A microadventure for the spring – a wood in Hertfordshire

It all started when I left a comment on Alastair Humphreys’ blog:

Me: “Everyday I sit on the train to work and watch the countryside go by and look oh so longingly at the woods, the woods, we gotta get into the woods!”

Alastair: “Why don’t you walk home from work one Friday night. Try to follow the train line as close as you can cross-country. You will see things from such a different perspective. And whenever you are on the train to work in the future you will have great memories of the microadventure…”

Well, I thought, what a jolly good idea and why not take it a step further and wild camp the night in that there wood?  How’s that for a fine idea?  And thus was born my plan for a spring microadventure.

Below is a picture of the wood taken from my speeding commuter train last week.

A wood near Stevenage, as seen from a commuter's train
A wood in Hertfordshire, as seen from a commuter train heading to London

As you can see, the wood is about half a mile from the train track, on the other side of the wood, about a mile and a half to the west is a motorway, wildness abounds!

I decided to blog this now as a way of holding myself to the project, it’s a lot harder to weasel out of it all it all by making it public.

Here’s the plan.  A weekday towards the end of April, start of May:

  • 5.30pm leave office job for the day..
  • 6.00 pm stuff face in noodle bar by King’s Cross station
  • 6.30pm leave King’s Cross
  • 7.0pm arrive at a station 6 miles from the wood.
  • 7.0pm – 8.30pm hike to wood and find two good looking trees for my hammock
  • 8.30pm – set up camp
  • 9pm make a cuppa
  • 9.30pm hop into hammock, sip some scotch.
  • 10pm sleep
  • Next morning – cuppa tea, train to King’s Cross, bacon sarnie and coffee, go to office, start work.

17 thoughts on “A microadventure for the spring – a wood in Hertfordshire

  1. Alastair’s great advice was like that little voice in our head – the one we’ve grown accustomed to ignoring – that says, “Ok. What are you going to do about it?” I’m glad you listened – it sounds like a grand adventure. AND a fabulous post to read!

  2. Go for it! Brilliant plan.

    I have to drive a couple of hours country to work a couple of times a week. My eyes will be open for off route woods tomorrow 🙂

    Have a great night, when it comes.


  3. Hey Martin,
    Great plan, if I can offer one piece of advice it would be to put a date on it rather than “A weekday towards the end of April, start of May” that way it makes it more binding and harder to weasel out.
    I speak from experience & I’m trying to commit to at least one microadventure every month 🙂
    Cheers, Poul

    1. Hi Poul, I didn’t want to announce a date on the blog as it would just give that ‘little voice in my head’ that likes to invent bad stories, something else to worry about. I.E: “mad axe murderers will read the blog, see the date and be ready for me in the woods” etc etc etc. Whenever I wild camp I have to spend some time rationalising with myself over this kind of thing. Daft but true : )

      1. Hi Martin,
        That makes a lot of sense, I think the things we fear most is the unknown and as such our brain can be our own worst enemy.
        But that just makes it so much more inspirational and I salute you Sir.

        Have a super time when you go 😉

        Cheers, Poul

  4. Brilliant! You have so got to do it! Just make sure you’re wearing your vest (ideally tucked into pants), might be a tad chilly.

    1. Thanks Martin, that wood that I see from the train will never look the same after the microadventure : )

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