I’ve got so many great memories from my childhood, and it’s fair to say a good chunk of them were from camping with the whole family. Like that time my cousin, aka Lippy, completely ruined a good pair of jocks when he thought there was a spider in his sleeping bag; he nearly ripped the whole tent apart in a frenzy to get out. But you know what the funniest part was? There was no spider! Yep, it turned out to be a tiny little M&M chocolate that tickled his leg, of all things! In his defence we did spot a massive huntsman spider crawling between the main tent and the fly about half an hour earlier, which would give anyone the jitters, eh?
Then there’s the time our whole family (cousins and all) were playing “hide and seek” in the dark with nothing but a few torches and a full moon. My team was undefeated and just about unfindable until somebody indiscreetly passed gas just as the search lights came our way. It smelt like a bucket of prawns in the sun but the timing was dead-set impeccable!
Yep, those first few camping trips were enough to ignite a real passion, even as a kid, to get outdoors as much as we could. Heck, at just 12 years old we used to race each other to see who could set the dome tent up the quickest – not to brag, but my 2 minutes and 16 second record is still undefeated!
The family dog always made an appearance, too. In fact, I remember dad would teach Jake our Doberman to play “hide and seek” with us kids. I didn’t know it at the time but he was actually teaching the dog how to track us down by scent, you know, just in case we got a little too confident and wondered off on our own!
Looking back, I learned a heck of a lot of life lessons from those early childhood adventures. What’s the best one of all? Well, I reckon it’s not about where you go. It’s not even about how you do it. It’s about who you do it with. And if you ask me, it’s bloody hard to beat enjoying the great outdoors with the whole family!