Sunday, December 1, 2013

A Trip To The White Sands

It's been a good long holiday weekend here in South Carolina and yesterday the children and I went for a hike to a secluded hillside on my wife's family property called "The White Sands".  I've heard story after story about this area in the woods where my wife and her cousins would play, camp out, have bonfires, and meet for singalongs and other family gatherings during her childhood.  It's one of those special places that looks about the same as it did decades ago with short scrub oak trees and pines and underneath the dead leaves and pine straw, the reason for it's namesake, the white sand.

Besides getting outside for a few hours after a couple days of Thanksgiving feasting, it was also a really good excuse to carry along the Explorer Kettle from Ghillie Kettle to give it a go while the children played, gathered small pieces of wood for the fire, climbed trees, and played (carefully) with the hatchet. 

All it takes to get the Ghillie Kettle going was lighting a small pile of tiny sticks and dry leaves in the fire base.  No need to cut down a tree for this as there was more than enough fallen branches and pieces of dry wood scattered all over. 

When the fire needs a little more kindling to keep it going, small sticks can be added from the top of the kettle or by through the hole on the side of the fire base.

Within minutes the cap was whistling and water was boiling inside.  Since this was the first time I had used the Explorer I discarded the first couple kettle fulls to make sure the inside was clean of any debris.  I had a good time working out the kinks of using the Ghillie Kettle while the children played.

The more time that I spend outside with the children, the more I am convinced that the water and woods are far better investments of their time (and mine) than inside staring at a screen playing games or watching a show.  Give a child a small shovel, a hatchet, and a pile of wood and see what they will imagine and create.  It's really neat to watch.

This was just the first trip with the Ghillie Kettle but we were all impressed and had a good time making hot chocolate to take the edge off a cool fall afternoon.

This post is a short review of a very cool product but also a reminder to get outside with your children.  They will dig it and you will too.


Middlemac said...

Beautiful! Very similar to my wife Anne's family play spot called "pine straw hill" and "the gullies" in Alabama. Fun!!

Supernapy said...

Awesome story man. That kettle is really gangster. I should get one for streamside.