Cold, muddy and tired but happy

By Jess Brown, BA (Hons) Graphic Design and Illustration.

Being cold, covered in mud and rain, laying on makeshift pillows in a wind-battered tent isn’t my usual ideal way to spend a bank holiday weekend. However, I did just that with my girlfriend and two pals a couple of weeks ago in the Derbyshire Dales, and to my surprise, I loved it! Yes, as stated it was horrible weather and yes, I spent most of it shivering and tired however, I also regained my appreciation of city life and managed to clear my head a little.

I have mental health issues and often the hustle and bustle of the city (as wonderful as Sheffield is, it is still a city) can sometimes be too much for me. So being out in nature where it is so nice and quiet and there’s few cars and little pollution was great. It was nice just to appreciate nature too. When the weather had cleared, we went for a walk away from our campsite and although I fell over and got covered in mud, it was a great experience. I went camping a few times when I was younger and I often like going for walks in the countryside. Camping as an adult though is different. I’ve found that since going to uni and getting my own flat, living a busy life in a city, it’s been easy to forget the outside world has benefits. I forget how good it can be to just escape the bubble we can create. Being in the quiet where I can contemplate things and feel like I don’t have to rush about was so cathartic for me and helped clear my head loads. On the other side of it too, I realised how nice it is to have a flat. How nice a bed feels. These are things we can take for granted in life and I believe it’s good to have a reminder every now and then of what we should be grateful for.

Living in Sheffield too is ideal for adventuring into the great outdoors. We have both the Derbyshire Dales and The Peaks right next door to us! There are so many different places and views to see surrounding us, right now. It’s always good to take a break from a hectic life and I’ve found a new love for camping to help me do that, even if we encountered a terrifying spider in our tent that walked like it was an octopus…

The best thing is, if you don’t know how to set up a tent or survive outdoors. Naivety makes it even funnier! We forgot bare essentials like pillows and blankets so had to use makeshift replacements out of whatever we could find. Most campsites are relatively cheap and friendly so it’s worth looking into if you are wanting to clear your head for a bit. Since it’s Summer too, what’s not stopping you from having a little journey out into the countryside? At the end of the first night the sky cleared and the sun set was gorgeous. If you pick the right weekend (unlike us) you can have that and more!