Less Screen Time, More Outdoor Time – Kaitorete Spit

“On a Mish” #239 Less Screen Time, More Outdoor Time. Kaitorete Spit. 3.1.2021. As the world becomes more integrated with technology, people are spending more time looking at a screen of some sort, and less time in the wilderness. I have a personal goal to make sure my Nephew (9) and Niece (5) enjoy hiking enough at a young age that it will become a spare time norm in their futures. You really feel your age when you start using expressions like “when I was your age” and in regards to technology I find myself saying the expression to both Nephew and Niece often. As much as I enjoy the stories from the past about explorers with next to nothing surviving for months in the mountains, I am a fan of the enhancements to a mission at little technology makes…

For me, music and hiking have always gone together. Nothing like powering up a hill early-ish in the morning with a soundtrack to match the pace of the climb. Also there have been many times when a normally quite remote valley has been flooded with the sound of the Wu-Tang Clan. So I do think there is a place for modern technology in the outdoors, but I think playing Minecraft in the tent is far from the right way to enjoy a camping trip! With all this in mind the plan was to head out to Kaitorete Spit for a night camping on the beach. Joined by Benji’s dad Paul Mosley (brother-in-law), we drove out to the beach in the afternoon, and then a series of back and forth trips from the car to the campsite led to the beginning of an epic mish. Things didn’t get off to a good start when after setting up the tent Benji (9 years old) asked if he could watch a movie on his dad’s phone. And also the area was covered in swarms of Lake Flies. Not a great start but we hoped that with some dinner his mood would change. Luckily it was a case of ‘han-ger’ (grumpiness caused by lack of food) and after cooking up some sausages on the fire he bounced back to life. What started as a windy afternoon quickly turned into a stunning windless evening. We weren’t the only ones enjoying the evening, as we could see a large group of people and cars a couple of kilometers down the beach fishing. On many occasions I have seen excellent sunsets at Kaitorete Spit, and we witnessed an impressive display of colors as the sun kept disappearing and reappearing from the streaks of cloud in the sky. Once the sun had finished its spectacular show for the evening it was time for a game of beach dune spotlight. Benji proved to be very good at the game, and on one occasion we couldn’t find him and had to use the ‘GAME OVER’ call! At a time we would lie about the next day to his mother, Benji finally was ready for bed, and both he and Paul retreated to the comfort of their tent. I had decided that the night was perfect for an outdoor sleeping experience in my bivvy bag. I drifted off to sleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

Sunset from Camp Kaitorete

Early-ish the next day I woke with the sun on my face, and a bivvy bag covered in morning dew. Eventually I was joined by first Paul, then a very tired looking Benji about 20 minutes later. The late night had taken its toll on the poor boy, so after a quick breakfast of porridge on the beach, we packed up our camp and headed home. It is safe to say now that the mission was a success, and we are planning future trips together for the future. It turns out Benji is now keen to start a website/youtube channel, and document all his missions into the wild. I wonder where that idea came from….

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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