Woods can be pretty creepy places in the daytime, let alone the nighttime. But that didn’t stop me: I’d decided that June’s microadventure was going to be a night in the woods, and that’s exactly what I did.
Arriving late I quickly set up the tarp, sleeping pad and sleeping bag in the dark, drank a beer to celebrate, and then slipped inside. There wasn’t a breath of wind, and the wood was silent apart from the occasional owl-hoot.
As I lay there listening I realised I could hear something digging below me, probably a rabbit: There were rabbit-holes not far from where I had set up my bivvy site.
Soon I fell asleep under the stars and the trees. This was probably the most restful microadventure I’d ever been on.
Until 5:30 am.
A loud scream yanked me right out of the deep sleep I was in and my eyes popped open wide. I listened for a moment, and the cry came again.
“It’s a fox,” I thought and closed my eyes. I ignored a few more of its yells as I slid further down into the warmth of my sleeping bag, when all of a sudden there was a loud noise right next to me: A gruff bark, similar to the fox, but more throaty. Literally metres from me. What the hell was it?
A psychopath with a chainsaw?
Nope. I have now worked out that it was a Muntjac deer. I’d never heard one of these before, and if I never encounter one up close at 5:30am on a Saturday morning ever again it will be too soon.
I tried to sleep, but by now I was wide awake and it was futile. There’s just no recovering from being woken up at 5:30am! I enjoyed listening to the sounds of the surprisingly un-spooky wood until 7am, when I got up, packed up, and headed out of the woods to go get some breakfast and a cuppa.
Just a gentle one this time round, but they can’t all be epic 18 mile hikes on Dartmoor, can they? 🙂