At eight weeks old, strapped in a nappy, pacifier at hand, I was loaded into what was probably considered a less than satisfactory baby seat for the day, and driven off to a picturesque forest where I’d spend the next week sleeping in a tent. Not alone – I was eight weeks old; with my parents of course. This tradition, minus the nappy and pacifier, would continue throughout my childhood and into my adult life.
Times were good back then. And nothing has changed. They still are. Going camping from such a young age planted a seed in me that has roughy me alot about life, nature and gratitude.
You see, life is like this for me… I work, as we all do, raise a family, maintain relationships, work some more, sleep when I can, keep working, then I work a little extra. A trend right? You know the drill I’m sure. But it catches up and something inside, probably the kid wearing the nappy calls for me to go back to something minimal, to disengage from the world of tech, work, connectivity and people and engage with nature. The smell of the air is fresh, the trees are green and string, the water in rivers beside camp are free flowing and the glow of a fire takes you deep into reflection.
I love to go camping.
I have fond memories of being picked up from school on a Friday afternoon where Mum would say that Dad is at home waiting and has packed the car for a spontaneous weekend camping trip. Nothing came close to beating the happiness I had in those moments. I’d go home and the boot was loaded with camp gear, food and my clothes. I’d scurry around the house making sure I collected my own camping gadgets and gizmos (nothing battery operated except a torch – more so things like my water canteen, pocket knife and something else to keep me occupied on the trip to wherever the road took us.)
I always envisioned being able to extend the same level of opportunity to my own kids. Now I’m at that fortunate place. It had been a good year or two since my last camping trip and although the kids and stayed in a cabin in the woods, they were yet to experience the joys of sleeping in a tent for the night. After a tough year of work, I bit the bullet and booked a night a Bents Basin State Conservation Area (SCA) just outside of Sydney near Greendale, NSW. I’d stayed there before so I knew it was kid friendly, had the necessary amenities – the likes of toilets and showers to make the transition on the first trip comfortable for everyone and with a loaded car we headed off.
The weekend was a blast. The kids loved it. The wife loved it. It was a great opportunity to be present with our little family of four, just us and nature. I vlogged some of our time there and invite you to check it out here. Pictures (videos) speak a thousand words.