I saw it for the first time The Snow Peak Fireplace at Snow Peak Way, the annual outdoor cult branding retreat. Some fireplaces have been developed in the field, in the forested corners of the Columbia Gorge. Children of all ages gathered around them, using marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers, while their parents warmed their toes by their side.
My husband gave glow sticks to our two children and they ran like happy and slimy fireflies in the twilight that was fading. "It's amazing," he said. "We've never had that before."
"What's that?", I asked.
"We have never been outside and just let the kids go," he said.
Camping with children is difficult. Make no matter what It's harder with kids than without them, unless you want to jump into a bullet pit, eat ice cream or talk to a grandmother. I have a two year old son and a four year old daughter. They never stop moving, usually in a direction I do not want them to go.
When we camp, they search where I hid the hatchet and swing it, pretending to be pirates. They take each of our belongings out of their plastic bins and throw them into the ground. Or so, they stammer and push their face into the walls of other people's tents, as they were trying to piece together a scene of Are you scared of the dark.
"What did you expect?" Asked a friend once. "They are your kids."
Like our offspring, my husband and I had unlimited energy. A typical weekend day might have consisted of a five-mile trail run, an outdoor climbing, and then a skateboard for dinner. The outdoors was our playground and we tackled it at full speed before returning home to faint. When I planned a three day hike to Hawaii, my husband stopped us at the start of the trail at 6 pm. "You know, I bet we can run this thing, he says.
I put a water filter and a box of ravioli in my backpack and we walked the trail in less than five hours, by a heat of 90 degrees, with a cumulative gain of 5 000 feet and on narrow, rocky and unprotected footpaths on a rocky sea. We did it because we could, and if we had cut back the trip, we would have enough time to surf before going home.
All this changed once we had children. There are many parents who take very young children on extreme adventures, and I admire them. But I can not even walk my own to see a waterfall, not when there are rocks to throw and sand to put in their shoes. After a few trips during which my husband and I blamed climbing or boating, while the other was watching two grumpy infants alone, we started giving up.
It would be an exaggeration to say that a $ 300 home to take away and take away has changed all that. But it helped me to recalibrate my camping expectations.
The trip to the Snow Peak home was the first time in years that I camped without feeling like I was losing my mind. My family and I were out together, enjoying an early summer evening without worrying about why the camp stove burner was not working, nor trying to prevent it from happening. two-year-old child to go astray and fall into a nest of hornets.
The fireplace is versatile, durable and reliable. It folds flat to be stored in your car. So, it does not take the precious space you need for six billion stuffed animals. Then, it is revealed in an elegant metal basket: no DIY, no complicated configuration. It has a grill top, so you can put your pre-made chicken skewers on the embers while watching your four year old kid learn to play cornhole with a group of young adults nearby, all of whom will come to different moments you how much she is adorable.
He can grow and change with you and will last all your life. Snow Peak CEO Tohru Yamai designed it more than 20 years ago. To date, he has only received two complaints from clients. You can use it for cooking, as a fireplace in areas subject to burning restrictions, or for adding accessories to the oven or for hanging a small table. It looks nice, unlike my tiny hot stove for rickety hikers or my old rusty stove rusty. Everyone can enjoy and enjoy it – the crazy young man I was, the harried and nostalgic parent I am now and whoever I am in the future, when my kids will grow up.
I have not abandoned the adventure yet. I still have my fingers crossed. One day I will ask my kids if they want mom to tie them to a rope and hang them from the edge of a rock. If they look like me, they will think it's a awesome idea.
But in the meantime, I try to keep an open mind. My daughter, who thought camping was alternately boring and scary, now asks when we are going to go. Opportunities have begun to open: wide flat gravel paths and rustic lodges, coves with sandy beaches. Instead of dragging our kids on a summer expedition to mountain biking in Idaho, maybe we'll just rent a yurt near a lake. We'll light the fireplace, throw some hot dogs on the grill and take it as a day.
It took me four years to understand this, but maybe it's an adventure to make your kids laugh around a campfire at dusk, surrounded by tall trees. Sometimes, just go out the door. The home will probably last long enough for my daughter to go camping with her own children. When she does, I hope that they will give her hell. She deserves it.
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