; it’s open, exposed, exciting.
A successful night heralds an exciting season
All in all it was a good night. And it led me to believe that this season is going to work. So see you some time, some place, in a bivi bag, under the stars. If you have any particular talent in this area then do let us know. We have a spare bivi bag and it could have your name on it!
Keep up with our Sleepover Season
If you’ve an idea for somewhere we should sleep out, some gear we could test or are interested in joining us for a sleepover, get in touch and let us know. Follow this link to see all posts from our Sleepover Season.
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