Here we go… it might have been a silly idea I had on my lunchtime a good few months ago now, but as soon as I heard about what Ordnance Survey wanted to do with National GetOutside Day this year, I knew I had to make it happen. As of 5pm this evening (Friday 28 September) I will be embarking on an intentionally fun challenge to see how many GetOutside activities I can squeeze into a 48-hour period.
The idea is very simple. Over the next two days I will be camping, eating, walking, swimming and a whole lot more besides, all in the name of celebrating the great outdoors and demonstrating just how much fun you can have without a roof over your head.
The thing everyone seems to want to know is… what activities am I going to be taking part in this weekend? I am a planner, and so you won’t be surprised to know that I do have a bit of an itinerary mapped out that will hopefully mean I can make the most of the hours and activities available to me. I have chosen places to visit, worked out travel times, and written a menu of activities I can pick and choose from as the mood (and weather) takes me. Keeping things a little bit vague has to go in my favour, right?!
To keep things in the spirit of the everyday outdoors, and taking the value of my One Hour Outside campaign to heart, I will be keeping costs down, travel to a minimum, and the frequency as high as possible. This means the vast majority of activities will be free – based at home or in parks. I have booked a campsite and hire of a kayak and SUP, and there will be some more entry/hire fees to pay before Sunday evening, but the whole weekend should come in at a reasonable price (and I’ll share the cost afterwards). It is also important to me that the activities I do are accessible to the masses – everything I’m doing is something you can organise for a Sunday afternoon or Tuesday morning if you choose, nothing requires official instruction or hours of preparation. I want to show that we don’t have to spend loads, have loads or go far to get outside.
I’ve taken inspiration from all kinds of online guides (including my own), and am looking forward to getting started this evening. I’ll be planting daffodils, having a barbecue, attempting to whittle a spoon, doing a litter pick, finding a geocache, bagging a trig pillar (naturally!), and a whole host more. You’ll have to follow the story and come back next week to find out exactly what I get up to – and how many different activities I manage to take part in.
Look. I know this isn’t really a massive undertaking. Yes I’m sure I’ll collapse in a heap on my sofa at the end of it all, and no doubt will wonder on more than one occasion over the next two days what on earth I’m doing, but it’s not exactly a difficult or endurance-reliant challenge. I’m not breaking any records (unless Guinness World Records think I could…), I’m not risking my life, and I’m not pushing my outdoor skills to their limit on this one. It’s just a bit of fun, hopefully an awful lot of fun, but there is a message – honest.
The whole point of this weekend is to do my part in encouraging you to spend a little bit more time outdoors. My One Hour Outside campaign is all about making – creating – time each and every day to get some fresh air, do a little bit of exercise, and give ourselves the opportunity to get the national light we need to keep us healthy.
Ordnance Survey have designated Sunday 30 September as National GetOutside Day 2018, and each GetOutside Champion is using it as an opportunity to demonstrate the ways we like to spend time outdoors, in order to encourage and motivate others to follow suit. There are walks and other activities being organised up and down the country. There will be family days out, trig bagging hikes, runs, cycle rides, scrambles, climbs, bush craft skills workshops, and all kinds of things. And you can join in by spending your Sunday outdoors doing whatever activity you fancy – everyone is welcome, wherever you happen to be.
The reason I was chosen as a GetOutside Champion had nothing to do with fame or special skills or athletic prowess (I know… really!). It is because I am (arguably…) normal. But working the nine to five and having all the usual life commitments, doesn’t mean the outdoors is closed to me; I don’t have to anything more adventurous than putting on my shoes and leaving my own front door. This challenge is simply about demonstrating the plethora of activities that are open to us all, however little time we have left at the end of the day.
It’s Better with Friends
I’m very happy that there are other people around just as mad as I am, and am very pleased that good friend Sarah (The Urban Wanderer) is coming down to join me for the weekend. Katy (Katyish) is joining me on Sunday too, and I’m hoping there will be a few extras at the picnic that will finish off the weekend challenge on Sunday afternoon. Thanks, ladies.
Picnic in the Park
Talking of picnics… Please don’t read this blog and think it’s something for you just to catch up with on social media on Sunday evening. I want – I need – you to join in, too. You are invited to “come along” to my nationwide picnic in the park on Sunday afternoon. Grab your picnic blanket and favourite picnic food, head to your local park (or your garden…) and spend an hour outside. I know some of you are planning gatherings and cakes and all sorts – thanks in advance for your support. Find all the details here and join the facebook event here.
Follow the Story
So, here we go. I am using National GetOutside Day 2018 as an opportunity to demonstrate that you can spend time outdoors doing any and all activities. Yes you can hike, climb mountains, cycle around the world – that is all incredible and wonderful and all the things besides. But you can also go for a walk the in park, spend time on the beach, meet friends for a picnic, go camping. How about messing about on or in the water, singing around a campfire, or maybe even learning a new skill or ticking off a bucket list activity?
So here we go. I would think I’ll be a little busy to update all my social media channels, so make sure you’re following me on instagram as I’ll be doing my best to update my stories with what’s going on… and I’ll be back here sometime next week to let you know all about it.