Monday, August 11, 2008

Survival Camping

One of my favorite things about my husband is all the cool stuff he's willing to do with my children. They go with him when he practices shooting his bow, he takes them fishing, on day hikes, canoing, and camping. And now - that they are 9 and 7 - he apparently takes them 'survival camping'.

He has been working on going camping since the beginning of July, but things kept getting in the way. Finally two weeks ago he settled on this past weekend. Because wilderness time is essential to his happiness and state of mind, I do my best to make these trips possible. When he said he was taking the older boys even though I couldn't go, I was thrilled.

Trying to get any detailed information, i.e. destination, general plan, return time, etc., from my husband is practically impossible, so it wasn't until Thursday night that I had any idea of what he was planning. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: What are you going to do for a tent? (our medium one broke, and all we have is gigantic and tiny).

Him: We're not using a tent. We're survival camping.

Me: Oh. Where are you going? A campground?

Him: No. We're going up on the west fork of the Humptulips (yes, this is the name of a real river, and yes it is out in the middle of nowhere and over an hour from our house.) We're going to hike in so you'll need to pack them food.

Me: Hike? how far?

Him: Not more than three miles.

Okay, lets review. He doesn't get home until 4:00, has to gather all his gear, (I always pack for the boys) load the car, stop at Wal-mart for some last minute supplies, and drive for an hour. If they make it to their campsite before dark it will be amazing. Back to our conversation:

Me: Have you checked the weather forecast? It's supposed to rain.

Him: We'll be fine.

Me: But you're not bringing a tent.

Him: I'll bring a big sheet of plastic and we'll make a shelter.

It's true that my husband is the lean-to king (he was actually living in the woods in a lean-to made with a wool blanket and a couple of sticks when I met him - long story), but all I can picture are my two terrified children wandering around in the woods after dark (refer to last post to see how Liam and Niall feel about wandering around in the dark) getting rained on, while Rusty stumbles around trying to throw up a questionable shelter.

Have I mentioned I suffer from anxiety when my family members go running around in the wilderness?

Anyway, at this point in the conversation I knew there was nothing I could do. Logical brain said "they will be fine, it will be fun, and they'll have a great experience they'll never forget with their dad." Mom brain says "Aaahh! They'll be scared. They'll get soaked. They'll get sick. They'll cry and end up as cougar/bear food!" After many years of experience in this kind of situation with my husband, Mom brain is silenced (well, hushed to a volume audible only to me) and Logical brain overruled.

They didn't leave town until 6:00, and despite what they tell me, I'm sure it was pretty dark when they made camp. The report they brought home was that they: Made camp, ate snacks, went to bed. It rained. Liam got wet, and Niall rolled out of the "sturdy" shelter in his sleep. No one slept much. They woke up at 6:00 am and ate. It rained. They shot the bow and ate lunch. At 9:00 am they headed home and finished their car-snack on the way. They were home before noon. They had a blast. They can't wait to go again. I'm glad Logical brain won and they had this experience. Oh, and the only one who came down with a cold and went to bed sick? Their father.


Natalie said...

I know how much anxiety you get over this sort of stuff, so I'm impressed. It's cool that they do have these experiences! You never know when you'll need to have some survival skills.

by AnnieValentine said...

ha ha ha! Even though I have listened to you tell this outloud at least twice in the past 48 hours, I still enjoyed reading it. It's so nice to hear logical brain once in a while.

Jen said...

Are you saying you aren't used to hearing your logical brain, or you aren't used to hearing mine? Just wondering whether or not I should be offended...