Journeys, &c

notes and images

Tag: camping

Western Mongolia

Lonely, windswept, and stunningly beautiful western Mongolia. To think such a place even exists on today’s Earth…

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Family camping at the beach

Let’s face it, camping rules. Once you get away from the city and everything that comes with it – work, devices, lattes – and sink into the nature around you, the rhythm of early starts and early nights, waking to the noise of birds and bugs, you’re always glad you’re there. It doesn’t matter if you’re bivvying solo on a high ridge in winter or with other people at a beach. The beauty is getting out there and leaving everything behind.

But with young kids? It’s surprisingly easy, as we have discovered. I wanted to say “here are some tips”, but there’s no need. Because little kids are, above all else, curious and keen to learn. Camping for them is new, different, and exciting. All you need to do is take them into the outdoors. And car camping at the beach is a great place to start…

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Solo camping…with a two year old child

“When I first met you, you were expecting your kid”, he laughed, this guy I know who came hiking last weekend with me, my wife, our two year old and some friends. “I remember you telling me you hoped to continue hiking as much as you could, and I went home thinking, ‘nup, won’t happen'”.

“But here you are, hiking with your kid”!

Here I am. But the truth is, when we were expecting our child, I did have darker moments where I imagined all that really was over. That my hiking-most-weekends lifestyle was over; that I wouldn’t get to go wild camping again for a long time. Determined not to let this happen, I started hunting around for gear that could help me take a small child into the hills. Somewhere on youtube – and I can’t find it anymore – was a Dad who took his one year old into the mountains using the baby carrier I ended up buying. He really inspired me. It’s fair to say, he changed my entire attitude to impending and subsequent actual fatherhood. From the moment I saw that clip, I wanted to do the same: solo camping with my little kid (my own youtube clip is at the very end of this post).

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Seven Days Trekking in Iceland

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Got a bit of puppy fat? Wanna lose it? Try this hike. I went in weighing 74kg. Seven days later, I was 62kg. In between, I’d lugged 30 kg up and down mountains, through rivers, across snow fields and volcanic plains. I’d eaten anything I could lay my hands on, including fish served through my tent window by an Icelandic child in the middle of a downpour. We saw sun, wind, rain and snow, just on the first day. And in all that time, I only had one shower. It was three minutes long and cost about five bucks. Welcome to the Laugavegur – Iceland’s famous and awesome trek.

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Choquequirao – Castle in the Sky

PAZU: “Laputa” is an island floating in the sky.
SHEETA: An island that floats in the sky?
PAZU: Yes. And although it’s said to be a legend… My father saw it!

Flashback of his father flying a dirigible through a storm; he catches a glance of a city high in the clouds and takes a photo

PAZU: It’s the photograph he took then. …Now, there’s no one living in the palace any more. But a lot of treasure is sleeping there. But nobody believed it. …But, my father’s not a liar.

PAZU: Now I’ll make it real — I will go and discover Laputa…

If you love anime, you’ll love Miyazaki. And if you love Miyazaki, you’ll love “Castle in the Sky“.

And if you love that, you’ll love Choquequirao, a real-life lost and ancient Castle in the Sky.

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Memo for Next Time – Bring More Water

If your Camelbak crumples with a demoralising gurgle, you know you’ve run out of water. It’s a particularly disappointing realisation when you still have several hours of climbing ahead and it’s getting hotter by the moment. Such was my predicament on the Great Wall above Sancha a few weekends back. How I got through it is a short tale of “adapt and overcome”, sprinkled with the never-exhausted “kindness of strangers” that makes life in China much easier than one might think it is. Click through for more on my solo overnight microadventure, and discover how I got from here to beer:

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Mt Jagungal and the Rolling Grounds

Summer in the Snowies. Fire risk, hot wind, horse flies the size of your fist. Perfect for a four day hike, right? Maybe not, but if you stay indoors with the aircon you also miss the alpine meadows, cool, fresh streams, snow gums and mountain huts. And above all, you’d miss the wonderful views from mighty Mount Jagungal, crows soaring in the updrafts, a glorious place on a deep blue sky day.   DSCN4423_1000

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