Camping is not about comfort and convenience

Outward Bound participants taking part in an activity at Punggol Drive.
Outward Bound participants taking part in an activity at Punggol Drive.PHOTO: ST FILE

When I saw the photo of the student campers with trolleys, I wondered whether Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) has started prioritising comfort and convenience over the ruggedness of camping (Student campers with trolleys spark debate, March 17).

If students take bags that are too heavy to carry on a camping trip, then OBS would have failed in its duty to educate them on the need to take with them on such trips only the essentials.

Camping trips are meant to expose students to the adventures of living in close proximity to nature, such as improvising and adapting available materials so as to survive in the wild.

If students are permitted to take the material comforts of the modern world with them on a camping trip, the purpose of such a trip will be defeated.

Allowing trolleys to mitigate the hardship of carrying bags runs counter to the objective of building ruggedness in students and toughening them up.

If generations of students before could weather camping trips without such help, I do not see the necessity of providing trolleys to the current generation of students.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2019, with the headline 'Camping is not about comfort and convenience'. Subscribe