Broken Ankle Adventures – Rocking a 5-9 Adventure

Boot on, Cup of Tea in hand and I’m Back on the Road!

Good friends make for good adventures wherever, but ankle’s first van trip is definitely a milestone I can now tick off the list. Does anything really beat driving to a clearing in the middle of some woods, a short drive from your house, lighting a fire, cooking on a stove and chatting absolute garbage until 1 am, nope didn’t think so!

In this blog I’ll cover where we went and what we did and then a short top tips list of adventuring with a broken ankle, some of which we did, others I think would probably have been a good idea. 

To be honest when we first went to my van I wasn’t even sure it would turn on, the bed was full of boxes bags and suitcases, and I wasn’t sure if it had any fuel. Optimistically I didn’t check any of those things before we set off, but it was actually completely fine, thank goodness. After some sorting and a tesco detour we were on the road, with my fantastic friend driving. The sun was setting. and I’m not going to lie it felt pretty magical to be back moving! 

Our initial car park idea at Leith hill was fenced off, nightmare, but we spotted one just before it and managed to pull in and around the corner so we were completely hidden by the road. Dreamy. We set up camp, started a fire (with the help of some carmex and tissues), set out the picnic blanket and got well and truly established. If anyone came now, there would be no pretending we were just there for a dog walk.

It was almost like I didn’t have a broken ankle at all. Apart from almost falling into the small ditch we parked next to… Every time I walked past the van. Then, without thinking, I went off to get wood. which sounds easy, But I didn’t really think about how I was going to crutch and carry at the same time! Try walking with two crutches, across uneven ground, and then picking up sticks that point in all awkward directions, and catch each other. Just picture me standing there with an armful of the most awkward sticks imaginable, and then picture my face when I realised I somehow needed to use my crutches on the way back. I’m quite glad it was dark.

I don’t know what it is about fires that makes them so mesmerizing, but they really are. They are so beautiful I’m not sure anything really beats it. I don’t usually light a fire when I’m by myself, but having a fire pit and having the light and warmth and bananas and chocolate cooked in the embers was a pretty great way to spend a school night.  

Waking up in a van is still my happiest way to wake up. And the best bit about arriving somewhere in the dark is that you open up the doors to see where you are and how beautiful it is. This forest was no exception. I’m not going to tell you how much I love trees, but trees are pretty incredible, and our morning view in bed was some of the biggest most beautiful trees all with huge bark patterns and a mixture of green and autumn leaves. Beautiful! 

And who doesnt love a cup of tea on a picnic mat sat in the forest?! Cracking way to wake up, I eaven ate left over cake with my breakfast, which is apparently the key to endless happiness. I couldnt agree more! 

My Top Tips! 

  1. Watch out for uneven ground! I can now walk short distances crutch free, but completely didn’t realise that uneven ground would throw me off balance and hurt in all random places… who knew ankles were so important. 
  2. I didn’t do this, but maybe get a bag to protect the boot from mud so that you then don’t get mud inside the van 
  3. Have a brush to brush the mud off the boot before getting in the van 
  4. Be organised with everything in one place so you don’t have to make trips back and forwards as you’re cooking (didn’t do that either) 
  5. Find an easy place to store your crutches so that you can get them out easily in the morning 

If I was to do this before I was weight baring I think I would also consider bringing a camping chair and stool to sit on and prop my leg up, And practice any moves I needed like how to get into the van (I put a knee up on my bad leg and then a foot up) or the very tricky sitting on the floor and standing up one legged move. I’ve found I prefer to practice at home and whip moves out like a pro.. saves on embarrassing flailing. Most of all enjoy spending and awesome night somewhere and getting back to almost normal 🙂 

And don’t forget to take your rubbish with you ! I also picked up a discarded coffee cup, it was from McDonalds, and it still had the loyalty card sticker on it… What a win 🙂 

Happy Adventuring 🙂 

Photo and Adventure Credits to the Awesome @fritstartingat30

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