Microadventure: Lullingstone Recce

It’s been weeks since i’d last slept outdoors and I was itching to get out there. I had a busy weekend planned but felt I could just about squeeze in a night under the stars (or clouds).

On saturday afternoon I played Softball with some Project Awesome folk (really good fun!). Everyone else headed very sensibly to the pub while I shouldered my kit bag and headed out of London.

Lullingstone Country Park
I’ve been to this park quite a few times and have been meaning to give it a reconnaissance with the idea of bringing a group here later in the year. It has some brilliantly creepy trees and would make a superb Halloween camp spot.

Isle of grain

It was just getting dark when I got there and I had to use my torch to find some suitable trees to put up my hammock. This is always the terrifying bit! There had been a thunderstorm earlier in the day and whilst it was clear now I did get quite a few residual drips from the canopy above.

Lullingstone recce

In just a few minutes I was snug in my sleeping bag listening to the noises of the forest. I’ll confess to also listening to a podcast or two while I waited to get sleepy. All-in-all quite a good (and dry) night but I did find myself waking before 5 am.

I forgot to bring a mug with me so had to improvise with an m&s nut container for my coffee this morning. Worked alright!

In the morning I ate some nuts and brewed myself some coffee. It was then that I realised that I’d forgotten to bring a mug. What to do? Use the nut container as a cup seemed to be the obvious thing and I have to say that it worked ok.

Lovely #microadventure in Lullingstone Country Park. Beautiful fields of flowers and scampering rabbits this morning

Lullingstone campout

The morning was a bit grey (no sunrise for me) and very wet underfoot. There were, however, fields of beautiful flowers and even plenty of scampering rabbits to walk though on my way to the station. A wonderful start to the day!

This was my 9th campout of 2016 and I am over the halfway mark of my #16in16 project. As things are standing I should easily get there.

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Microadventure: YesTribe Kids Campout – Ivinghoe

Ivinghoe

An alternative title might have been ‘YesTribe Summer Series Campout – The Next Generation’. That’s right, it was time to get out there with the adventurous kids and their parents.

Since before Christmas I’ve been organising (or at least going) on monthly campouts but so far I’ve mostly resisted the idea of letting kids join in. My own plan had always been to wait till the better weather and organise a dedicated kids campout. My main goal being not putting off my own kids during the colder months. Now was the time.

Something that has been particularly cool about this campout has been some ace teamwork. I mostly did the facebook page and looking for dates while James Gout (DadventureBasecamp) found us a cool location and ‘lead’ the expedition.

YesTribe Kids Campout - Ivinghoe

We met up at a pub in the lovely (and very twee) village of Ivinghoe. Those of us from London were astounded, and a little suspicious, that there appeared to be no parking restrictions in the streets. None-the-less we abandoned our cars and set off into the countryside to find a camp spot. Kudos to the kids on this trip, many of them had decent sized packs but with only the tiniest of grumbles (from mine) they shouldered their burdens the 1.5 miles, and a good bit of ascent, to our destination.

YesTribe Kids Campout - Ivinghoe

YesTribe Kids Campout - Ivinghoe

The weather was hazy but warm(ish) and it is lovely to be out in the lush countryside of the Chilterns, especially for me as this was my first visit for over 20 years. A little ways off of Ivinghoe Beacon itself we found our camping spot – a ‘secret’ clearing in some trees just off the path. People could walk right by us and not know we were here.

YesTribe Kids Campout - Ivinghoe

YesTribe Kids Campout - Ivinghoe

After setting up camp we all retired to the nearest high point and enjoyed a beautiful sundowner while the kids looked for bugs. A real stunner of an evening too. Then bed, of course.

The one downside of our camping spot is that it is on a slight slope and during the night both of my kids, and to a lesser extent myself, slid downhill. I was fine, but the girls did get a bit cold during the night and woke me up to tell me. I got them in some more layers and and least some sleeping did go on. As we are near the solstice it did start to get light before 4am which didn’t help with my own sleep patterns.

YesTribe Kids Campout - Ivinghoe

Come morning there were some great expressions on the kids faces. This is the real magic of this microadventure malarky. As far as the young’uns are concerned there is no ‘micro’ about it, this IS adventure!

YesTribe Kids Campout - Ivinghoe

YesTribe Kids Campout - Ivinghoe

After we ate some breakfast, had a coffee and packed up we headed out into the morning fog and descended back down to Ivinghoe. We we’re all a bit damp and pretty tired but it was a really cool night out and I hear that all of the kids are asking when they can go again. Hurrah!

YesTribe Kids Campout - Ivinghoe

This also marks number 8 in my 16 campouts in 2016 (#16in16). I’m now halfway!

All the photos from the campout on Flickr.