Hazel said, “I wanted a change from spending every night sleeping in the house during lockdown. It just seemed boring to do the normal and sleep in a bed when at least I was permitted to sleep in my garden. In the first three weeks of lockdown I bivvied out for seven nights – on my wheelie bins, balanced on a board between two chairs, up high on the frame of a swing seat – very wobbly as the frame had a lot of rot – or just on my back door step on a freezing morning for something different to do in my garden.
I’ve done over 100 bivvies on the Munros. In the hills it’s fun being resourceful, imaginative and inspired in finding a spot to sleep for the night. This is the spirit I wanted to take to bivvying in the confines of my small garden.
I’ve made myself a platform from a packing case from a car bumper which I found in my garage to bivvy on so I’m not limited to sleeping on the ground. It’s sound if a little narrow; I’ve not to turn over suddenly in the night especially if I’ve a drop around me. However it took until the news of a further three weeks lockdown before I realised I really needed a project.
I’ve decided to bivvy out for 21 continuous nights to raise funds for SARDA Scotland. It was amazing and inspiring to listen to SARDA Scotland dog handle Jonah Jones of Skye Mountain Rescue Team talk about the training of his late dog Mack. Bivvying out seemed a good option with the tenuous link to those those act as ‘bodies’ for the dogs to find in training. What could I bring to my 21 continuous nights of bivvying? Being out in whatever the weather would deliver or hiding away in my garden in unexpected places.
So far in my 21 continuous nights I’ve used my platform to sleep in a buddlia bush (I have no tree to build a tree house in but the buddlia bush was a good second best). I’ve been suspended on my garden fence, a ladder holding one end of my sleeping bag, a stick the other end as if by magic.
With lockdown I’m getting to experience a completely different side of my garden – it’s soundscape. I thought that as only essential travel was permitted there would be little night time noise. I was surprised that there was a continuous noise of traffic but somewhat quieter when I listened in the small hours of the morning. I’m now more attuned to the birds singing in the surrounding gardens: small songbirds about 5 a.m., geese or seagulls screeching in the small hours. I’m really enjoying this – it’s not the same magic and awe as I experience in the hills but this is the sound of the place I live, my home.”
We would like to send a big thank you to Hazel for continuing to support Scottish Mountain Rescue teams.