I have probably spent more nights out under the stars this year than in any other of my forty-five year tenure as the 3,838,266,373rd homo sapien (and is there any coincidence that when I add all of those digits up it comes to forty-nine [seven x seven year chakra cycles according to the Buddhists] probably not).
As a result of several forays into the semi-wild (camp sites versus wild camping), a great many things have become apparent.
My children have a love for the great outdoors and appear happiest when safely ensconced in our part-time origami homestead surrounded by a sea of greenery and fresh air. When we are at home, like most post-nuclear families, we suffer from gizmo overload and frequently experience what I term “Technology Tourette’s”; that moment when you ask for a small piece of someone’s time and are confronted with snarls, jerks and abusive language due to the IT interruption.
I have a love for the great outdoors and appear happiest when safely ensconced in my part-time origami homestead surrounded by a sea of greenery and fresh air. I have travelled all over the world, experiencing a wide range of vistas, cultures and biospheres, but in my honest opinion there is no place quite like Snowdonia in North Wales. When the weather is fine, the majestic beauty and accessibility to nature and peace is second to none. Mountains, rivers, forests and trails are in abject abundance and with that comes a complete divorce from the internal noise generated from the rat race.
As a tinnitus sufferer, one would think that camping in the middle of nowhere in areas devoid of noise would drive one insane, but no. There is noise, the right noise, the noise of nature. No electric or traffic hum, no noisy neighbours or revellers, just trickling streams, bleating animals, rain, wind and the rustling of tent walls. These are all welcomed white noise sounds which allow anyone with tinnitus near perfect conditions for a silent slumber. External noise is one thing, internal noise is another. Being disconnected from both the connected world and the commercial world dissolves (albeit for a shorter time than I would currently like) all responsibility and associated stress.
Camping at official campsites with on-site facilities and a car boot full convenience is a bloody good start to get back to basics. Some of the sites I have visited this year have had a fair share of commercialism about them, whilst others are quite literally “a field with a loo”.
The next step I am about to take is wild camping, being somewhat inspired to do so by the writings and photography of “R.P”, also known as the UK Backpacker; a recent acquisition to my growing WordPress family, as well as the film Into The Wild, my all time favourite road trip / voyage of discovery movie. Thankfully “R.P” has already given me some sage kit, food and supply advice and his most recent trip to Snowdonia is similar to my planned inaugural hike and wild camping expedition with my son “L” from LLanfairfechan to Betws-Y-Coed over a few nights.
I guess ones takes inspiration where one can and I need look no further than my children. “J” in his focus and dedication to fitness and nutrition is a model of bodily perfection, even though it is seriously out of my grasp (at present) due to the pressures of modern life. “L” in his focus and dedication to creativity, with acting and public speaking turning him into a supremely confident and competent young man. “K” in her focus and dedication to absolute kindness towards humans and animals, with a wanting to commune with nature and the outdoors whenever possible.
If I had their combined strengths, if I had a portmanteau of their individual skills and drive, then this future gestalt state of mind, body and soul will help me to succeed at wild camping, I just need to work on that over the coming weeks in preparation for the trip.
As I contemplate what may be some turbulent waters on the job front over the next six months and with it potential financial precariousness, I take solace in the fact that I am not only surrounded by a wonderful family but also a realm of greenery that is within a short journey from the non-origami homestead in Wirral. If further contemplation is required, I will of course refer to the photos below…