As I walk through the darkness of the woods to my hammock I wonder if I’m going to be able to sleep. I’ve never slept outside before. I’m wearing a thermal top and leggings, a long-sleeved cotton top, two wool jumpers, a pair of fleece-lined thermal trousers, wool socks, walking boots, a waterproof coat, a wool hat, a head torch and fleece gloves. If I were wearing any more clothes I probably wouldn’t be able to walk. It’s a November night in England and, although I’m here with friends and they’re sleeping in tents and hammocks nearby, I feel very alone. It’s a chilly night but it isn’t freezing cold.
When I find my hammock I stand next to it and take off my coat, gloves, boots and trousers and put them with the rest of my stuff on a tarpaulin on the ground below. Above the hammock stretches another, larger tarpaulin. It’s due to rain during the night and I’m hoping that this tarpaulin will keep me dry. I think about my lovely bed at home an hour’s drive away.
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