Once the nights get warmer, we plan to start camping with the kids over the weekends. They are both now old enough to hike a pretty good distance, as well as carry some of their own equipment. They are also interested in, and capable of, carrying out many of the survival skills involved in camping.
So, for the moment, we are in training! On Sundays, we get a picnic ready, and load it and any other equipment up in backpacks. We then set off in the opposite direction from the village (which is the only inhabited place for miles around us). We hike until we find a place we want to “camp” at (with breaks along the way if necessary), and then we make camp. We all eat, then the kids play and explore while we relax in the hammock! Last weekend, the boys paddled in the creek, and Leo even went swimming. Admittedly, it’s been a very mild winter, but still… that water is COLD, which means our child is just plain crazy!
As we get more into this practice, we will increase the distances hiked and weight carried. We will also start assigning more and more tasks (like gathering firewood, stringing up the hammocks, setting up a fire-pit, using flint to start fire, etc.). Once spring arrives, there will also be a lot more food (weeds) to forage. The boys are most excited about taking their slingshots, in the hope of bagging some little critter for dinner! I’m sure they’ll improve a lot over the coming weeks, but I think I’ll still be packing food for a while yet, just in case!