I recently attended a camp with my daughter. Now, I have limited experience with camping. There was the time I went to Kangaroo Valley, and our tent collapsed in the middle of the night, and the wombat population decided to climb on top of me, laying under the flattened canvas. The less said about that the better! I have some handy hints, learnt from my limited experience.
- Buy a popup tent. Our campsite got flooded, and the people who fared better all seemed to have popup tents.
- As we struggled to get our tent up, we noticed the ease of which the pop-up people had erected theirs. Within minutes they were done!
- Buy a tent that has a decent height. I am under 5 feet tall, but still had to crouch every time I went in and out of the tent. It was hard to do with a fused spine! My next tent will be of such a dimension that I can just walk in.
- Buy self-inflating mats. We brought along air beds, which went down constantly. We had to keep lugging them over to the air pump. The first night, we slept on the ground whilst rain water ran underneath the floor of our tent. Self-inflating mats are easy and surprisingly comfortable.
- Buy mini-toiletries to take along. Nobody needs big bottles of shampoo or body wash when camping!
- Bring a first aid kit, with painkillers, Band-Aids, bandages and disinfectant for the inevitable scrapes.
- We had to attend several functions, and those ironed clothes that we had neatly folded, were in no shape to be worn after being retrieved from our case. Only bring clothing which doesn’t crease.
- Bring fairy lights to decorate your tent. Okay, normal lighting will do (you can buy magnetic lighting for inside your tent), but hey, fairy lights are pretty!
- All of the stuff you were going to bring; go through it before leaving for camp, and halve it. You only need a pair of thongs to get to the bathroom, and a decent pair of walking shoes.
- Bring an air dryer. Dirty clothes can be washed when you are in the shower (body wash makes an excellent detergent as it turns out).
- Bring at least one camping chair and a table to stack all your belongings on, particularly if you have a spinal injury and find getting down difficult.
- Stretcher beds to put your self-inflating mattresses on are a great idea, so you don’t have to get up and down.
- Microfibre towels dry 6 times faster than ordinary towels, and are a great inclusion!
- Make sure you keep hydrated and pack sunscreen and hats, even if the weather is mild.
I had a wonderful time on our latest adventure. The above are lessons I learnt, so as to make the next camp even better. We woke at dawn, the neighbourhood kookaburras laughing at our efforts to sleep in. There was camaraderie, hugs, dancing and singing. There were shared meals and kindness. You revaluate what you actually need in way of possessions. All you require can be accommodated in a tiny space, as it turns out. It is freeing, to get back to basics. I can’t wait for the next camp. Next time, I am going to do it right!