Joe and I have now successfully completed the Bivvy-a-month challenge from the Bear Bones bikepacking forum. In essence this is a challenge to sleep out (after a bike ride) once a month for twelve consecutive months. It’s a great challenge that acts as a fine motivator to get you out camping in the wild when it might otherwise have been easy to let things slide and not bother. Have a read and maybe join in if you fancy it….
Here are the rules of the challenge which I have copied from the Bare Bones forum page.
- Sleep out at least one night out during every calendar month. You can start any month you like, just as long as you tot up 12 consecutive months.
- No paid-for accommodation ie campsites or hostels.
- A bike must be involved – it’s bikepacking, the clue is in the name.
- Your own garden doesn’t count, although next doors does – if you must.
- A multi-night trip that takes in both the last calendar night of one month and the first night of the next month will count as two months.
We tried to complete this in previous years, but always came unstuck in the winter months when various bugs and minor ailments conspired to keep us home in the warm and dry. This time we started the challenge in December and made it all the way to the finish line in November. Joe is the youngest person to have completed the challenge at age 15 years and 141 days.
December 2018 – camping in Craik forest.
January 2019 – Kershopehead Bothy
February 2019 – The Secret Howff
March 2019 – Green Bothy
April 2019 – Wild-camping in Cuba
May 2019 – wild-camping in the USA
June 2019 – A midsummer bivvy by the river in Craik.
July 2019 – Gameshope bothy
August 2019 – Dryfehead Bothy
September 2019 – An overnight camp by the river in Borthwickbrae.
October 2019 – A chilly overnighter at Broadlee Loch.
And the finale, in November 2019 – a very chilly camp-out in minus 7C temperatures at Willistruther Loch near Hawick.
I can really recommend this challenge. There were many months that I just couldn’t be bothered to do this but did it anyway in order not to lose our run of months. Every single time I was glad afterwards that I had made the effort to get out. It really pushed our boundaries and gave us new insights into what is possible, particularly regarding winter camping.