Let the Camping Begin

Geek Culture

The summer camping season is officially in full swing; we took the kids out for the inaugural trip of 2007 on the Canada Day (July 1) long weekend. We headed to Sauble Falls (about 3 hours north of London, Ontario), for the perfect camping scenario: coolish weather, private and heavily treed campsites, a waterfall in the park, a beach nearby and fireworks. The only thing we had working against us was the drive, but I caved and we deployed GameBoys to the 4 year olds and a new Nintendo DS to my 7 year old (she was overdue for an upgrade). That helped make the trip there reasonably tolerable, at least once we sorted out the whole device maximum volume issue.

One of the highlights of the weekend was hiking through the woods. The kids were getting pretty cocky and racing along the pathways until we started to get a bit deeper into the forest and beyond the point where casual walkers would exit. The trails are marked and we showed them how to look for the markings, but even this could be difficult at times with felled trees and underbrush. I pointed out that it must have been challenging to navigate the area in the “old days,” without those handy paint markers. That made them think about it for a bit and we gave it a try for a few minutes, but even with relatively groomed trails, it’s easy to step off in the wrong direction.

One of these days we’ll introduce a compass into the mix and maybe try mapping the route out as we go. No cheating with a GPS, though- just because the kids get to bring toys doesn’t mean I do…

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