Many of my favourite experiences have started the same way. I see something - an event, a race, a course, which is 10 months away and think “that sounds like fun”. So I sign up, excited at doing something new and feeling pretty badass. Then the day arrives and I find myself standing on a jetty, or the start line, or climbing into a minibus and I think “what the f**k have I let myself in for?” My heart pounds and my palms sweat as I realise just how inexperienced and out of my depth I really am. Who am I to have thought that I could do this crazy thing?
A Bivvi (or Bivy, Bivvy, Bivi etc.) bag, is a waterproof bag that fits around your sleeping bag so that you can sleep outside without the need for a tent. It acts as both a groundsheet and cover for your bed. In the past they were mostly used by the army for fast and light travel, but they’ve become a lot more popular among civillian campers in recent years, particularly ultralight hikers and wild campers.
In the run up to my first experience of Arctic Expeditioning, I realised that I was due to get my period a day or 2 before I left for Norway. For me, this was a hugely stressful discovery. I’ve always suffered cramps and heavy bleeding which make me feel awful for several days each month, and I would be alone with 6 men for 5 days, in an unfamiliar environment. While Thorsten is an excellent team mate, I was also worried about this first experience of sharing a tent with him. Should I tell him?
When I get new gear or learn a new set of skills, I am keen to try that out quickly and put my knowledge into practice. However, there is one notable exception, and that is first aid and emergencies. I sincerely hope I will never have to apply my skills in those areas for real. Unfortunately, hoping you'll never need to know about it is not an excellent approach to the topic of personal safety. For any kind of adventure, you should put in the time and effort to train for emergencies and to prepare your gear.
Every story has a beginning, and of course, so does my own Arctic adventure. Talking about how I got into this seems like a fitting first post on our blog. Of course, everyone getting into any kind of adventuring has different motivations and backgrounds. Lauren’s story is already entirely different from mine, and your own story will be different too. So reading about my motives will probably be one of the least helpful posts to appear here.