"And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling" Shanti
I am certain that when asked the question ‘Why do you camp?’ most people will respond that they simply love it. However, that answer is insufficient, it is the easy way out. Take some time to think it over …why do you camp?
We camp to get away from it all and be close to nature. What can be better than to sit next to the campfire at night and gaze up at the stars? What a privilege to wake up to the sound of birds, to breathe in the cold freshness of the morning air and to see the horizon ever so gently lighten up as the first rays of the sun emerge.
As our family expanded and the kids came along we couldn’t think of a better way to build a family bond. We wanted them to experience and enjoy nature the way we do and for quite some time it seemed to work. Then they became teenagers and the bright lights, noise and rhythm of city life cast a spell over them.
However, I am confident that one day they will return to camping. You see I hear it in their voices when we reminisce about places we visited. And when I listen to what they deemed highlights of various trips, I also realise that while camping we were building memories to last a lifetime.
In addition to memories these camping trips have also helped to shape the kids characters. For example, trying to sleep in a tent at Port Gregory while the wind does its best to rip it to pieces, taught them to stay calm amid a storm – literally and figuratively. Thanks to that and many other similar experiences they know that difficult situations are merely temporary and that those too shall pass.
They have developed a love and respect for all life forms. We encountered a few spiders, snakes, stingers, bull ants, etc. along the way, but because we also came across cute and cuddly animals we know to treat them all with respect, even the ones we don’t like so much. Those ones you just avoid as far as possible and leave them to go their own way. I can see the kids applying these principles to people too and it works a charm.
Climbing the Sterling Ranges taught them that hard work pays off in the end. It also taught them to listen to their mum, that the wind on top of a mountain is really ice cold not matter what time of year!
Oh I can go on and on about the blessings we received and the lessons we learned while camping. But I think is it clear that we camp because we really love it.
While it takes all kinds to make the world go round, you can save yourself a lot of tribulation by discovering who you really are. You need to know what makes you tick and what ticks you off. Not only will it be of tremendous help in your relationships, be it personal or professional, but it will also enhance and enrich your experiences.
Camping is no different. Once you know who you are and what you want from your camping experience, you can create your perfect environment as well as choose travelling companions that compliments your outlook on being outdoors. Trust me, you will all be happier for it.
You are as relaxed as can be. Your first mission when arriving at the camping grounds is to start a fire. Once that is going, you pull up a few chairs for your mates, kick back and relax.
This laid back attitude weaves it way through everything you do – even preparing food while camping seems to be a breeze. You only ever bring along two pots that miraculously produce delicious stress-free dishes.
Your favourite campsite activities include playing cards, listening to music or yakking with friends. Nothing gets in the way of you having a good time – if it rains you merely retreat to your tent to read a book.
You love the peace and quiet of nature and do not splurge on expensive camping gear. Camping for you is getting back to basics.
The adventurous camper.
You did not come camping to laze around all day. Armed with a map of the area you want to get out there to explore the landscape. Your main criteria for your food is that it should fit into your backpack.
Daylight hours are not to be wasted. You can be found on your bike, kayak or hiking from sunrise to sunset. You are out there come rain, snow or hail. You spare no expense when it comes to your equipment as your very survival might depend on it.
You’ve got style and you are not afraid to flaunt it. Of course you love camping, as long as there is wi-fi. I mean, how else are you going to upload your pictures to social media?
Forget about tents though – they are so prehistoric. Your caravan or RV is equipped with a coffee machine, a Panini press, leather lounges and an entertainment unit.
You love getting away … as long as you can bring the finer things in life with you.
You camp to truly get away from it all. The less you bring with, the happier you are. You do not frequent caravan parks, but rather look for a clearing in the woods or a secluded spot next to river where you can pitch your tent.
You are not afraid of roughing it and are ready for anything nature throws at you. When you camp, you leave technology behind and rely on your common sense and skills to get you through difficult situations.
Do you dream of breaking away to a small settlement at the edge of the water where you can simply sit and watch the tide come in and roll out again? Maybe wet a fishing line if you feel up to it?
Throw in a couple of birds gently foresting for food in the mud flats for entertainment. A friendly mob of locals would be appreciated too.
Dream no more, both the townships of Donnybrook and Toorbul comply with all your requirements. They are located about 50km north of Brisbane on the Pumicestone passage facing Bribie Island.
It is speculated that the name Toorbul resembles that of an Aboriginal clan of the area. In days gone by this township was the causeway crossing point to Bribie. Nowadays it is home to a few retirees and holiday makers.
The town has a convenience store, tavern and caravan park. Along the foreshore there are several picnic tables and bbq’s as well as a boat ramp.
If boating and fishing are your thing, you’ll be hard pressed to find a caravan park with a better location than the one at Donnybrook. It is situated right next to the boat ramp with no streets to cross to reach the water. The caravan park is also right next to the general store with a take away across the road. You don’t even have to think about dinner, just head over to the local bowls club for meals.
Both these locations are great for bird watchers and photographers. According to Moreton Bay Council :
“Pumicestone Passage is home to about 1,500 resident shorebirds of 11 species, and nearly 20,000 migratory shorebirds of 24 species. About 15% of our migratory shorebirds stay for the whole year, being youngsters too young to breed or adults too old to breed or not strong enough to make the journey.
Most migratory shorebirds that choose Pumicestone Passage as their non-breeding grounds are summer visitors and come from breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere. The exception is the Double-banded Plover, a winter visitor from New Zealand."
That sentence is usually the opening to a great humorous story. Of course it is funny months or years later, but when you are actually out in the middle of nowhere when you discover you have forgotten something really important you’ll be hard pressed to find any humour in the situation.
We’ve been known to forget to pack a lighter or matches which makes starting a fire unnecessarily hard … or the sand pegs – good luck on getting that tent pitched in the sand dunes without those pegs!
I’ve read an article the other day where the blogger was lamenting because she forgot to pack her plastic table cloth and paper towels on a camping trip. Clearly we are in very different categories when it comes to camping. I would hardly bat an eyelid about forgetting a table cloth. My concern is the forgotten things that could seriously complicate an otherwise enjoyable camping trip like sunscreen and bug repellent. Ever tried camping in the Aussie bush without those life savers?
We have become quite good at remembering to pack all the essentials in part thanks to experience and in part thanks to this list that we cross off as we pack.
Air mattresses AND air pump
Gas stove + cylinders
Torch + batteries
Cookware + cooking utensils
Tableware + cutlery
Handsaw + tools
Fishing rod and tackle
Small fire extinguisher
Rope and clothes pegs
Axe or hatchet
Folding chairs and table
Blankets, sheets and pillows
Plastic storage/garbage bags
Wet weather clothing
Extra tent pegs, ropes, repair kit
Dishpan, dishcloths and detergent
First aid kit
Toothbrush + toothpaste
Soap + shampoo
Towels + face washers
Jerry cans with extra fuel
Car jack and wheel brace
Ensure spare tyre is OK
I work out menus for the amount of days we are going camping and pack food accordingly. Every person is responsible for packing his or her own clothes. Is there anything you would add to this list?