A guide to everyday adventures with mini-explorers, Charles Fanshawe - Moorswood Field Rugs, takes us on a wander through the forest with his family, sharing how he passed on his love for exploring the outdoors to his children, helping them to find their own connection with nature.
Words & Photography by Charles Fanshawe | @moorswood
Doorstep wanders have become our new normal. Putting on your boots and wandering from home is a very special thing indeed.
Adventures don't need to be mountains climbed or three-day backpacking hikes. The adventure is about being there; we just have to recognise the simplicity and beauty of doing it. As I write this, Summer may appear to be drifting towards Autumn, but that shouldn't stop our wandering, it's just a slightly different set of kit to wear and carry with you.
Companions on the trail
"We have tried for some time to encourage the kids to carry a pack of their own. It's great to choose a comfortable pack that works well for any situation, be it adventures on the moors or perhaps a walk about town. I am hugely encouraged by the fact that Millican are using 100% recycled post-consumer plastic waste for their Core collection. Their designs aim for longevity and are as practically useful as they are kinder to the planet."
I love the coast for it all brings to re-energise me, but spending time in the woods has to be my favourite way of decluttering my head and taking a moment to breathe. Even on a calm day, there's constant gentle movement in the trees and canopy above.
It's good to pause and look up every so often, letting the light dance across you. If we don't stop and notice the little things every so often then we plough on and don't reap the benefit of why we head out in the first place.
If I'm honest I don't always get the best reaction from our children when I suggest heading out for a wander. However, after a few years now of dunking them in Devon's rivers, and comforting them with hot chocolate or tea and cake on the bank afterwards, they too have come to love the mini-adventure it brings. We often head out with a few family squabbles but always come back as a team re-united, aglow from a plunge or battling through a freak downpour.
On this particular adventure we headed out along a local woodland ride. It meanders up through an old conifer forest, we strode on riding the powerful scent waves of pine needles and ripening blackberries. Below us in the valley is the ever-present sound of running water, chasing over rocks and gurgling through the tree roots. The forest and woodland paths follow the route of the valley. Urging the walker ever higher to the source of the spring perhaps. For us, tramping along, we are headed to a small plunge pool that has become a favourite place to pause and spend some time.
My daughter is now always the first one in and usually the last one out, a fabulous little river nymph. I don't feel like you need to be a hardy wild swimmer to enjoy these moments and we often wander without a river plunge, but never without a moment for a cuppa.
Taking a small stove to make a wild brew is the perfect way to pause. Sitting waiting for a kettle of river water to boil makes a mini adventure of the walk. It also grounds you to the spot for a moment longer; you are stilled, out in the wild.
We have tried for some time to encourage the kids to carry a pack of their own. It's great to choose a comfortable pack that works well for any situation, be it adventures on the moors or perhaps a walk about town. I am hugely encouraged by the fact that Millican are using 100% recycled post-consumer plastic waste for their Core collection. Their designs aim for longevity and are as practically useful as they are kinder to the planet.
As much as our way of lives has adapted and changed recently, so must the kit we choose to invest in and therby have our outdoor adventures. Accepting that there is more to be found and gained in just spending time in the wild places closer to home can only be a good thing for us all.