A Solo Wild Bivvy Pledge

Pictures can be deceptive. This is the M Shed in Bristol, but inside it lurks inspiration. It was the setting for WAExpo, an extraordinary collective of adventurers who meet, share stories and fire up dreams. An empowering, galvanising group of women who leave you buzzing and wondering if you can do it too.

A few quotes from the day’s speakers:

“Be your own hero. If you don’t stretch the muscle of adventure, it atrophies” Beth French; attempting to swim the world’s seven toughest ocean challenges in just a year.

 “Experience matters, but the most important things are attitude & energy” Sarah Outen; round-the-world kayaker, cyclist and rower.

On how to do a really big adventure: “Break it down. A 800km kayak is a series of 30km paddles.” Erin Bastian; adventurer, expedition leader and guide.

After the event, the WAExpo crowd got chatting in the pub about bivvying (aka sleeping without a tent). I love the idea, as championed by Phoebe Smith, of bivvying on my own. But for me, till now, a solo bivvy has been a step too far. Put simply – it really scares me. As a woman I’d feel very vulnerable. But – with sensible precautions – it doesn’t worry some of those I was chatting to – Anna Blackwell who’s walked and wild camped solo across 485km of Swedish wilderness, and Erin Bastian who’s notched up a very enviable adventure CV.

My last bivvy (with others): Red Lake on Dartmoor

We talked about perception and reality, about learned fears and about the empowerment that comes when you manage to do this kind of thing on your own. We also discussed how when you say something out loud it’s more likely to happen – especially if you say you’re going to do it on social media.

So, that’s what this is: my BlogPromise to complete a solo wild bivvy by May 13th.

The clock is ticking.

Time to GetOutside and stretch my adventure muscle.

I’ll be getting guidance from Extreme Sleeps, by Phoebe Smith and this Ordnance Survey GetOutside Guide to Wild Camping, by the Two Blondes.

Any more solo bivvying advice?!