Too old to be an outdoor instructor? Obviously not!

It was one of those ‘too hot to walk’ Duke of Edinburgh’s Award afternoons we all long for when it’s raining. Gazing at the River Dart as I waited for a team, I had a moment of revelation.

I am now an ‘older generation’ outdoor instructor.

When I first started volunteering in the outdoors my trainees were the same age as my children. Things, especially time, have moved on.

Now it’s the staff I work with who are the same age as my children.

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Can I do yoga here? In my very small campervan?

Greta our Toyota Granvia campervan is our only vehicle. Unless you count Mr D’s much used bikes and my often aching legs. This means that she is a touch on the small side. Compact you might say.

Or on a rainy day, squashed.

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Tomorrow’s knickers today. On the topic of expedition underwear.

I’ve got a question.

It’s a bit personal, but it’s definitely one I’ve been asked many times before. It’s about expedition underwear.

How many pairs of knickers do you pack for a three day expedition?

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My top tips for solo wild camping in the UK

‘How far are you going?’

Was the first question I was asked as I puffed my way up the track, on my way to my first solo wild camp of 2022. I was already regretting the last-minute addition of a wool jumper to my outfit.

I could have taken the jumper off of course, but I would have had to carry it.

My rucksack was already stuffed to capacity.

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Taking my menopause outdoors

Menopause matters

Never mind pandemics. For me menopause is the new normal.

Although it’s been hanging around for ages.

According to NHS menopause advice, I should be done with perimenopause by now. I’ve never been average though. One can but hope.

There’s only so much fluctuation a girl can take.

'I feel as if I'm losing all my leaves.' This quote is from the film The Father. It made me cry. Not because of dementia but because it described so well how perimenopause made me feel.

Let’s talk about menopause

I wish I’d known more about menopause before it started.

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Fit for sixty? For once I’m struggling to find the right word.

Fit for thirty

In our late twenties Mr D and I decided we needed to do something about the weight gain and lack of fitness that had resulted from,

  1. Three pregnancies (me)
  2. Too much pasta (I blame the arrival of pesto to our supermarket shelves)
  3. A general satisfaction with family life

We embarked on our Fit for Thirty campaign.

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A year in the grey. Has dumping the dye changed my life?

When my hair first tipped past ‘half and half’ into ‘definitely grey’ Mr D and I both had an emotional moment. Me because I had decided there was no going back. He because he had known me since I was an inexperienced teenager.

I’m not inexperienced now.

I’m silver.

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Walking and yoga. There’s more connection than you might think!

Yoga’s an interesting one isn’t it. All that bending and balancing but none of the puffing and panting associated (by me at least) with walking up a hill or running.

At least that’s what I thought until I tried yoga for myself.

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Hormones? Should we dump them in Room 101 or take them outside?

It’s National Weird Question Day.

Not really, that’s on June 31st!?!

Although my researcher team (Google and Wikipedia) tell me that September 30th is sometimes Ask a Stupid Question Day in the United States.

But this question is both weird and stupid!

You are right of course. I first came to it during a ladies-only bunkhouse gathering. Which of course is exactly the type of environment in which all important society-changing questions should be debated.

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Aged between 50 and 70? How do you feel about active travel?

I’ve just been reading some results from a really interesting survey. The Centre for Ageing Better and Sustrans (both organisations well worth following) have been investigating the motivators and barriers to active travel for people in the UK 50-70 age bracket.

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