Polynesian Princess was excited. We were going camping this Easter for three nights. Three nights! That’s the longest time we’ve camped so far. The Architect and I are slowly building up our camping stamina with two small kids.
Whenever I talk to people about how much I love camping I get a similar response from most of them. There’s a quizzical look, a tilt of their head and most times, a smirk. Then the inevitable “I wouldn’t have picked you as a camper”. I never know how to take this. Do I not look outdoorsy enough? Or perhaps I just don’t look like I would enjoy sleeping in a tent? Either way, I shrug it off because the love of camping always shines through.
My love of camping probably started in my childhood, when my parents took us camping a couple of times, and once rented a caravan on Fraser Island. Those are very fond memories for me, and the smell of an outdoor fire, the chill in the night air and the fresh, coolness of the mornings have always made me happy.
I have to stay away from places like Anaconda, BCF, Big W and Kmart camping sections, Kathmandu and all the rest of them. Otherwise, I could spend hours ‘pon hours ‘pon hours perusing, musing and making up reasons for buying that hand warmer. I’ll definitely need this, it’ll come in soooo handy! I think I’ve used it a sum total two times.
When we’re camping, I am at my happiest in the ‘kitchen’. I love getting the dinners ready and will happily shoo away The Architect’s attempts at washing up. I don’t know why, but I feel it is totally my domain and I love the whole process from start to finish.
This particular camping trip shall be memorable for two very different reasons: mosquitoes and gastro. Yup. Nice.
First, the mosquitoes. We had been forewarned by our friends (who had travelled up the day before us). “There’s heaps of mozzies” they said, “buy one of those mozzie spray pffty things”. I knew the very aerosol spray they were referring to so immediately went out and bought one. And man, I couldn’t believe the mozzies. They came thick and fast and munched on Little Warrior’s face and neck. They munched approximately 24 times if you count the red pockmarks that still adorn his face today (we arrived home two days ago). They seemed impervious to the Raid Automatic Insect Control System, the Aeroguard spray, the Aeroguard roll-on, the mozzie coils, the mozzie sticks and the smoke emanating from our campfire.
Gastro struck our campsite on the first night and I have continued with this to current day. It started with Polynesian Princess, then passed to me. Little Warrior has shown signs of illness, and The Architect is looking nervous and making sure we’re stocked up with Imodium and Hydralyte.
And yet, despite all of this we all still had a wonderful time. The kids ran around like wild things from dawn til dusk, their feet were black with dirt and they were sticky with Aeroguard, Easter eggs and marshmallows. And after they went to bed, the parents gathered around the fire, ate smores, drank and laughed. This is what camping is all about, right? It’s about unplugging from the rest of the world and concentrating on what’s right in front of you.
Even if it IS a mozzie.
Even if it IS a mozzie.
Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net