On Camping with small children….

you def need stamina, thats for sure.

If you don’t have that, then don’t try this at home folks.

Since we are officially poor, and poor people have to go on free holidays, we decided to go camping. The galil is packed with gorgeous camping spots and our neighbours have all the gear so why not?? We chose Park Hayarden, recommended for small boys as they have lots of muddy streams to play in. We decided to start with a simple overnight (two day) trip so we could test the water.

One small problem. With 3 kids under 5 (including a new baby) it pretty much means Husband has to do all the shleppy labour, whilst I was feeding a thirsty baby (there wasn’t much shade, so we had to keep moving him around so he wouldn’t get sunstroke). The kids are still a bit young to really help, and actually still at an age where they need help with quite a lot of things, especially in a new environment.

So lets just say it was a working holiday. A friend joined us for the day with her son (born the same day as Yaroni, bless) which made it a bit easier having another pair of hands but still bloody hard work. In line with our new frugal lifestyle I decided to avoid having a tacky barbq (since when do poor people eat meat in any other culture except israel??!) and opted for cold salads, pittot, potatoes on the medurah (bonfire) and a special treat – halumi on sticks (mmmm, that was really fabulous. I recommend.) Lovely except our friend was convinced our potatoes would not cook and told Husband to throw them into the middle of the bonfire. Result: black potatoes. But all part of the fun and really quite ok when you remove the charred bits and douse with ketchup.

After we had all showered off and my friend had left and the kiddies were sleeping, it was quite romantic being out in the woods, except there was some youth movement having a party in the next campsite and they were partying quite loudly. Very late. I couldn’t sleep from the noise. Even the baby couldn’t sleep from the noise and he was FOUR MONTHS OLD! At 3am I thought, they have to go to sleep eventually right? Wrong. They were up til around 4am bouncing balls and playing music and up again at 8 blasting a Shlomo Artzi remix whilst we ate our breakfast. Our lovely, quiet, fresh morning was spoilt. I love Shlomo Artzi, I just don’t want to hear him in that environment. Surely the whole joy of being out in nature is just listening to the sounds of nature?? Husband made use some great eggs on the camping stove and we attempted to play in the streams again except by 10am they were mobbed because every kid in Misgav was out on a tiyul there. There I was, standing in my bikini (I wont see anyone I know out here, right?) whilst herds of kids many of which belonged to friends of mine ambled past waving. Yikes.

Anyway the kids were exhausted, it’s true what they say, fresh air is exhausting, especially if you are not used to it – plus they had been up late and up at the crack of dawn so we left a little earlier than planned and came home for lunch. It was a fabulous experience but I have to say I would prefer to visit a non-campsite and have real tranquility. There are rules about only camping on designated areas here but people do it anyhow. You have to carry enough water to sink a ship if you do it in summer and manage without amenities but I think its the only way you get some peace. Camping is about feeling close to nature, and call me an old fart but I don’t want to hear other people’s noise. I have enough noise from living with 3 little boys, thank you very much.

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