The Explorer and the night hike

On the day when it had rained non-stop from before we got up until well after we went to bed, my son along with his friends from Explorers, did an 18 mile night hike and camp.

Yes, that’s EIGHTEEN MILES cross country, at night, in the rain from hell. In February.

While the rest of the country had been badly-hit by storms and floods over the previous couple of months, we’d come off relatively unscathed. Now it was our turn. It was the worst weather we’d seen for months, if not years. I got drenched feeding the guinea pigs. I didn’t know how my son would cope with an 18 mile walk.

Except I did know. Because my son loves a challenge. He is incredibly resilient. He loves walking and seems able to just walk for miles and miles – he managed 30 miles in Holland last summer .

We knew he was setting off just after 5pm and we knew he had to walk 18 miles. But how long would that take when he was tired and in those appalling weather conditions? Three miles an hour would be a good pace cross country, carrying a rucksack, but I thought two miles an hour would be more realistic, considering the conditions.

I realised I had to just relax and stop thinking about him and wondering where he was, how far he’d got, how tired he was, whether or not his waterproofs were actually waterproof…

I went to bed not knowing where he was and how he was getting on. I woke up in the morning, still not knowing. All I could assume was that no news was good news. If something had gone wrong, somebody would have told us.

I just really, really hoped he hadn’t slept in his damp clothes.

He got home at 11.30am the next day. Dirty, tired and a bit sore. He’d ‘only fallen over twice’. Although on one of those times his friend thought he’d fallen 25 metres down a hill. If that was really the case, he was very lucky to come away with just a few scratches on his hands (one of them quite deep). He’d also managed to spill coffee on himself some time in the early hours and had a large burn on one hand.

But he’d done it! And he was in one piece.

The weather had certainly made it harder and it had taken about eight hours (so my guess of two miles per hour wasn’t far off). It was supposed to be a challenge at the best of the times, but Storm Imogen had made it a lot more of a challenge. Some people had been forced to drop out, but my son wasn’t one of them.

I’m so proud of him for his resilience. Going out in those conditions is not for the faint-hearted. But he conquered them!

Son, Hike, Rain, Flooding, Camping, Explorers

The morning after the night before. This was how much it rained!


Author: Sarah Mummy

Share This Post On


  1. Well done him – I was genuinely worried about him that night! Feels like I know your kids these days and the thought of being out in that weather!! He is a braver person than me! ( that doesn’t take much tho – a light shower would have put me off!!)

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much, that’s lovely that you were worried about him too! I had to try to distract myself and not think about him too much. I don’t mind a bit of rain (with the right clothes!), but that weather was ridiculous!

      Post a Reply
  2. Thanks very much! I was very proud indeed, it was a fantastic achievement for him. x

    Post a Reply
  3. Oh gosh what a challenge. It was awful awful weather and I know you guys had it a lot worse that week. Well done to him on doing it all. I bet he wanted a very very good rest after all that!

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much, he did so well! He certainly spent the next day taking it very easy and rightly so.

      Post a Reply
    • It was pretty scary, I jut had to assume no news was good news!

      Post a Reply
  4. Well done him. That really is something to be #loudnproud about! Linked up thank you x

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much, he did so well. Thanks for linking 🙂 x

      Post a Reply
  5. Typical ‘ey, walks 18 miles in awful conditions and the biggest injury is from a spilt coffee?? Quite a cool achievement though. #CountryKids

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much, I think it was a fantastic achievement!

      Post a Reply
  6. I do love the scout movement they get them doing things other institutions back away from. Well done to your son, I know it is a grueling challenge and he did so well to finish. Ours do it in March so a little warmer, sometimes! It is the team spirit that keeps them going and they always come home on a high and ready to do it all over again the next year, I’ve yet to volunteer to go with them! Thank you for sharing on #CountryKids

    Post a Reply
    • Scouts are absolutely brilliant! Good luck to your kids for theirs. I’ve never volunteered either. I have huge respect for all of the leaders.

      Post a Reply
  7. Wow that is quite an achievement and then add on those weather conditions! I’m sure it will be a night he’ll never forget but can be awfully proud to look back upon.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much, it certainly will! He’s already planning to walk even further next year.

      Post a Reply
  8. Wow well done to your son for managing to do an 18 mile night hike in those kinds of conditions – Storm Imogen was fairly fierce here and I know I wouldn’t have liked to be out in it! Sounds like your son did really well and has a lot of determination.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much. He’s incredibly determined. I was so proud of him!

      Post a Reply
  9. I have to say I’m seriously impressed! I wouldn’t have gone 18 feet in those conditions never mind 18 miles! I can well imagine how worried you were though.. Well done to him and well done to you too 🙂

    Post a Reply
  10. What an achievement!! The weather was awful, so that makes it even better. I wish that my boys had stuck to scouts as it is such an amazing experience for them.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks very much. Scouting is definitely the best thing my eldest has ever done. He’s always thrown himself right in and got involved in everything and he really gains a lot from it.

      Post a Reply
  11. What a task to take on, even in normal conditions that would have been quite a challenge. I’m sure you had quite a restless nice wondering about how he was getting on too. I’m so glad he completed the hike but sorry that there were a few war wounds.

    Thanks for linking up with Small Steps Amazing Achievements :0)

    Post a Reply


  1. Small Steps Amazing Achievements – 24/2/16 » AutismMumma - […] lastly for @sarahmo3w there was a Night Hike in the […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: