My last night of camping in Canada was the 31st of July. This left August’s outdoor sleep outstanding, and much as I enjoy the outdoors, after a fortnight straight of camping I was ready to spend a bit of time in my house. But time, as ever, was short. After two weekends of settled living, there were only two remaining weekends in which to slot in the outdoor sleep required to keep my run going. And the tuesday after the second of those weekends I was bound for a mountaineering trip to Morocco. Life is tough sometimes.
With a mediocre forecast and low motivation due to a lingering cold, I relied on my daughter’s enthusiasm to propel me out the door, and selected a nearby and accessible location, a seaside camp on the stony beach at Whiteness.
As always, once we were packed and out the house I became invigorated. Rain threatened but little appeared. There was little wind to carry any weather in. After a short cycle I made a pegless pitch, relying on sticks buried in the stones to secure the tent. We ate pasta, lit a fire, toasted marshmallows and watched as the edges of a flat sea folded itself onto the beach before retiring to the tent to play cards. The night was noisy with wind, rain and waves; the morning damp and misty enough to make me cook breakfast in the fly.
As always it was well worth the effort. I should now be 2/3 of the way through this absurd challenge, but having missed February my streak has been only 6 months long, leaving me halfway through. Keeping it going for the next, dark six months will be the hard part!