Mike Grant searched for Viking treasure while camping with his own dad, and wishes to impart the same sense of adventure to his sons.
When I was a boy we had an old tent which seemed to me like it held an entire universe inside it. Modern tents are incredibly easy to put up but I can remember my Dad struggling away with this one for what seemed like hours. Meanwhile, I would be sitting by the river or in the car, lost in my daydreams about the animals which surrounded us and imagining what great stories he would tell me later on.
Those campfire tales he used to tell me have all stuck in my mind and I tell the same ones to my kids these days, although I don’t have the same brilliant story telling voice my Dad has. One special trip we made was to the Scottish Highlands. I was about 10 and it was the furthest I had ever been from home. It took us hours to get to the remote spot we were going to camp in and I honestly don’t know he managed it in those pre-GPS days.
Once we got there he told me that there was meant to be buried treasure next to a stream and we went looking for it. It seems as though some Viking chief had buried his fortune there and he met a terrible end before he could go back to claim it. I have no idea how much of the story he made up and how much of it was based on some sort of true facts. Either way, we gathered up a few essentials and he fashioned some type of divining rod which he said would help us find the underground lake which was apparently next to the buried treasure chest. Actually, when I think about it now I am pretty sure he made the whole thing up.
We never found that Viking treasure and instead we got lost in the woods just as it was getting dark. We ended up having to climb up a tree to try and find out our position relative to the car before it got too late to see anything. When we finally got back to the tent it was a huge relief and we had the finest meal of hot chocolate and marshmallows I have ever tasted in my life, while my Dad told me how many famous battles had taken place in that same spot over the years and about other hidden treasures in other parts of the county which we could look for next.
Nowadays I love nothing better than going camping with my family and trying to make them feel that same special feeling which I got all those years ago. If I can give my boys even half of the special memories my Dad has given me over the years I will feel as though I have encouraged them to live a more adventurous and interesting life. Who knows, we might even find that Viking treasure after all.
photo: pagedooley / flickr
Originally published on theoutdoorsdad.com