This weekend Wild Wolf Explorer Scout Unit ran its first ever Night Hike challenge.
There were 22 participants present including a team of Scouts from one of our feeder Troops. The aim was to walk a 15km course of 6 checkpoints, starting well after darkness had fallen. Most teams finished by about 3am, but the same cannot be said of Arno, Florrie, Phoebe, Mimi and Mischa, who have written about their experience below:
“The evening began when we met up at Scout Park for 8pm and loaded our bags on the minibus. It was raining heavily but at least that cleared up for when we arrived at Tolmers campsite. Kit unloaded, we set up our tents and took a seat in the hall for a briefing where we went through the kit we needed, rules, risks and other information. After this we drove up to the start point and set off!
We set off in high spirits, navigating our way in the dark. We walked along footpaths in woods, sometimes along the side of roads and through muddy fields. All was smooth until we missed a turn (after seeing it and deciding it was definitely NOT that way) so we retraced our steps, got back on track, and for another hour or so all was good and we knew exactly where we were. The same could not be said however, when we made our second mistake at about 1:30am in the morning. Somehow the perfect footpath we were following ended up in a set of fields that we just could not get out of. Fences went on for miles in all directions and unfortunately we spent a good three hours finding the track again.
It was about 4:30am at this point and we had the opportunity to get a lift back but we wanted to finish what we’d started! Waves of determination rolled over us and so an hour and a half later, pretty much sleepwalking to the entrance of the campsite, we realised we’d made it, we’d completed the challenge! Even if it was three hours later than expected…
We awoke the next morning feeling slightly fresher, and very hungry! The smell of bacon wafted into the tents from the kitchen. Sliding our feet back into our boots, we made our way over to the hall where the leaders had whipped up a full English breakfast! We wolfed down eggs, bacon, hash browns, mushroom, sausages, toast and tomatoes, starving from the long hike. After squaring away camp, we packed up the minibuses and made our way back to Scout Park, exhausted but proud of our efforts!”
Next year’s Night Hike will be on the 27th to 28th November 2020.