Yesterday, whilst walking my youngest two home from school, my son said: "I am very lucky, I have been camping loads of times, some people in my class have never been."
Admittedly I didn't camp for the first time until I was 33 (shameful I know) but since our first wild camping experience, I certainly have the bug. The thrill of waking up and breathing in the fresh morning air was amazing!
Below was our second "wild camping" trip in 2014. Look how happy they are.
You see, there is just something so lovely about being in the great outdoors - you can't beat it. Growing up, I was very lucky that we had a big garden that backed onto woodland, so myself and my brothers spent a lot of time playing in the woods, making potions from dirt, berries and sticks.
For my own kids, living in a flat, without our own garden, getting outdoors is a must - I think it even forces us to try and go out walking in the woods even more than most families. I totally get the whole forest bathing concept - the Japanese know their stuff - spending time in a forest to reduce stress and feel a sense of wellbeing works for me. The stillness and golden light on a warm day or even the grey sky and rain in a woodland leave me feeling at peace.
Buying our bell tent two years ago was a big expense for us. Previously, we were camping in two small tents, it was fine, but we really needed more space. It certainly has had its use so far, we have camped in it six times and it will be used again in May.
Our outdoor equipment has started to accumulate nicely too - we have a little wood burning stove especially for our bell tent, we can cook on it and it provides that all important heat in the evenings - next on our list will be some good LED lanterns and torches - one thing we have found when camping is how quickly it suddenly seems to get dark - I have tripped over plenty of guy ropes!
My ultimate dream, some day, would be to have a garden of our own, in my our garden I would like a tree house or a gypsy wagon (I was even browsing eBay last night to see how much one would set me back) - dream big! I would also have a couple of hammocks, a little area for al fresco dining and some festoon lighting for the evenings.
“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir.
*This is a collaborative post*