It rains here in the UK a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean all the time.
Lancashire in particular, has a really special talent of putting on the worst display of whatever weather the rest of the country has to offer. I’m sure if you viewed it from space you would just see a permanent grey cloud hovering over it. This is my second UK winter, and I have been treated to more flooding than snow this year. The problem with that is, getting yourself warm is much easier than getting yourself dry, once you’re out in the woods.
This last week however, there has been a rare respite, and I believe we’ve had almost a week without any rain.( Excuse me while I go and touch all of the wooden surfaces I can find). Needless to say, it didn’t take any convincing to get myself, Skelly, Mr Hammocker and a new recruit out in our hammocks. This newbie shall be known as Princess C-B (Friend’s fans may get this reference).
We chose to head to the reservoir spot which was found by Mr Hammocker and AC, but new to the rest of us. I say new, but Skelly and I had scouted it out earlier in the week, but ended up in a different section of the woods, which didn’t have ideal spacing . It was amazing how different the two sections were, with Mr Hammocker’s being perfect for our group size.
We all relished the opportunity to set up in dry weather. We could actually tinker with our set-up rather than just trying to whack it up without getting everything wet. I chose to use a tarp, as did everyone else in the end. The fact that it was even a question though, was a foreign, but welcome scenario. It also meant we could show Princess C-B how everything worked, so she could begin to get a grasp on how to do it herself. I felt pretty pleased with myself personally because for the first time ever, my first estimate of height and angle was spot on. That has to be a milestone in my hammocking career.
We had a lovely fire with an endless supply of dry wood available to us. We cooked a range of different meals with myself and Skelly going for the traditional steak. Our only difficulty was attempting to find a comfortable position on the ground that didn’t leave you with a cold backside and kept you out of the smoke. We settled with standing up and rotating slowly to get an even heat going. Some of us decided to take it a step further with some dangerous fire squatting going on. Eventually, the lure of our comfy hammocks was too much and we headed for sleep town. I had a decent snooze, waking up quite early to the chorus of the forest.
My favourite part of the trip had to be the morning. It was the first time in a long time that we didn’t have to rush off for something. We made the most of this by having our morning coffees in our hammocks, chatting and mucking around. We reflected on the fact that it’s a shame in the winter when you need a fire, you end up forgoing the comfort of your hammock in favour of the heat. It was decided that next time we go out we should try for a configuration that allows for the fire to be between all of the hammocks, rather than off to the side.
This trip has made me unbelievably excited for summer. Lighter packs, longer days. Daylight savings will allow us to not have to rush in the evenings and if we get some sunshine, well that will just be perfect. Although I did enjoy the little sprinkling of snow we had in the morning. It always makes you feel extra smug if you’re warm in spite of the elements.
I’m really glad that I got to share this trip with such great company. It was great to feel like there may be an end to this seemingly endless deluge that’s been going on here and I’m already mentally marking off on my calendar when I can get out next!