I am going to take part in the summer solstice 5 to 9 Micro Adventure Challenge on Friday 21 June. The rules are very simple :
“Head for the countryside (between June 15 and 30) by bike, on foot, by train, canoe or however you like. Sleep out under the stars (bivvy, not tent!) and have fun.
I have an idea in mind which will see me leaving my office on the dot of 5pm and taking in something of great historical significance, even though I work near Northampton. The thing is, there do not appear to be many footpaths or rights of way between here and there, so I did need to take a look at the map and put some proper planning into this. I now have a route of sorts and it turns out to be around 12 miles to get there, and then another couple of miles walking around, and then the 12 miles in reverse to get back to my car at the office in the morning. Well, I do have from 5pm until 9 am, so that should be fine. Once I am done walking around I will find somewhere suitable for sleeping out overnight, and will hopefully be able to enjoy the moon and stars before getting some sleep until sunrise.
My kit is a far easier thing to organise as I will be using a lot of what I took to Peru in October 2011, together with a few things I have bought along the way since then. I will be wearing a Rab short-sleeved base layer and Rab Vapour-Rise Lite Alpine jacket, The North Face Paramount Peak convertible trousers, Paramo boxer shorts, Bridgedale socks and Scarpa Zg10 GTX boots,
and taking my Rab pull on, red Mountain Equipment beanie, my afgan blue Buff and The North Face gloves in case it gets cold, together with my Mountain Equipment Fitzroy jacket in case it rains. Or snows. Peru showed that the Fitzroy jacket can and will repel all types of weather. I will be carrying my Rab Alpine 600 sleeping bag, an old foam rollmat and a much newer Thermarest rollmat and Gore-Tex bivi bag (which I have had for over 20 years) in my Berghaus Cyclops Crusader bergen, which I have also had for over 20 years, and which makes a welcome return after so many years because suddenly I am back carrying my sleeping bag with me. I will carry two Camelbak bottles which I will fill with water mixed with High5 Zero citrus tablets. I will have the relevant map (Explorer 223) and some other sheets I have printed off the internet, and will take my Silva compass, Petzl headtorch, spare Scarpa bootlaces and Lifesystems Trek first aid kit, my Rite in the Rain all-weather notebook and a pen.
I will have my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 camera and my telephone and will attempt to use the Endomondo app on my phone. I will decide on what food to take over the coming week, and that will be it. Me, the clothes I am standing up in, and what can be fitted into my bergen…which is suddenly sounding like a lot.
I will try to put updates on my facebook as I am walking, and will publish a blog with photographs as soon as possible after the event, so feel free to check back here for that.