Competition time!

by admin on April 8, 2010


To celebrate the release of Boys, Bears & a Serious Pair of hiking boots, I’m giving away a fabulous signed gift pack. You’ll get a shiny hard-cover copy of Boys, Bears… PLUS a cute paperback of Sophomore Switch too!

To enter, just comment below, telling me about the best – or worst – outdoors experience you ever had. Hiking nightmare? Blissful camping trip? Tell me, and you could win this amazing prize pack!

Increase your entries by:

+ 1 following me on twitter

+2 retweeting my giveaway tweet

+ 3 blogging about the competition

Good luck!

(Competition closes Tuesday, April 13th; winner will be picked at random)

{ 1 trackback }

Tweets that mention Competition time! --
April 8, 2010 at 8:48 am

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Stella (Ex Libris) April 8, 2010 at 8:58 am

Congrats on the release!! :-)

My best outdoors experience was in the 2nd year of university: my best friend, our best guy friend and one of his friends were to go camping, but at the latest moment my best friend called it off!! So I had a dilemme whether to go with 2 guys and spend 3-4 days alone with them, I was worried that if 2 guys who werte friends aver since they were 7 wre ona vacation together I would feel and be left out, but on a whim I decided to go and wow I’m so glad I did!! I had the best time! The 2 guys were wonderful, I was the center of their attention (I’m not saying this in a conceited manner), they did everything with me in mind, we had a great time! We went near a huge lake, spent the nights barbequeing and playing poker, the days lounging on the grass or swimming, playing in the lake. It was such a perfect time!

+1 I follow you on twitter (@ Stella_ExLibris)
+2 retweeted the competition here:

Please enter me, thank you! :-)

Lenore April 8, 2010 at 9:23 am

When I lived in Ecuador, I went with my boyfriend and a male friend on a hiking trip to the subtropical bird watching area Mindo. When we got there a guide showed us a photo album full of Mindo’s attractions, including a 15 meter high waterfall. I personally had no desire to jump from the waterfall, but as my two travelling companions had told me if I couldn’t “keep up with the guys” then they’d never take another girl on their trips again. Pressure!

The hike to the waterfall area took about 3 hours and was fairly easygoing. We finally made it to the waterfall area and only then did I discover that I would have to cross over the river (that turned into the waterfall about 20 meters down) using a bridge made out of a felled tree! It looked slippery and although there was a handrail, it was broken (and therefore of no use). I was deathly afraid, but nevertheless, crawled across slowly (It would be even more dangerous the next day, I soon learned).

We dropped off our packs at a cabin and headed for the banks of the river to make the jump. After finally making it across the COLD river to a big rock at the head of the waterfall (it was hard to walk due to the slippery rocks and the strong current that was always trying to knock you over), we were instructed by the guide to climb down (using a rope) to a flat place in the rock from where it would be safe to jump.
My boyfriend went first… His hands gripped the rope, but his feet slipped from the rock, leaving him hanging. The guide told him just to let go… and so he dropped down the waterfall and plunged into the river below. We waited and waited, but we couldn’t see him! He had not surfaced yet and we were in a panic. Finally he appeared, and waved. We breathed sighs of relief.
Our friend was next. He made it to the ledge without slipping and jumped. He also took a long time to surface.
Then it was my turn. I couldn’t go back, so there was only one way down. But I was afraid I would also slip,and did not want to use the rope. The guide said I could just sit and then slide, as if I were on a waterslide. Worked for me… So off I went. I fell down the 15 meters and hit the water. But then I could not get out! The weight of the water coming down was preventing me from coming up for air, and it was stronger than the current that could pull me to safety. I was drowning. I saw my life flash before my eyes. At the last possible second, I pushed my way out of the water and breathed in air, beautiful air.

After the guide jumped (and also almost drowned), the four of us exchanged experiences and learned that basically we all almost drowned. The guide admitted that one has ever jumped during the rainy season, and in fact, he supposed it really was too dangerous and he wouldn’t recommend it anymore. The waterfall simply contains too much water and is too powerful during the rainy season. Umm.. thanks!
The guide went back to town, and we stayed in the lovely jungle hut, looked at the ducks in the river, and contemplated our near death experiences.

But it’s not over yet. It rained the whole night. We awoke with the sunrise and packed up to go back to town. We wanted to catch the milk truck that came at 9 am every morning so it could take us back to the highway.
The fallen tree bridge now especially posed a problem because it was extremely slippery, one false move and we’d fall into the river (our heavy backpacks and all) and be swept over the waterfall. This time we’d likely not make it.
Somehow we got over the bridge without incident, and proceeded through the forest on the trail. Unfortunatly, the dirt trail had turned into deep, slimy mud. The mud sucked my shoes right off of my feet so many times, that I just decided to go barefoot. By the time we made it back to town, I had mud up past my knees. The guide was surprised to see us. He said he figured we probably died, and he was about to hike out there to see. Thanks again.
We caught the milk truck. Basically, it was the three of us, and about 12 big open containers of fresh milk (at least it wasn’t rotten!). The road was rather bumpy, so by the time we reached the highway, milk had sloshed all over us.
The next task was to hitch a ride, rather difficult considering we were covered with mud and milk. But two military guys let us ride in the back of their pick-up, along with about 13 other people.
The first thing I did when I got back to Quito? Take a shower.
All this, and I didn’t complain at all. I proved myself, and therefore was invited along on further “guy only” trips.

I’m following on twitter and RTed the contest!

Claire April 8, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Oooh, can’t resist competitions. :) Congrats on the new book btw!

Worst outdoor experience (not sure if I have any good ones!) – going to the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking parts of Ireland – traditional summer experience for Irish teenagers to get away from parental units under the guise of improving their language skills for exams) as a teenager with two crazily-bitchy ‘friends’ – you know, the kind you have when you’re fourteen – and going sailing, kayaking and surfing in this bay out in the west of Ireland which was known for the not-so-occasional drowning. We were taught entirely through Irish – which, despite 10 years of learning it, was still pretty darn useless – so all the directions from the instructors were always either incomprehensible, or (by the time you’d figured out what they meant) entirely irrelevant, because you’d already been hit by the sail sweeping back around. Or you’d fallen overboard. Or, in the case of the friends, drifted over to the part of the shore where the lobster pots lived, and then fallen awkwardly on part of the boat. Days of being wet, bruised, miserable, misunderstood and misunderstanding, and listening to the ongoing refrain of “At least you didn’t lose your virginity to a SAIL!” from one of the aforementioned crazy-bitchy friends ensued.

Jami April 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I have to admit I have never been camping. But when I was little, me and my friends used to “camp” when we played outside. We would stay outside all day in our “campsite” in the woods behind my house. One day we found a wild totoise came up to us. it was huge! I’m talking you could ride on it (if you were five). We caged it in and kept it as our pet. We tried to feed it, but it wouldn’t eat our cheetos (who knew?). We named it Shelly. Once our parent came out later and checked on us, they were completely freaked out. They made us release it. I always look back with fond memories of our “camping time”. :)

+1 Following on twitter (@YAaddict)
+3 retweeted contest

JanAnn April 8, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I grew up in Northern Ireland in the middle of the troubles. To get Catholics and Protestants together a group called Holiday Projects West ran camping trips all around Ireland for children from both religions. I went camping with them four years in a row to a beautiful forest in County Down.

We had to wash in the river, put up tents, cook food for the camp and build our own latrines– basically it was to teach us that people from other religions weren’t the enemy.

Being a very shy twelve year old, I would never use the latrines, the embarrassment of someone hearing me going to the bathroom was too much for me to handle. If I had to poo I would run into the foliage away from all eyes and ears. On one of the days when I couldn’t hold it in any longer I made a dash for the bushes with my cleaning leaves in hand. What I didn’t know was that the British Army used the woods for training exercises.

When I finished my business, I looked up, and almost fainted, a pair of shocked, heavily camouflaged eyes were staring right at me from the other side of the bushes. I don’t know if he got there before or after, and I didn’t check to see if any other soldiers were hiding nearby. I pulled up my pants and ran like hell back to my camp. I didn’t tell any of my camp mates who would have found it hilariously funny. Oh, the shame of it all…

Following on twitter
Retweeted contest

Shelby April 9, 2010 at 2:52 am

After the first night of car camping, where I woke up to someone(thing?) standing outside the tent (I was convinced it was the nearby camper, ready to kill us; my boyfriend calmed me by telling me it was probably “only a bear”), I was on edge. The rest of the next day, we hiked over streams and up steep mountain paths…to be greeted by a beautiful meadow. We set up the tent (away from any would-be camping serial killers) and had a mellow afternoon. That night, I woke up again. I had a heard a distinct “thump,” followed by a dragging sound. I lay awake until the sun came up and then put my boyfriend in stitches searching for the thumping object and dragging path. We headed back to the car after we packed up our gear. Thumping Object was never recovered (but Dragging Path was never located, either), so camp at your own peril!

Christa April 10, 2010 at 2:50 pm

+ 1 following me on twitter (wordsrollon)
+2 retweeting my giveaway (

Well, I don’t go camping much. This is due in large part to how allergic to mosquitos I am… not deadly allergic (thank God) but whole sections of skin swell up like a balloon, it’s so uncomfortable. So if it’s mosquito season, I’ll be inside thank you.

However, camping isn’t all bad. I went camping once because I kinda liked this guy that invited me to come with a group of our friends & while we were there for the weekend he asked me to be his girlfriend around the campfire… then I married him about a year later… two and a half years ago (insert “awwww” here). : ) So, mosquitos are bad but camping is still good.

Thanks for the giveaway.

Spav April 12, 2010 at 8:57 am

Whili I was in school our science teacher loved to take us hiking. In one of our escapades, we went hiking for 2 hours and a half up on a mountain without a trail. We were all tired and most of us fell at least once. We wanted to go back, but our teacher convinced us that we would like to see what was ahead, so up we went and after another 30 minutes, we started to hear water. At our left, there was this huge, beautiful cascade. I’ve never regreted going up that mointain.

+1 Twitter follower: (@Sparima)
+2 Tweet:
+3 Blog Post:

Dwayne April 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm

My worst hiking experience was going to Dover Castle in Dover, UK. It was on top of a hill so we had to hike up this ridiculously steep path. After much toiling we arrived breathless, only to be shooed and told that the castle was in fact closed for reconstruction. I had to stop myself from strangling security and demanding why they did not put up a sign to save all those hikers the pain of climbing that steep path. So yeah, my worst outdoor experience by far.

+1 Twitter follower (@choisooyeon)
+2 RT (@choisooyeon)

Thankies! :)

Sherry April 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm

+1 follow you on twitter @ssalach21

+2 retweeted your giveaway tweet

I haven’t been camping much but my family used to go hiking all the time. I hated it. I was always slower than everyone else and I would always get blisters. My dad’s a big workout buff so he was always doing something like that. I learned to enjoy it for him. Now I miss those days!!! :(

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!! :)

Alannah April 12, 2010 at 5:51 pm

My worst would be a hiking trip i went to back in 04. We were supposed to be climbing the highest mountain in the country and it took about 5 days to get from point A to point B. Needless to say, i was pooped by day 3 already… precisely the day we were supposed to get to the top. I never got to the top.

+1 Following on twitter: @alannah7

Hanna April 12, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I’m excited for your book! Sounds really cute and I love the outdoors! Congrats!

My worst outdoor experience was during our class trip in Ardres (in France). We sailed on a lake and our instructor gave us a choice: either to continue to sail or try to capsize our sail boat on purpose. My teamates and I thought it would be better to keep on sailing, but to try capsizing our boat was tempting enough to change our mind. When our boat capsized, my life-jacket made it even more difficult for me to swim. As I’m struggling to swim, one of my shoes fell off my foot. I got back into the boat and waited for my shoe, hoping for it to float, but it did’t, so I just hopped on the way back to our tent. Because it was a school trip it was my only shoe and my teacher had to buy me one!

+1 Twitter follower: (@zanna18)
+2 Retweeted contest: (@zanna18)

Thank you Abby :D

Kelsey April 12, 2010 at 11:50 pm

My best hiking adventure was in Peru. Hiking Machu Picchu was an experience in a million. In blistering heat we climbed for hours, but it was all worth it in the end to the see the fabulous sight when we finally reached the end of the trail!

+1 follow you on twitter!

Great giveaway!!!

Catie S April 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm

+ 1 following me on twitter
Done! @meow_mix85

+2 retweeting my giveaway tweet

+ 3 blogging about the competition

Emily Strong June 14, 2010 at 12:47 am

One of my best outdoor experiences was at girls camp, the land of licorice, camp songs, and misquito bites. One time all the girls were pulling an all-nighter and everyone was having way too much fun. There was a great deal of laughing, which eventually turned into screaming as a gigantic slug was discovered in the tent. Now, normally we would have just ignored it. Slug? We’ve seen plenty of those. But something about being hyper in the middle of the night with a bunch of other girls does something funny to the common-sense part of your brain. The best part about it was somebody found it in their sleeping bag the next morning! Ah, girls camp. I had so much fun.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: