It’s not everyday you’re given the chance to leave the big smoke behind you, head out to the country for a 10K hike after work, chat around the fire, camp outside and then head to work the very next day so if you’re given the chance, take it. And thanks to The North Face #NeverStopLondon, I did just that.
Set up to encourage urbanites like myself who sometimes need just to embrace the big outdoors, the first #NeverStopLondon overnight hike was an opportunity to remove ourselves from modern technology and make the most of the 5 to 9. It’s an interesting concept that can help to redress the balance. Don’t get me wrong, work can be extremely fulfilling and enjoyable when you’re in the right role but however much you love it, sometimes you just need a break. This can help you put things into perspective, organise your ideas and you may even find a solution to that problem you’ve come across. There’s nothing like getting back to nature to refresh your approach to something and find inspiration. And the #NeverStopLondon overnight hike was certainly inspiration.
For alongside a rucksack, pillow sleeping mat, dinner, sleeping bag, headtorch and walking boots to test – all provided by the North Face – we were also accompanied by the Alpinist Andy Houseman. Not only were we taken out to the beautiful English countryside by coach and led on a 10K hike to where our tents were set up, we were also told stories by this great adventurer in-front of a roaring fire.
For someone who has never really heard of Alpinism, it was particularly interesting to find out how Andy got into it and the crossovers with some of the sports I enjoy – trailrunning, cycling and hiking. It also highlighted some new areas of the world where you can find top-class trails such as Pakistan and Nepal. Let’s just say, the stories around the fire certainly captured my imagination about new areas and challenges to pursue in years to come.
Bedtime followed in a cosy North Face sleeping bag on top of a sleeping mat with a pillow! (To someone who spent a week in the desert with only a sleeping bag at night, this was luxury.)
Brekkie in the morning
And then we were awoken the next morning at 5:30am with just enough time to grab breakfast, take down the tents and jump on the coach back to London. And I was sitting at my desk slightly weary but excited by 8:30am.
Would I do it again?
I may have been a wee bit tired on the Friday but I really enjoyed the event and am trying to persuade my partner to join me if there ever is a next time.
To find out more about events with #NeverStopLondon and get involved, please go to https://www.facebook.com/neverstoplondon