What are we waiting for? A Box Hill Microadventure

When was the last time you caught a train to nowhere, walked across fields and up a hill, before sleeping out under the stars?

That was the question I was asking myself after finishing last week’s piece on A.I.. The next question was: What are you waiting for?

Turned out there were a few things to wait for (my sister’s birthday, house admin, a statistics exam), but yesterday afternoon I finally boarded a train for Epsom, 8 miles from a hill.

I won’t bore you with the mile by mile photogallery because who cares. I’d just ask you the same questions I found myself asking last week:

When was the last time you caught a train to nowhere, walked across fields and up a hill, before sleeping out under the stars?

What are you waiting for?

Maybe you don’t care for a walk and a hill. Fine, whatever you’re into. But if any part of you is wondering, then here’s some encouragement from what I learned last night.

  • DO take a stove for a cup of tea in the morning. I use an MSR pocket rocket (a superb gift!). It’s well worth the weight for a morning warmer.
  • DO jump into any rivers, lakes or puddles. Paddle, wade and swim if you can. You never regret taking the swim.
  • DO swing on rope swings if you’re lucky enough to pass one. YES.
  • DON’T bother with walking boots. They’re hot and heavy. I used cheap walking sandals (without the back straps) and my boots stayed in my bag (still heavy).
  • DON’T take a tent. Are you insane?
  • DO take a bivvy bag. I use the excellent but tightly fitting Alpkit Hunka (also a superb gift!). Only use it if it actually rains. A sleeping bag and a sleeping mat are fine otherwise. My sleeping bag: cheap Eurohike. My sleeping mat: expensive Thermarest. Both well worth the money.
  • DO find level ground. Tempting as the hill views are, I can never sleep on a slope.
  • DO take a sleep mask. The stars are really distracting. 😉

What do you think?