Firstly let me say I am still confounded by just how much I enjoyed the whole camping experience. I belive this is what made it for me:
– a great spot – South West Rocks:
– GREAT friends. The hellishly horrible time that would have happened had it just been us would have been a good six months of happy pills right there. We went with our legend American friends, The Doyles. Every single one of us (including the kids) cracked it at some stage during the week (except Oscar). All of us forgave each other. All of us can now laugh about it. Good friends.
– Two families = five kids= constant companions and entertainment for my own children which then = more time for me to read papers uninterrupted. Heaven.
– Bedding. God Bless the moonmats I say. In the 16 weeks of pregnancy I had then endured, the sciatica was driving me insane. Sleeping on those magical mats – so thin and yet so comfortable – was the first relief I had since my body went, ‘wow, another incubus, lets partay!’
The mats, combined with our woollen overlay, all safely ensconced inside a doona cover, and then our doona for warmth was a very strong competitor for the comfort of our actual king-size bed.
– A fridge. That’s right, we were camping, but we hired a proper fridge. This meant there was ice cream, yoghurt and milk always available. Anyone in the know knows that these three foods are
critical for a happy child.
– Ensuite sites. That’s right again. We had our own toilet, shower and sink in a cute little wooden shed at the back of our site. No planter warts, no foot rot from the weirdos that normally go camping give you, and the peace and quiet of your own toilet. Fabulous.
– Gear. Two families = almost two of everything to cook on and with.
– New stuff. Anyone who half knows me knows that anything new makes me almost giddy with delight. Our new three room, spacious and secure tent made me so houseproud it just confirmed the big nerdy geek I am.
So really, the secret of camping is to not go alone, take heaps of stuff, and basically recreate home but with grass and dirt and ants. There’s something liberating about not caring how dirty your kids hands are as they tuck into dinner. There’s also something working in a parents favour with all that fresh air – kids sleep. And sleep well.