Let’s go camping

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There are many ways to camp, and it all depends on the three Ps—how deep your Pockets are, your Personality and the Place

Camping is one of those activities you either love or hate. Obviously you have to be a bit down to earth—in the literal sense of the word to truly enjoy it. If you can’t live without your hair dryer for a few days then camping (in a tent) may not be your cup of tea.

These days there are lots of choices to the way we “camp”—you can do it rough, or you can enjoy all the conveniences you have at home. It really depends on budget, your own personality and of course where you camp.

Here I am talking about camping—in the style a few notches above how I camped as a younger person. These days I am a little more precious and with the equipment we now have, I don’t wake up in the middle of the night freezing cold, questioning the sanity of what I am doing in the middle of “no-where”.

Camping can be a fantastic experience, but like anything you have to do a bit of homework to really get the most out of it. Camping with a group of like-minded friends can make it all the merrier and even reduce the workload and costs—in terms of equipment and preparation.

I’ve got a million camping stories, some of them beyond belief and I hope I save you from making some of the mistakes I made along the way.

Let’s have a look at the basic equipment you need. We’ll assume it’s mum, dad and the two kids….

In order to have a successful camping trip we need to cover three main things—shelter, food and bedding. In the days gone by, we always opted for air mattresses to sleep on. And back then we had to blow them up with our own lungs. Try blowing up a hundred balloons and you’ll know where I am coming from. Now we have self inflating mats made of deep Heavy duty PVC, 10 cm thick high density cell foam mattresses, a velour top for added comfort.

I’ve been told it is better to sleep on the ground, but my past experiences with air mattresses have been pretty dismal—being cold and they then often go down during the night, providing little or no protection from the ground.

This new generation of mattresses are just the trick, keeping you close to the ground so air doesn’t circulate under your body, but keeping you warm and snug—a rested camper is a happy camper.

Your sleeping bag should be your next consideration—and the quality and rating on these should be in keeping with the climate you are camping in. If it is hot you need something light and if it is cool something a little warmer. For the hotter periods I sewed some old sheets in the form of a sleeping bag and used them.

I had a look at some tents the other day—trust me there’s so many to choose from and it is quite confusing to say the least. Colemans are a well known brand, affordable and quite easy to erect. You don’t want too many pieces or poles or need a degree in lego assembly. A helpful hint is to assemble the tent before you go camping and number the poles so you can easily match them together when you go away.

The range of tents and accessories at Anaconda satisfies every camper’s needs and they offer great advice on where to go and what works best. I personally often seek out suggestions and purchase from the Hoppers Crossing Store.

Camping is one of those activities that I love doing with a bunch of friends—and there’s nothing more satisfying than being in the outdoors, away from the rat race. The air is cleaner, the nights shine more brightly and the smiles on the kid’s faces return—albeit after a few hours of sulking because there’s no internet.

The Coleman’s tents provide that extra shelter by way of an annex. Shelter is important and whilst it’s great to camp near trees, just make sure you don’t camp under gum trees, as they have a tendency to drop limbs.

Over the next few issues we are going to explore this pursuit in more depth and visit some of the most amazing camping grounds and less known treasures to set up camp around Australia! If you have any camping spots you wish to share with me, please do so kathie@indiansun.com.au

 

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