Tuesday, 16 August 2005


Sleeping in the woods throws up some interesting challenges, the most obvious of which is that the comfort levels are not quite what they are in a soft double bed with crisp linen sheets and a fluffy duvet. Sorry, did I drift off into fantasy there? It’s not even that it is not as comfortable as sleeping in a bed it can sometimes be down right uncomfortable. For a start the ground is very seldom flat it goes up and it goes down sometimes with such alarming regularity that an attempt to sleep on such ground results in my contorting into the shape of some of the more exciting letters of the alphabet like W, Z or on one occasion even M. Flat ground is rare there appears to be very few places where the ground is neither going up or down, in fact after two and a half months in the wilds I believe the only such place is on the motorway. One good thing about trying o sleep on a slope is that gravity will ensure that you get to the flattest bit over the course of the night, either that or in a; bush, nettle patch, stream or Badger set.

I have now developed the ability to sleep on nearly flat ground without too much disturbance the problem now is the ground itself, it’s lumpy. I have also built up a bit of a resistance to all the lumps, bumps and biting things that so prevented sleep at the beginning of this experiment. I have built a tolerance to nettles so that rolling into them in my sleep no longer wakes me. All then should be good, and indeed it is for the moment. Last night I spent a very pleasant evening lying back listening to the sounds of the forest, watching the clouds go by and thinking about nothing much. This morning though I realised that the ground was cold and that this had been sapping my body heat during the night. Now obviously it is August and so the ground was not that cold and so it is not really an issue. However, come February it will be rather chilly and so I am hoping that I will acclimatise and so not feel it, this is not a theory that stands up to very close scrutiny so I will not scrutinise it. There is an alternative to getting cold and that is to use the thermarest self inflating mattress of ultimate comfort, a tempting prospect but one that comes at a price. I stopped using it as it requires rolling up in the morning and this takes two or three minutes which in turn requires getting up that little bit earlier. I’ll stick with cold.

Have just had a spelling mistake in my last blog pointed out to me by one of my friends – I best go put it right before the entire world falls apart.