Tag Archive | #bloggingeveryday #Ultimatecamper

Day 2 of 2021 Blogging- Camping for Corina!

Yesterday l set the intention to get back into regular blogging and l put the question out there “Is there anything you’d like to read from me?” My blogging/Facebook friend Corina mentioned that she had ever been camping and was interested to know why l liked it so much. An easy topic to start me off!

Camping.. let me count the ways! Why do l love camping? I love the wild l love the freedom of being out there and exploring l think also l love the fact that we are limited with what we take, practicing minimalism.

When l was a little girl my parents would load the panel van- they slept on a mattress in the back l had the front seat, and we would drive to a river and meet friends with other children and just camp, cooking over fires, the men would fish, the women would bitch, the children would run free. I have many memories of falling asleep to fireside shadows and voices telling stories, and waking up in a different place and starting again!

So then l was a teenager and camping was a cheap cheerful way to get out and have fun, like that one time two cars full of us took off on a whim six of us in a three man tent with a wet dog that adopted us and decided to spend the night. It rained the whole time the boys went surfing, us girls sat on the beach miserably, we ate junk food by torchlight and spent the night very snuggly top and tail in this tiny tent with this wet sandy dog spread out along all of us, no blankets needed! It was a great weekend despite the weather and that one girl who went camping with a hair dryer and five pairs of shoes.. clearly she had never been camping before.

We asked her “What’s with the hair dryer?” she replied “if we go out for dinner l’ll need a shower and to do my hair” the rest of us laughed so hard tears streamed down our faces and our stomach ached “Where do you plan to plug it in?” We asked in between fits of giggles “a gumtree?!” We, the rest of us knew there was no power and certainly no “going out for dinner” going out for dinner consisted of walking to the kiosk and ordering steamed Dim Sims and Chocolate Big M’s! And if that wasn’t enough to shock her, breakfast the next morning was a meat pie with tomato sauce! Needless to say SHE never went camping again and she tried to change the guy she was dating so he’d stop hanging out with us- she didn’t succeed and she also didn’t last long.

My next camping experience was as a young adult, we decided to go camping to a popular beach side town about four hours drive away. I was with my fiancé and we took my friend/Neighbour and his partner. Loaded up the car and off we went. We had a huge tent, mattresses and doonas and not much else we planned to cook on the caravan parks bbq’s. We set up easily enough, everything was going smoothly, the next day we decided to go exploring so we cleaned camp opened the windows to let some air in and off we went. While we were out we watched huge black clouds gathering and joked about needing an ark it was going to rain that much! But the joke was on us!! The storm had already been through our camp site and our bedding was floating on a puddle of water… the feather filled doonas were soaked and soggy, our bags with clothes drenched, the pillows and anything else inside the tent were water logged and we spent the next two hours trying to rid our tent of water. We had to put all our bedding in the laundromat driers. We were very wet unhappy campers and l swore “Never again will l go camping!”

Of course l did! When my two daughters were babies, we packed up and went camping with my Bestie and her husband, our husbands were Besties too and were on a “hunters” jag complete with loud guns! We didn’t get rained out as spent a fun weekend.

Then there was a long break about maybe 15-20 years of no camping, instead there were mortgages, babies, commitments, divorces and tears and then there were houses needing to be sold and moving children to new neighbourhoods and life was crazy.

My next husband loved camping and when we first met he was going away interstate camping he rang me on New Years Eve 2000 from the top of a mountain which was the only place he could get reception to tell me about his camp and the critters he saw and he said “One day l’ll bring you here” in my heart of hearts l thought “not with these kids you won’t!”

Eventually we were a family of five blended children which comes with its own set of difficulties, five VERY different personalities and The Bloke and l wondering how to survive this mine field.

Fast forward ten years, the eldest four have grown and got lives and if not moved on at least able to fend for themselves and so the camping subject got raised again. The Bloke is persistent not in a mean pushy way but like a gentle stream of water that wears down your defences and soon enough l agreed “Ok let’s try it!” He had the gear and so we squished it all into our car with 10 year old Star Son and headed for Swan Hill about five hours drive from home on the border of Victoria and New South Wales.

The skies were grey and broody the whole time l was on edge remembering that one time when we spent a soggy wet night not excited for a repeat of that! We stopped for lunch and then the rain began uh oh!

The further we drove, the closer we got to our destination the HEAVIER the rain fell. To the point the wipers couldn’t keep the windscreen clear. Unlike some wives l don’t yell or argue l get silent even my tears are silent and l was NOT HAPPY!

As we drove into the town the rain started lessening and l voiced my fears about camping in a puddle, The Bloke said “if it doesn’t stop l’ll book us a cabin” Me “What if there are no cabins?!” Him: “I’ll find us a motel” Me: “Can we JUST go home!!” Him “No!!” So l stayed in the car when we got to the Caravan Park, the rain had lessened, he got out to check in and suddenly the sun came out.. no word of a lie! The sun came out, steam rose from the roads and out came Star Son and the Bloke like they’d planned it all.

Our first camping trip was perfect, warm days, cool enough nights to sleep, loads of adventures, tent was named Tamara and she was a dream and suddenly l realised l was enjoying myself! I liked camping! I’d forgotten the fun of living like a gypsy!

We have camped 3/4’s of Australia in Tamara, we quickly figured out what worked and what didn’t, what made us comfortable but didn’t add bulk! That first trip Star Son and l started a journal about “The Adventures of Tamara the tent” we all three of us wrote in it we added leaves, feathers, stickers, ticket stubs, we wrote about adventures and things we’d done like the day Star Son taught Mum how to do a front flip on the jumping pillow!! I don’t know who was more shocked me that l tried it or him that l did it!! Camping brings out a different carefree me!

Eventually The Bloke decided it was time to upgrade from the tents, Star Son soon got his own tent he called it “Trent” and we added a trailer to the list of camping supplies “Matilda” we went waltzing around Australia with Matilda keeping our camping gear safe! One trip The Bloke’s hip started playing up and he struggled to get up off the floor where our inflatable mattress was, we had to find a Dr and stay in camp a few extra days until the pain pills kicked in. He decided we needed to get off the ground and so he began researching caravans and campers!

We decided on Ursula Ultimate, an Australian built camper trailer, with a leather couch and an indoor kitchen in case we need to cook out of the rain! https://www.facebook.com/ursulasultimateadventures/

There’s the link to see Ursula and all our adventures! Next Monday we are putting Ursula and her tow vehicle Priscilla Prado on the ship and we’re off to Tasmania for six weeks! I’ll share that trip here.

This post is turning into a book but we are passionate about camping we love it. When The Bloke retired last February our goal was to spend all our time camping but Covid stopped that. This year we are aiming for 100 nights (at least) camping.. watch this space to see how we go!

Ursula Ultimate in the wild where we now prefer to be!

Now what else would you like me to write about?!