Outdoors: Going it Alone (in parts)

This month, I’ve mostly walked on my own and these days  I spend  a lot of time in the natural world alone. I prefer my own company but it’s also down to conflicting schedules. I appreciate not everyone has the freedom of freelancing life. I do love company but not all of the time. I don’t go out of my way to put myself in social situations.    Unlike my good friend who’s got an insanely active social life and honestly, I admire how he remembers everyone’s name!

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Back then, when…

My desire for being alone has always been strong and my mum likes to remind me of those independent times whilst growing up.  When I was 5, I escaped out of my cot in the early hours of the morning, unlocked a childproof window lock, clambered out of the ground floor window and tottered about (in my nappy) up and down the street, until I got cold and knocked on the front door.  Dad answered it, with his eye line a lot higher than I stood.  I babbled something and he looked down at me in surprise. I can remember his face being a mixture of amazement, panic and annoyance at my early hour call.

Then those times when I holidayed in Greece and Malta at 7 and 8. I insisted I could go back to the hotel room on my own. Of course mum wouldn’t let me out of her sight (it was around the time Ben went missing). I waited until she wasn’t looking and embarked on this great adventure (back to the hotel room – which involved climbing through a window – there’s a theme?)  To my surprise mum was already there, watching, waiting, she knew my every move!

And age 12, my first adult free holiday with my school friend to Blackpool. We stayed at her Dad’s B&B but had no adult supervision for the whole weekend. I was so excited! Then my school friend met a boy. I got miffed because she wanted to spend her holiday smooching and I wanted to gorge on doughnuts, ride the Pepsi Max and paddle in the murky waters. We still did that but with her new tag along  – it was my first taste of real freedom!

I guess you could say that independent streak has become a big part of my DNA and I get super frustrated when someone thinks I can’t or shouldn’t do something. Whilst I’ve met some fantastic liberated free – thinkers and doers, I’ve also met lots of restrictive and domineering type personalities.  Rather than it beating me down, it’s made me twice as determined.  

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The Present is a Gift…

I’ve had my mind on a solo wild camp (well with the pup) for some time and have chosen to do it when the lighter evenings and warmer weather turns up to ease myself in to it gently (I’ve wild camped with Rik a few times).  Mention it to those who spend most of their life in front of the news and they’ll give you every reason not to.  Mention it those who spend a lot of time outdoors and they’ll give you a sensible, well thought out take on it, suggesting tips such as:

  • Always tell someone where you’re going
  • Don’t announce it on social media
  • Pick somewhere local to start with

I’ve picked a spot (3 miles up in the hills from where I live) and I plan to walk to the location with my equipment to help me practice for longer camps and hikes.  Rik was encouraging about it and gave me a few tips  to help me get over the midnight twig snapping sounds, I think he understands my need  to develop the skills I’ve been taught over the last few years or so. It’s nice to have that support you know? 

Of course, there’s being independent and then there’s being pig headed. I’ve been guilty of that.  I owe a lot to both men and women who I’ve met whilst out adventuring, who’ve took the time to pass on their knowledge and it certainly is an ongoing journey.  It’s true what they say about strength being in numbers…

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Still the desire to adventure solo is becoming more of a need.    I love the quietness of it all.  It’s my time for mind and body to switch off.  I also adore  the feeling of having to rely on my own intuition and skills. It’s surprising how many of us don’t do that often or even at all!  The connection you develop and/ or strengthen with yourself is priceless. You become more in-tune with what feels right.  It’s amazing how many of us surround ourselves with people and things just to feel needed.  We ignore more pressing matters in our life that need some attention.  I find nature is certainly a fantastic outlet for finding out more about yourself, others and what you want out of life. 

Early this month,  I paid my membership fee to the Mountaineering Council.   I’ve mentioned a few times of how I plan to train as a hill and moorland leader. It’s a while off yet but it’s the first step.  It’s a solo journey in parts but I know I’ll meet some wonderful people along the way just like I have so far!

I’d love to know your thoughts and ideas on solo adventures?

 

Psst, I enjoyed reading about this person.

 

 

 

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. shazza says:

    Ahh I do have one of Phoebe’s books ‘The Book of The Bothy ‘ and although I’m not one for going it completely alone I would love to try spending a night in a bothy. I would go with Wil and Hugo. I like walking on my own to watch wildlife. Hugo can be a bit of a distraction.I must admit I have not walked in the countryside completely on my own for to long!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah I haven’t read that – mind you, I’m not so great at reading books, I find online easier and quicker (must take up bed time book reading again). I think you should certainly try it when you feel ready to and let me know how you get on with it. We’re never really alone when we’ve dogs are we but I don’t mind that. Bel like Hugo is also a distraction, she always manages to get in the way of ‘perfect picture’ lol. Yes sometime a stroll on your own is what the soul needs…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. treksandtors says:

    I prefer being alone sometimes. Might be part of my personality I guess, but when I haven’t been out walking on my own for a week or so i get ratty with people. Like they are invading my space or something. Wildcamps are good, I’ve only done one myself, not too far from the car, tucked away, very quiet. Got my jetboil going, nothing too spectacular. Be interesting to see what kit you are taking. I haven’t really got the right kit to do a walk in one and camp properly, or even two nights. For starter my rucksack is too small and I haven’t got half the things you need!!

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    1. I did figure you as a lone ranger actually. I think we can be bombarded with people’s ‘stuff’ too much and it does have a mental impact…. Yes well, I’m currently investing in some new kit. I’m in need of 60L bag for an overnight I think, less is more as they say… I’ll keep you updated on what I find. 😀 x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. David Guenot says:

    Very interesting. This speaks to me, as I usually walk on my own. Every solo hike is a special, very personal moment, when I am totally disconnected from the modern world’s frenzy and from new technology and social media. It also allows me to take as many pics as I want. I have just bought everything to bivvy or camp in the wilderness and should start in spring (which is the time I will officially start my hiking blog). Thanks for sharing Phoebe’s link as well, and I totally agree with her, feel safer in the mountains than in a big, crowded city.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks David, I’m so glad you connected with my words. That’s fantastic, will be keep to see what kit you’re using so maybe do a kit based post some time? You’re very welcome, she’s a cool lady! 🙂

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  4. wandaintn says:

    Think I’ll continue with my day walks. I don’t like the idea of being by myself in the wilderness. Especially at night around here!

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    1. Hey, we all have to do what’s right for us! And I know you live in a more exotic climate so it’s totally different to here. As long as you’re getting out, that’s all that matters! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah says:

    Thanks for a lovely read and an interesting insight. I love doing solo adventures, they are so much less complicated than going with other people. Keep on with this, enjoy and don’t let anyone put you off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Logistics – such a good point! Yes I find going with others makes everything from getting their to what you’re going to do a lot more complicated whereas if it’s just you then you’re more likely to just do it. Thought it depends upon the group…. I certainly will, I feel it’s part of what my soul really wants more of. Thanks for dropping by Sarah and your insights.

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  6. I hike solo every chance I get. My dog usually comes with – but she’s quiet company. It’s such a lovely experience! Just gives you a chance to settle your thoughts and explore. #outdoorbloggers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you! Dogs are great company and so not imposing. It really does, I agree. Thanks for stopping by. x

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  7. Bex Band says:

    This has inspired me to do my own solo hike…I’ve been thinking about it for a while that I haven’t enjoyed UK nature on my own for a long time. Great blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Bex! I popped you a very late FB msg earlier in reply to you. Thank you! I think you should and I’d love to hear about it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love my own company too. Probably too much as when I am in social situations I get panicky! I love the outdoors too but I am not much for scrambling about. I am too stiff for that lol. I like walks with wonderful scenery and of course a paddle or two in a lake. Nature does take you out of yourself and your worries and makes things seem much simpler. Animals and birds have the same effect on me. I look forward to reading about your adventures! 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your insight Christine, yes I totally get it. I stopped off for a rare visit to Selfridges and I just couldn’t do it. Too hot, too packed and too noisy and ran out of there… I think it doesn’t matter what kind of outdoor fun you enjoy as long as you take something positive from it and yeah it makes things much simpler, kind of puts it in to perspective? Bird watching awesome! I’m more of an onlooker as opposed to an avid watcher. My nan’s got this incredible bird book collection! Thank you very much. x

      Liked by 1 person

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