I’m due to be organising a group campout in a week’s time in an area that I only have a little familiarity so a recce camp seemed like a good idea. An even better reason might be that snow was due and it’s a definite tick list item to say that i’ve camped out and woken up to a white blanket of snow.
My day was pretty busy with various things but luckily it doesn’t take long to put my microadventure bag together and I was out the door in good time. It is an hour’s drive to Box Hill for me and I arrived at around 2030.
It was pitch dark, chilly and with a few flakes of snow falling so with a tiny bit of trepidation I set off. Overcoming the fear gets a bit easier each time I do a solo trip so I only had to give myself a little bit of a talking to. The walk starts immediately with a bit of a stiff old climb and I’m glad that i’d intentionally only worn a couple of layers.
I did a fair bit of wandering around, trying to get a handle on where a good campout spot might be both for myself right now and the group next week. Not that easy in the dark with just my headtorch! I eventually settled in a wooded area near the highest point at the base of a tree.
On settling down, there were still only a few odd flakes of snow so I decided not to bother with a shelter. Sadly no stars to watch. During the night, however, the snow fell onto my face, giving me a bit of a tickle (which kept waking me up). I don’t have mega expensive uber gear but I was happy to wear my coat and stuff my spare down jacket by my feet. I wasn’t quite toasty, but neither was I ever really that cold. All-in-all a relief given that it was a zero degree night. I heard a couple of animal calls and the odd car but mostly it was fairly quiet.
My alarm went off at 6.45 which I thought should be early daylight but it still seemed very dark. What I was slow to realise was the complete blanket of snow. I got up and packed my (pretty wet) gear, put on my spare down jacket over everything else and set off. I’d originally planned to do some more wandering in daylight but with the continued snowfall I was happy just to head back to the car.
The winter wonderland that I found on my way back down was fantastic and magical and everything I’d hoped for. I’ve now bivvyed out in snow! What beautiful madness.