Sleeping in the woods 1


Fresh back from our Wildfoods & Woodland Cookery course this weekend and I’m feeling great.  I always sleep really well out in the woods but often our students tell us that they haven’t slept so well and hear all kinds of noises during the night.

I remember about 10 years ago sleeping in the woods after a few years break and I had trouble getting to sleep, so I have a great deal of sympathy with the students.  And I’ve often wondered why this should be the case.  I can vividly remember hearing a snuffling around and being convinced that a large animal was inches away from me.  There wasn’t of course, more likely a small mammal yards away.

My hypothesis on this is that the woods were a bad place to be at night for our ancestors; in fact for most of our species existence being in the woods, or forest, or jungle, at night was particularly hazardous – we were, and are, fairly defenceless against predators, many of which hunt at night.  I think that maybe some primitive part of our brain, sub-consciousness, call it what you will, still knows that woods at night are potentially dangerous and as a consequence our senses become heightened, making sleep difficult, a case of better tired than dead maybe.

But as I tell our students, you get over this quite quickly, and once you do you will have the best nights sleep you can imagine.

You can see plenty of photos from this course, as well as all of our others, on our Facebook page.


About Gary

Lead Instructor at Jack Raven Bushcraft, teaching bushcraft, wilderness and survival skills to groups and individuals.


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