Archive for April, 2017

Campout Fun In The Park

We gathered outside Richmond station in the evening light and after quick hellos, started to make our way up the hill to watch the beautiful red sunset over the river before making our way into the park and finding a little copse of trees with a small clearing, the perfect place for 10+ people to share.

Out came the ground sheet and on went the snacks. There were homemade flapjacks, a loaf of bread to tear and share (a trademark of Laura-led YesTribe campouts), delicious chocolates, crisps and, pleasingly, some freshly-mulled wine. We got underway with introductions.

“How did you hear about the YesTribe? What does it offer you (or mean to you)?”
YT campout pic 10.4.17

“I met Dave at Explorer’s Connect.”
“I was on the Mississippi with Dave.”
“I heard about it through Project Awesome.”

“I have been living abroad for twelve years and the YesTribe offers me a way to find like-minded people in this country.”

“My job is stressful and it feels good to get outside for a night.”

“It’s nice to spend an evening with people who don’t think I’m crazy just because I want to sleep outside.”

“I don’t have to explain myself to my fellow YesTribers.”

“It’s a way to reset my batteries in the midst of manic London life.”

“It is exciting to be around like-minded people.”

“Tell us something interesting you did recently.”

“I ran a vertical mile.”

“My work agreed that I can go down to a four day week.”

“I had a go on Dave’s half-bike in the park.”

“I just got back from travelling around the Balkans.”

“I learned how to ski.”

“I signed up to the Sierra Leone marathon.”

“I decided to make proper steps towards moving to Italy.”

As we shared our stories, more and more common ground was found. The phrase “like-minded people” came up again and again. It was a few people’s first campout. Others had done plenty. Someone wanted advice about how to carry camera equipment while running a marathon. Someone else had a contact in Italy. Someone else wanted to learn how to stand-up paddleboard. One of the group was fresh back from a three month stand-up paddleboarding trip. Someone wanted to cycle through South America on a homemade bamboo bike. Someone else knew someone who had built their own bamboo bike. One person is forging their way ahead to a zero waste life. The rest of us marvelled and asked for tips.
This is what campouts are about. Learning from each other. Feeling our hearts warm as they fill with inspiration.
YT campout happyface
A few late stragglers joined us as we put out tarps to protect us from the rain we knew was coming in the early hours and got into our sleeping bags.

We awoke to a scream from eight-year-old Emily (“Aaah! There’s a slug!”) and the smell of coffee being brewed. One of our number is an expedition leader and, like a boy scout, he had come prepared. The cool factor sky-rocketed as he whipped up bacon sandwiches (with ketchup!) and freshly made coffee. We then slowly packed up our stuff, gave goodbye hugs to early leavers and configured our brains for re-entry into the ‘normal world’.
YT campout bacon sandwich
In fact, the more nights I spend outside, as nature intended, the more I think that this is what normal is supposed to be.
(Thanks to the gorgeous Anna for the amazing images! Find more of her stuff here.)