I’m quite excited, I get to go camping this weekend. The boy’s school has organised a father and son’s weekend, and I’ll be picking up the boys and heading off for two days and nights of manly adventure. I don’t know who’s more excited, the boys or me?

I used to do a lot of this, packing up and heading out to the wilds. There’s little of the Rockies, Coast Mountain ranges, and islands off Vancouver I haven’t hiked or canoed about. I’ve done it in the wet, dry and snow. Sometimes I’ve had a full set of gear and food, sometimes just a knife, flint and a bit of twine and fishing hooks. I’ve done it on foot, ski, canoe, small boat and horse back. There’s been years when just about every weekend I’d get myself out somewhere different.

Then life changed and I stopped. It really stopped when I came over to Europe (yes yes, I know, is England really part of Europe). Its just not the same here. Oh, I mean I get out walking, LL loves that too, but doing a days hike from pub to pub just isn’t quite the same thing (though a very nice way to end a day). And going to a camp ground that has flush toilets, tables and swimming pools lacks that certain… I don’t know, but its not very wild.

I’ve woken up to bears snuffling outside the tend, shared my fire with skunks (you have to be very nice to skunks), given my lunch to a moose (they like carrots you see), put the edge of my paddle through the bottom of a rainbow (sorry, no pot of gold (unless it was hidden under the water)), and generally seen the world before man invented concrete. I miss that.

This weekend won’t be like that. Its nice and tame, we’ll have access to showers and toilets. Yet it’s the first time I’ve taken the boys to sleep without a tiled roof over their heads. We’ll do lots of things together, cook and eat outside, be with lots of other men and boys (I am told a big flat screen and satellite dish has been arranged for the England match (like I said, not very wild)). It will be the first time of many.

I can’t wait.

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