Thrifty Outdoor Adventures pt1.

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Rather ambitiously I want to start a series of posts documenting our search for fairly cheap adventures outdoors. I am trying to curb my cravings for a campervan. There are SO many more ways to explore the outdoors than in a campervan (to some that might be blindingly obvious but my head is kinda strange at times). We also want our boys to grow up loving the outdoors, I figure as much exposure as possible in as fun a way as possible will help. This week I feel like I’ve come out of the gloom of winter and that although it’s freezing out there we need to start being more intentional about getting outside.

Today we kicked off the adventures by heading to Seven Sisters Country Park and a walk down to the beach at Cuckmere Haven. I wasn’t sure whether the extreme cold or the extreme moods of son2 in his 3 year old grumps would bear this out as a wise choice but we took the plunge anyway. It was a delightful success, here are some of the ways we tried to make it as fun and manageable as possible:

Getting prepared.
We decided that instead of just dragging the boys (aged 5 and 3) out of the door that we would give them as much involvement in this endeavour as possible.  All week I’ve been dropping in hints of what we would do on Saturday and asking son1 for his advice and input. We are reading Swallows and Amazons to Son1 at the moment so any mention of exploring is a winner in his book.

Embrace a good list.
We wrote a list of things we would need to pack for our picnic, healthy and slightly less healthy. Son1 had lots of ownership over what went on the list which made him super excited about it all, we also promised the joys of cocktail sausages and pork pies, along with some super healthy wraps, cut up pepper sticks and some fruit.

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Food is your friend.
I made flapjacks (“NOT YUCKY ONES MUMMY” Advice which I took to mean put loads of sugar and butter in them) these were very useful in son2 surviving the whole hike to the sea and back. He’s happy as long as there is constant food available.

Did I mention lists?
Son1 loves a list and so before we headed out Husbandface and the boys made a spotting list of things we might find to tick off as we went along. I think we found pretty much everything on the list (except Swans, clearly it wasn’t the weather for Swans…)

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Go at their speed.
We went at their snail like pace and enjoyed the scenery. I think I sometimes forget their legs are uber small, I get easily frustrated that we aren’t fast or that it doesn’t feel like enough exercise. Thankfully I had sated my desire for endorphins the previous two days and so could enjoy a slower pace to life today.

Make it fun.
I recommend getting hold of a brilliant person like my lovely husbandface who can raise the joy when icey cold wind is blowing in your face on the way back and it all gets a bit too much. Son2 saw a brief bit of shoulder action but was persuaded back into walking with more flapjack, a quick rest and some fun chasing of each others shadows. Constant encouragement and i-spy also made the walk back from the beach easier.

All in all I think it was a great success, we made the most of a beautiful cold sunny day, we ate outside, we had fun, son2 only had one teeny tiny moment of being on the edge and we walked just over 2 miles with them. Now to think about where we can get outside next week.

And the thriftyness?
We spent £3 on parking and used some of our petrol in the car. We had enough cake and hot chocolate in a flask to make the lure of the tea shop seem less tempting and even the boys could see that ice cream on a day like today might be a bit mad.

Part 1. It’s. A. Win.

(sorry, watching too much swashbuckle as we warm up back at home…)

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