How Much Fun Are You Having in the UK’s National Parks?

Pretty much everything about our National Parks is great. There’s almost nothing to dislike about them. You’re taking in the fresh air, getting some exercise, you’re not in London, there’s very little concrete underfoot, people enquire about your day and anticipate jovial conversation, and there are wonderful views. So why the need for 3.5 types on fun? And what does that even mean?

Type I Fun

This is the kind of fun where everything is just magnificent from the moment you put on your boots, don your walking jacket and set off on your adventure. It’s a glorious day, you didn’t need your waterproofs, Yaktrax, walking poles, a rucksack or water reservoir for this little day trip into your local National Park. You even know the route well. Everybody you’re with is cracking their best jokes and laughing. You never want this to end! Congratulations, you’re having some Type I fun!

Type Iss Fun

Apparently, ss in Roman numerals means ‘one half’, so this is Type 1.5 fun. Having to find the Roman numeral equivalent of ‘one half’ while writing a blog post is an example of Type 1.5 fun – this is a fun post to write, but I’ve just had to Google what ‘one half’ is in Roman numerals and I’ve probably used it incorrectly. Honestly, that sucked a little bit.

Let’s imagine you’re having your perfect Type I fun adventure and then there’s that sodding great hill you have to climb up or a footpath that’s mostly ice that causes you to fall on your arse. It’s not going to ruin your day and everything else is just awesome, but let’s be honest here – sometimes parts of your otherwise excellent adventure can suck. You don’t want the uphill battle to last the whole time, but once you get to the view it was worth every aching muscle. You’ve just experienced Type 1.5 fun.

Type II Fun
This is Pete picking up some particularly volcanic dog mess. Harrowing at the time, but hilarious in hindsight. Type 1.5 fun, right there.

Type II Fun

Type II fun is rubbish most of the time you’re doing it, but it’s pretty great to brag about or learn from in retrospect. The walk we did to Kinder Downfall where we walked through a cloud for four hours, broke my phone, and my waterproofs proved woefully inadequate in the face of the task is a great example. My face hurt from the driving rain, my legs ached, and there was no view. Even if there had been a view, I couldn’t take any photos for fear of damaging my camera as well as my phone. Oh, and I couldn’t see the map properly.

And yet, I remember it as a really good day. That walk, in particular, taught me a lot about hill walking. I’m better prepared because of it and my cohorts and I look back on it fondly, often laughing about it because it was so ridiculous.

If you’re about to embark on an adventure that’s almost certainly going to suck most of the time, but you’ll look back on it with joy or will learn something useful from it, you can look forward to a Type II fun kind of day.

Type III Fun

Let’s imagine that Kinder walk again, but this time we’ll pretend that our navigational skills failed us, we got lost on a peaty moor with zero visibility, felt like we were in jeopardy the whole time, had to call out Mountain Rescue, and one of us fell off a cliff while simultaneously drenching a phone and a camera. That’s Type III fun. It was supposed to be fun, but it’s not. Ever.

Get Outside

If you fancy having some Type I fun on a hill, you can do a lot worse (and a lot better) than reading my Beginner’s Guide to Hill Walking.

If you’d like to avoid having some Type III fun on a hill, you should check out Mountain Rescue’s Stay Safe Out There guide.

Mark

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