Hanging around in the woods
Every spring, the woodland floor around our little barn explodes in a riotous display of purple as bluebell flowers emerge from their slumbering bulbs, covering nearly every inch of earth. Although we’ve witnessed this spectacle many times it never fails to astound. This year we decided to mark the occasion by camping out in the woods during peak bluebell season; eating, sleeping and waking up in a sea of wild flowers. It seemed a shame to crush a rectangular patch of flowers with a tent, so we opted for hammock camping, something we had been keen to try for a while. Loading up our rucksacks one cool yet sunny afternoon, we wandered into the woods to set up camp, scouting for good trees to hang hammocks from and a patch of bare ground on which to light a fire. The hammocks were a breeze to set up; we used the entry level DD Camping Hammock which came highly recommended to us by our Instagram friends and followers. Each hammock has a full length zipped compartment, enabling a self inflating mat or similar to be slipped inside which really helped to keep everything in place. On top of that were our fluffy down sleeping bags and that was us set for the night.
With the fire crackling and bluebells glowing in the orange light of the setting sun, we cooked a Mexican feast of sweet potato fajitas and quesadillas (Recipe by camp cooking geniuses, Fresh Off The Grid) and drew closer to the warmth of the camp fire. As the light faded the bluebells continued to glow, seemingly bioluminescent, nocturnal creatures began to go about their nightly engagements. We turned in fairly early, the lure of our cosy cocoons too great to resist. As we lay on our backs looking upwards, stars twinkled through the canopy and tree trunks reflected the flickering warm light of our dying fire creating a truly magical scene. Just as we were drifting into sleep, a nightingale began to sing its bewitching song, so sharp and clear that it cuts through the blackness of the night like a knife.
Truth be told however, we didn’t actually sleep that well. Perhaps it was the aforementioned night time noise maker that kept us awake, perhaps it was the scurrying and snuffling of the other woodland creatures or perhaps it was the swaying of the hammocks and slightly odd sleeping position. Although we usually sleep very well outside, a good night’s sleep is not what we venture out for; the new experiences, strange encounters and sense of adventure make it well worth missing a few hours of snoozing. We’ll definitely be hammock camping again and can’t wait for the next opportunity to get out there...