When everyone else at my high school was getting hooked on their gameboys and playing football, I was building things in the woods and trying to make a leak-free roof out of old logs.  Suburbia  still makes little sense: everything from clothes to food to experience seems packaged and shrink-wrapped, made into a conveniently unreal commodity, so people can feel like they’re having an experience without any of the inconvenience of having to actually do things for themselves.

Yeah, man. Let us run free in the forest and become one with the trees.

Except that…

I’m not really a live-in-the-woods-and-name-the-kids-after-forest-fauna type, and the more balanced families already living off grid already seem to be really hardcore and capable of anything, or blog in Norwegian.

However, after reading stuff like the Accidental Hermit and the Old Fool Blog, I  figured I could try a night camping with the boys and see how things went, while giving then the chance to sleep under under canvas and contemplate the beauty of the night sky while taking a pee in the woods. Of course when I mentioned it to anyone they pointed out that it was March, for goodness sake, which meant cold, and where were we going to stay, and the tent has holes in it.

Practical people can be so annoying.

We asked around and found someone was willing to loan us a tent to freeze in. and an allotment a few kilometres away that we could put it up in, and another friend agreed we could collect water from their house nearby. We filled the bakfiets with tent, food, and blankets -especially blankets- and get it all up there.

And despite being wimpy townies, We survived. I taught the boys how to lay a fire, make fire lighters from newspaper (Growing up in an ancient house with no heating had its advantages) and how to tie a truckers hitch.

The next morning boys woke up as the sun rose. We had breakfast while learning the difference between a Kite and a Buzzard and the sun dried off the tent, then the boys played in with soil and sticks, and killed monsters in the woods. Then we went exploring for a bit, rolled the tent up, and came back home. No-one got food poisoning, stung, or frostbite. No-one used any soap either, but don’t tell Beautiful Wife.

Now I’m trying to work out the next step.

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