DD Adventure Blog

Journals and guides from the DD Hammocks team and special guest writers - read through the blog entries for exciting expedition reports, helpful camping tips, and inspirational photos of set-ups and spectacular scenery across the whole world!

28 October 2019

School Night Bivvi Club

By Darroch Davidson

Does the full time grind leave you dreaming for the weekend's adventure? In our opinion, 5 days is far too long a gap between hitting the woods, so why not do something about that?

Step up Darroch Davidson - who together with @schoolnightbivviclub - proves that camping is not just for weekend warriors. Darroch and friends encourage downing tools at the office, saddling up and heading straight into your favourite local patch of wilderness for the night, before waking up the next morning and heading into work refreshed and energised from a night under the stars (or tarp!). Read on below to find out more:

The idea for #schoolnightbivviclub came about a couple of years ago having met Katherine Moore at a bikepacking demo evening I was giving at Johns Bikes in Bath.

Our mutual love of bikepacking brought together a group of friends and acquaintances in the area who were ‘time poor’ but keen to shoe horn their adventures into the working week.

So we've left the office, where are we heading to?

 The format for our midweek adventures has remained very simple:

⦁    Arrive at work prepared for overnight bivvi
⦁    Cycle directly from work to rendezvous (RV), meet crew, faff about a bit, buy provisions and cycle to bivvi site
⦁    Set up camp
⦁    Enjoy company, dinner and night under stars
⦁    Wake up, make breakfast or head to nearest café
⦁    Return to desk smug having enjoyed a sneaky midweek break!

Over the past 18 months our mid-week outings have brought together a group of people with mixed ability and experience forging great ride buddies. Mainly mountain and gravel bikers with varying degrees of experience wild camping. The group has no structure outside of some guiding principles including but not limited to the responsible use of the outdoors (leave no trace), fun, companionship, safe practice, skill development, experimentation and the cross pollination of ideas and experience.

Comfier than your own bed and with the right company, far more entertaining than weeknight soap operas!

A School Night Bivvi Club outing typically consists of an evening with a dryish forecast, 1-2 hour ride allowing for plenty of time to set up camp and enjoy food and drink prior to a night under the stars. We’ll normally meet near a shop off our route to buy individual/group provisions. Food varies from meat and vegetables cooked over an open fire, traditional foods (e.g. chorizo, rice, cheese & dried mushrooms to make a camp risotto) to instant noodles cooked on a gas stove. Add to this chocolate, toasted marshmallows, charged hip flasks for post dinner pudding and fireside chat and you have all the ingredients of a memorable mid-week evening before returning smugly to work the following day.

Within the group we use a mix of small tents, bivvi bags, hammocks and tarps. Experimenting with food, kit and equipment has been an unexpected benefit of @schoolnightbivviclub rides as most of us have different set ups for shelter, cooking and load carrying. Each ride provides new knowledge, skill, improvements to set ups and enthusiasm for our next ride. Always good to see how other people operate in the outdoors!

DD Hammocks in particular have proved to be an excellent performer being lightweight, robust and great value for money. A number of our group now have either DD Camping Hammocks or DD Superlight Hammocks combined with DD Superlight Tarps.

Early start amongst nature, heading back to the office with a smile on your face - the dream!

We’re planning a November end of year blow out with a 250km ride from Bath to Portland Bill journeying along ancient routes through Salisbury Plain and the Wessex Ridgeway treading in the footsteps of our Celtic, Viking and Anglo Saxon ancestors… time to break out the 3 season sleeping bag! We can’t wait… 

So there you have it - taking a weeknight "off" to explore or relax in your favourite campsite sounds like a great way to punctuate the working week. Is this something you would like to try? Make sure to follow @schoolnightbivviclub on Instagram for inspiration.

Want to cut loose from the dayjob at 5pm but need to pack light? Why not check out the DD SuperLight Range of products - light and small in pack-size, our SuperLight hammocks and tarps make the perfect addition to your rucksack, briefcase or even pockets!

(P.S - it's getting cold out there, so don't forget your insulation!)




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About the writer

Darroch Davidson

is a former soldier and security advisor who runs outdoor activities company wildswimbikerun.com providing which include bikepacking weekends in the Cotswolds, Quantocks and Brecon Beacons.

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