To be amidst wilds with family is best way to build a stronger bond with the family. When I was little my parents took me and my elder brother for a memorable camping trip in Orchha, Madhya Pradesh. The bank of Betwa River near the lush green mysterious dark forest offered the delight of both adventure and the learning of the rich cultural heritage of that region.
The lush green forest offered many hiking and trekking trails which my father wanted us to explore. I being a kid wasn’t expecting the surrounds to be completely raw. I didn’t expect to fix my own tent in place and definitely wasn’t mentally prepared for that complete experience. And my father had a different plan, he didn’t only plan to have a nice camping experience where we can relieve stress of studies and get closer to the nature, be environmentally conscious but also wanted to teach me and my brother a lot about life so that we grow up to be a better independent people.
You will be surprised how a 2 night- 3 days trip in wilds can teach you.
1. Attitude of Gratitude :
We often take food for granted, especially when as a kid we make a lot of fuss over food, we have our favorites and choices. Many don’t even touch vegetables but like fast food and many kids don’t like raw food. Food. water and shelter are the most taken for granted things for a kid who has a well provided family but camping teaches the real value of all these things and much more. You will miss your warm chapatti when you would have to cook rice and beans or cuppa noodles after ten-twelve hours of trekking. Trekking and hiking exhaust you completely and then after you come back, you just want your mother to serve you nice warm plate of meal but while camping my father made sure that I and my brother be major part of all the activities. He taught us how to cook rice with minimum supplies over fire in a small tin container. It wasn’t all flattering but fun and educational. That experience taught me not to take things in life for granted and for grateful for what I have even the smallest of things.
2. You are your best assistant:
No one is born to assist you throughout your life, not a single person can be around you 24*7. You’re the only one who is your best assistant so it’s better to learn that sooner than later. When you are camping then you have to be resourceful and self-sufficient. You should learn the basic things like first aid and differentiate between poisonous plants and friendly plants. My father would ask me for my thoughts first in every situation like while trekking he would ask me in which directing we should go and why, he also instructed to remember the route we were taking, that made me think fast and make decision. It taught me to think out of the box spontaneously. Helping my father in fixing tent was nice but difficult; it’s not easy to fix a tent.
3. Be brave :
When I was little, if someone told me that I would have to live in dirt for 2 nights and almost 3 days, I would have laughed or not understand it but the camping is all about living in the woods, amongst plants, river and mud. Am I forgetting something, yes, wild animals. Well, not wild animals really but there is always this hidden fear inside for wild animals or some monster in dark. I remember the first night I was so scared that I couldn’t sleep for long, the noise of insects and rustling of leaves and distant sound of flowing river was enough to give my scary imagination a boost but my father told me it’s all in my head. He told me I can be braver only if I believe that I am, we are what we believe to be, and in the morning when I found myself alive and safe, I realized that I was much braver that I thought.
4. Small actions affect much bigger things:
Camping and campfire are the match made in wilds and when you make a campfire you kill organic matter on that part along with part several feet deep. That land is a waste land for long until it heals itself. So, one can’t simply just make campfire anywhere in woods because that would be like going to someone else’s house and thrashing their living room. We are guests of the nature so it’s a big responsibility to not disturb and spoil the nature. Animals, plants and insects thrive on the land and ruining it can disturb their lives as well. My father told us to leave the place in better shape than we found it. I then realized how anything I do can have a domino effect. It is indeed one of the lessons that matter the most to me.
5. Handle Discomforts :
Camping is definitely living out of the comfort zone, we don’t get to have own space and weather doesn’t operate according to our moods, mosquitoes are always there to sing not a pleasant lullaby. Although my father made sure that we had to face less discomforts but few things cannot be avoided and we just had to live with it. That is how life is, many times we don’t get what we want and we make best of our resources.
That camping trip wasn’t only one of the most memorable family time I had but it changed me in may ways, after all the lessons I got I am sure I have grown to be a self-reliant person.
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