My whinstone house my castle is, I have my own four walls.
In my plans for this year I resolved to go on a solo overnight hike. I decided to experience life this year through being more adventurous, for me anyway. Sometimes adventure is simply venturing out the front door and going some place new and sometimes adventure is, well, just what we expect adventure to be: an exploit or escapade. I’m no newcomer to multi-day hikes but I usually embark on them with my beloved at my side. Going solo, a reckless escapade to some, is to me a compelling imperative.
I am most at peace in nature and I have a thing for sleeping with my back to the earth, and while I love to share these experiences I want to experience something different. I want to go it alone, to experience real surrender and solitude and to rely totally on myself, outside the normal routines of life. I am getting closer to my goal each day.
I bought my own tent last week. I’m pretty chuffed. My research turned up a neat little three season tent made for one. It’s perfect for the walks I want to do but not great for snow and ice but I don’t plan on going to Everest anytime soon. I ordered my tent online and it arrived two days later. I was bouncing with excitement as I collected my package from the post office. The Postie asked if I was going camping. I’m doing more than camping. I’m escaping.
More exhilarating is that I actually managed to erect the tent without help in about three minutes flat. I known that’s not exactly a huge achievement but when one defers tasks to another on a regular basis it is affirming to know you’re capable. It’s funny how a little thing like this can cause so much excitement.
My beloved was horrified at its size.
Exactly – it’s meant to be.
My polyester castle is roomy enough to sleep in and wriggle in and out of clothes. It’s a shelter from the elements and bugs and best of all, it’s only 1.3 kilograms. What else would a girl need? Well, as luck would have it, the one other thing that I did want was a vestibule for my hiking pack and voila, this little tent has a very generous space for that.
The weeks draw closer to my first solo overnight hike and I find I am well prepared. I have my tent, my permit and a spirit for adventure. I know roughing it outdoors isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but there is something magical about choosing a spot of rough ground to call home for the night that transforms it. That rough bit of ground, a small nook in the woods, begins to transform into a haven, a place of comfort and rest by the time one has pitched a tent and claimed a spot for the night. For a long time now I have delighted in the solace of nature, the calm it brings and the return to simplicity and I am looking forward to returning to it. I’ll let you know how it all goes.