Camp in the great outdoors for some family bonding

Nur Ain Mohd Said and her children bonding time in the river while camping.

PETALING JAYA: From sunny beaches to picturesque highlands, Malaysians are taking to the great outdoors and pitching their tents to camp for family holidays. Sulaiman Zakaria, 34, said camping with his family not only enabled him to strengthen their bond, he also gets to enjoy his hobby - fishing.

When we go camping, we do almost everything together – from assembling the tent to tidying up, he said.

“There are a lot of activities that children and adults can both (do together),” said Sulaiman.

He added that he and his family would go camping twice or thrice a month depending on the weather.

“We usually go to Port Dickson in Negri Sembilan, Bagan Lalang in Selangor or Melaka.

“We prefer camping because I like to fish. There are (many) activities so we won’t get bored.

“Camping also allows us to make new friends, which makes it more fun than staying at a hotel and not knowing who your neighbours are,” said the private sector worker.

A typical camping day for Sulaiman and his family would involve fishing amid periods of rest. They would also sometimes cook fresh fish caught by fishermen and catch crabs when the tide is low.

Sulaiman said they preferred to camp at fishermen villages as the public toilets there are clean.

“My wife is quite particular about toilets. So far, we have camped at locations with clean surroundings that are quite scenic,” he said.

Besides enjoying nature, camping is also more affordable.

Camping, he added, was also cost-saving as they would only need to fork out money to buy camping equipment once.

“Accommodation costs, travelling and all that can reach up to hundreds of ringgit,” he said.

“Nur Ain Mohd Said, 32, who was hooked after her first camping trip, now camps with her husband and three kids at least once a month.

“After being introduced to the world of camping, my family and I rarely went to hotels.

“Camping allows me to strengthen my bond with my kids. And even (though we get) tired, we enjoy (the experience).

“We can even make new friends,” said the staff nurse.

Nur Ain, who has camped at various campsites, including those near beaches, rivers and in the highlands, said her favourite activity was cooking for her family.

“As a staff nurse, I rarely cook at home because I’m always tired when I get home from work. But when we go camping, I enjoy cooking,” she said.

She also recommends Malaysians to go camping, adding that she has successfully convinced a few of her friends to do so.

“Camping allows me to save more too because if we check in at hotels, my kids would want a hotel with a pool and bathtub (which can be quite costly), she said.

Nature lover Alex Chan, 26, enjoys relaxing when camping.

Chan, who camps once every few months, said he enjoys being surrounded by nature.

“I would definitely recommend others to go camping.

“You can learn some survival skills, disconnect from technology and just relax,” said the human resource business partner.

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