Do you fancy a Wild Night Out?
An outdoors campaign aims to encourage more families to enjoy a Wild Night Out in 2017. The Ordnance Survey (OS) is behind the national event taking place on Saturday July 1.
It’s hoped the Wild Night Out will help to reverse a trend that has been revealed in a recent survey. The research carried out by OS highlights that children are taking part in less outdoors activities than their parents.
The results show that today’s children are less likely to have built a den, collected bugs, flown a kite or been camping. For example, 38% of parents often built dens compared to 16% of their children. This was also true for collecting bugs (27% vs 14%), kite flying (16% to 10%) and camping in the garden (24% to 13%).
What is Wild Night Out?
Wild Night Out provides the ideal opportunity for people of all ages, and especially families, to get outside and enjoy new, and old, activities with their children.
Nick Giles, of OS, said: “The recent survey supports many of the national statistics that highlight that some children are not benefiting from being active outdoors. We are urging parents to use this day to relive their childhoods and teach their children some of the traditional pastimes and even some new outdoor skills.
“Ultimately, we want to make the outdoors an enjoyable, accessible and safe place for everyone. Whether it’s a visit to the local park, a trip to a national park or a weekend camping, there are no excuses to getting outside.”
See Wild Night Out.
10 ideas for a Wild Night Out
You do not have to go far or be hugely adventurous to take part in the Wild Night Out, but you can be if you want to be! Here are a few ideas to think about.
Sleep in a hammock: Hammocks are becoming far more popular as an outdoors sleeping option. If you plan to sleep in a hammock in Scotland make sure you cover your sleeping pod with a midge net. See a hammock suggestion, the Amok hammock reviewed.
Walk at night: Once the sun has set, go for a walk under the stars. You could walk from your home to someone that is more rural, such as a park, riverside or loch. Or why not go further afield into the countryside for your night walk? Take a torch so you can find your way.
Eat a camping dinner: You could do this in the garden, a local park or head to the hills. Take a camping stove and basic foods, or a ready-prepared meal, so you can enjoy the fun of eating outside.
Night bike ride: You’ll need a good set of bike lights so you can find your way at night. Cycling off-road tracks at night is a superb experience and quite different from riding the same trails in the day-time.
Camp in the garden: If you are not usually a keen camper why not try a night in the garden for starters? If the weather is fine you could rig up a homemade tent or borrow a tent from a friend for your Wild Night Out.
Bag a night-time trig: Trig bagging can be fun at night. Choose a local trig point (look on a map to find the trig markers) and then head off for a night-time trig bagging adventure. You’ll need a map, compass, head torch and warm clothing.
Build a den: Enjoy a day of den building in the garden with item found in the house or garden or further afield in woodlands. Make sure you are a responsible den builder (don’t damage living trees etc) and do make sure you let your imagination go wild. If you are in a safe place, you could sleep overnight in your den for the best of Wild Nights Out.
Night-time wild swimming: Make sure you do this in pairs (or more) and make sure you can see each other when swimming in the dark. It’s a surreal experience swimming in a loch or reservoir and wonderfully up-lifting.
Star gazing: If it’s a clear and starry night why not try star gazing? There are lots of on-line guides to spotting different constellations. All you need after that is a rug to lie on and warm clothes. The best places for star gazing are away from the bright lights of built up areas so choose your spot wisely.
Dawn kayaking: If you own a kayak or canoe, or you can hire or borrow one, go for a tranquil paddle at dawn. This is a great time to spot wildlife.
See Wild Night Out for more ideas.