Camping with family has been on our minds. We are a small family of three, comprising of two adults and one child. We love travelling but always ended spending too much on our trips and always had trouble booking stays as our plans were usually last minute. This coupled with the fact that we were on the journey of minimalism, camping seemed like a solution.
We began looking for a camping ground but were surprised and disappointed to know that there are no organised camping grounds in India. One could trek the mountains and forests but could not really camp without getting a forest official permission. The next question was where would one find the forest official and would it be safe?! We were quite disheartened and confused on how to pursue this interest.
We had been in touch with an organic farmer who lives in a village about 2 hours from Bangalore and had been thinking of visiting him to learn more about farming. Suddenly, that seemed like the place to start. We took the plunge and landed up in his village not really sure what to expect. Once we got to the farm, we looked around for a suitable place to pitch our newly bought tent from Decathlon. We found a level ground under the shade of a Moringa tree and we pitched our tent. Finally with the tent pitched, the camping journey had begun!
We also made fire with fire wood from the farm. Tea was the first thing we made on the fire and it tasted divine.
The irony – our forefathers cooked only on fire made with wood and to us this was something new! As the night approached we were both excited and nervous as it was our first time sleeping in the tent. No lights around except for the night stars and for company, we had few creepy crawlies slurping around the tent. We were sort of prepared for self defence but, didn’t get to demonstrate that night. The night was peaceful.
The next day we woke up to beautiful fresh air with dewy grass and misty morning. Lessons learnt from the night were – get ourselves a light air mattress, broad air pillows.
Well, this wasn’t just a camping outing. This was a barter at play – place to pitch our tent and food at the cost of manual labour. So, there was some sweating out in store too. After a stomachful of rustic South Indian breakfast, I settled on an Ocra patch to pull out weeds and I must admit it is meditative!
Meditation at work
Suhas decided to help our host with digging up a pit for the recycled bathroom set-up on the farm. The only tool being a spade. Aarav decided to claim the all the hardwork.
It was the first time we hadn’t spent a dime but still managed to have a wonderful 2-days-1-night experience. It was our first sweat-for-food-shelter barter system.
All in all a good start and it gave us the confidence that camping is definitely doable with a child. With the learnings from the night, new found confidence and a bit of body soreness we happily moved on to our next camping site. Pls refer to annexure for the details.
Things we carried for camping / hiking:
- Quechua Quickhiker 3 (tent)
- Forclaz 60 Easyfit L (backpack)
- Forclaz 70 Easyfit (backpack)
- Quechua inflatable small square pillow
- Prestige Solar Latern
- Gerber Bear Gryls Compact Parang (for self defence and utility)
- Tea pan, strainer, tea powder, whitener, sugar (in small plastic bottles)
- plastic plates, plastic mugs (Decathalon)
- 2 poly filled quilts
- Water bottles
- MTR ready to eat meals
- Family games
- Books to read
Things we didn’t carry but should have:
- First aid
- Rectangle inflatable pillows
- Didn’t carry outdoor stuff like badminton, etc.
- Self inflatable Quechua mattress
- Quechua tarp for extra shade / family space
Location: Aranya Eco Village
This place is open for volunteering. Pls feel free to contact Rajnish using the above the link.