06 October, 2017

A mid-autumm camping trip

Last time we packed up our camping gear in July we wondered if we would have another chance to camp before we go to Australia next year. And, we threw away our big, well-used tent, because it had too many holes to mend. We bought another, smaller one, because we thought the chance of the five of us all camping together in Japan again soon was slim. But then we realised that there was this weekend in October, with no cross-country meet and two full days off school with no responsibilities. So we decided to run away for rare mid-autumn camping trip.

However, this tent trial showed us that the new (secondhand) tent we'd bought was in good shape, but too small for five to sleep in comfort. We did have a second tent, but the tent trial showed us it was actually in really bad nick and also had to be thrown out.

So, for this trip we have borrowed a large tent which is similar in size to what we've used before. 

We're also going camping with friends this time. This is our third camping trip with these friends, we really enjoy camping with them. It's really great to camp with others sometimes. Here are some reasons why:

1. Even if our children are not exactly the same ages, they'll help entertain one another, which (hopefully) frees up the adults to relax.
2. Cooking and washing up gets shared, so there feels like there's less work.
3. It's great fellowship time. In the busyness of life, it isn't easy to find time to sit and be with others. Camping provides that time (as long as you don't try to overachieve by cramming your schedule full or camping for too short a time).
4. And the secret ingredient: it helps us all to be on better behaviour! Adding in not-family, and people step their game up a little (not pointing any fingers to any teenagers here...).

Maybe you've guessed, but we've pretty much decided that camping at the end of November is too difficult with the gear we have. It's too cold. We've been there and done it, and I think the snow at last year's late November camp did our resolve in on this family tradition. It makes for good memories, and we've called a halt to making more such family memories!

This will be a new campsite for us in a newish area for us. Yay, another chance to explore a different part of this gorgeous country. It's a bit further down the valley than the camps we did in November for a few years, so should be beautiful. But instead of being on the side of a mountain, it's on a highland area, about 1,200m above sea level. Thankfully the weather forecast is showing dry and fairly warm temperatures (low 20Cs during the day and low double figures at night). So I will be packing warm clothes, but it won't be extremely cold.

We're leaving after church on Sunday and will be back on Tuesday, so keep your eyes peeled for a post mid-next week to see how it all went.

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