Taking the Kids Wild (ish!) Camping…
Half way through the summer holidays and into my last week off work and there was one good weather day left (if the weather forecasts are to be believed!), so I gave the kids a few choices of possible activities… A bike, a hike or some camping. Unenthused I got a bedraggled “camping I suppose” answer!
Didn’t seem like my love for camping was a genetic factor then! With this in mind I wanted somewhere not too wild and somewhere we could bail out if the forecast bad weather moved in early! The forecast was for a fine evening and rain moving in around 8am the next morning. The grandparents live in the East Neuk and I know the area well, having spent all my summer holidays as a kid roaming the beaches and nooks and crannies on the coast down here. With my son suffering from nearly every allergy under the sun I knew I wasn’t going to going too wild and remoteJ
A nice flat area of grass next to the lighthouse and “Ruby Bay” was my intended pitch, but with this area on the Fife Coastal Path and also a very popular short walk I didn’t want to pitch up too early. Discrete camping and leaving no trace was the topic of conversation as I explained my reasoning to the kids as we headed off around 8pm. Two tents, four sleeping bags (yes 4!) three ground mats, four pillows (yes 4!) jackets, gloves , stove, sweeties, hats, extra socks and of course ipad, pods phones headsets (I needed a backup in case the TGO failed to entertain ;)). The load was heavy but I managed to get the kids carrying their own pillows (they were the ones who demanded two pillows each! Lol).
Before long the tents were up. Sunset was around 21.30 so I quickly set the kids a task of collecting some deadwood for a fire – if they could find enough! A handful of twigs arrived and the handful slowly grew larger as electronic devices drifted out of their thoughts. The forecast of clear blue skies failed to materialise though and sunset was a rather uneventful short burst of crepuscular rays - I was a little disappointed – but the kids were too busy looking forward to the camp fire to even notice J
With dusk approaching we got the fire going on a nice wee spot (below the high water mark) and it lasted longer than I thought, probably a good hour! Had my son had his way it would have been a 5 minute roarer with him wanting to add everything on at once lol! The only Apple that was being utilised was my daughters evening snack – an apple! Fire done and darkness had descended, we all had head torches so set off along the beach on a night time walking adventure (well that’s what the kids were enjoying!). 11pm arrived and it was time to get them to bed, I was also getting up at 04.30am to try and see if we would get a decent sun rise! The weeman was keen on joining me but I knew I’d let him sleep if he wasn’t already awake!
A little sleep later and it seemed I had only just got to sleep when I woke at 04.30am. A little shifting about and I rose and headed up to the light house to catch the sunrise. It was still a little cloudy but we got a brief blast of pink just before sunrise which was satisfying. Next thing I knew I saw a little head poking out of the tent and the weeman was quickly out and running up the hill to join me. He reached me just in time to see a glowing ball of fire rise over the horizon. The cloud was thin and tick enough to see the fireball and look directly at the sun rising – cracking and he seemed happy – absolutely no complaint or wanting to go back to bed to play with his electronics ! Braw!
Soon both of them were up and by 05.45 we were striking camp. By 06.00 we were heading back towards Grannies looking forward to a full Scottish Fry Up.
The Monsoon arrived at 07.00 and lasted about eight hours!!!
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...