When Wiggle contacted me to see if I was available for a micro adventure in the Sussex country side I quickly checked my calendar and booked my ticket to London. Wiggle were keen to get a group of influencers together to test out Wiggles new range of outdoor gear and hiking kit. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.
I got the train down to London on the Wednesday afternoon, met the team and collected my gear. We arrived at one of the many London train stations to head to the town of Battle in Sussex. The day was very warm beacuase of the continuing British heatwave. The train was packed with commuters heading back to their homes in the English countryside. It was sweltering, I plugged my earphones in and tried to stay cool but not doing a very good job.
When we arrived in Battle we looked at the map and set off on a 5 mile or so hike to the designated campsite. We had a good time sharing stories of previous trips, expeditions and adventures we had been on. I felt as though my expeditions and adventures were very small compared to those in the team. Particularly Will Renwick who once hiked 1000 miles around the coast of Wales. I soon realised though that everyone there had the same interests and we had all achieved various different challenges that perhaps the others wouldn't have been able to face and accomplish.
We arrived at a beautiful little campsite surrounded by pine forests. Our support vehicle had arrived and delivered tents, sleeping bags, self inflating sleeping matts and various other items that we would be testing. I was impressed at the wide array of Jack Wolfskin tents that we were trying out. They were generally quick and easy to set up and having a low profile they were discreet and more protected from wind.
We then planned what time we would get up and we all decided that sunrise would be best. We wanted to do our best to explore a new place and get some great photos.
We decided that we would get up and explore a nearby lake and go for an early morning swim. With the plan set we ate dinner around the campfire. We had a lovely chilli con care which was perfect after a long day. We then shared stories before heading to bed.
Its never easy getting up at sunrise and that alarm becomes your most hated thing when it sounds so early. However, if there is a beautiful sunrise with crazy colours in the sky it is always worth it. Today was not that day though. It was overcast and no colours in sight. We still had some exploring to do though. We arrived at the lake to find that the hot British summer had reduced a perfect swimming spot to a smelly muddy swamp. None of us felt any desire at that time in the morning for a mud bath. We did manage to get some photos though as we walked and explored the local woodland. We then ran for a couple of miles back to our transport to get the 7am train back to London. I must point out that I am predominantly a cyclist and hiker. The majority of the others in the group were long distance runners. I was also carrying a 10kg camera bag on my back. Its safe to say that when we got back to the van I was more than sweaty.
Arriving back in London was a beautiful sight knowing that all the commuters in their dark dreary suits heading off to sit behind a desk had no idea of the fun we had just had running through a woodland. We still had a full day ahead of us, yet we had already been on an adventure. I love getting up early and making the most of the day. I never want to look back on life and think of all the things I could and should have done.