Camping Deluxe

Given the developing conversation in the comments section of the previous post, I thought I’d start a little thread on that most divisive of topics – camping: lean & mean or lush & lazy, emphasis on the ‘lush’.

Are you the type to ditch the car and walk for days, sleeping in tiny, lightweight hiking tents, subsisting on scroggin and water from your environmentally-sound steel water bottle?  Or are you more likely to load up the 4×4 with everything from the solar shower to the case of fine wine, herb & spice rack and the foam mattress?

To pee in the wilderness or look for a camping ground with ablution and kitchen blocks, recreation centre and powered camp sites?

Or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle.  Maybe you like both, some of the time?

Ahhh, the simple life...

Me? I must say I like to camp near the sea or rivers so I don’t much need a shower block and I prefer to camp in quiet places because I can make enough noise all by myself – you should hear my guitar-playing.  Then again, maybe you shouldn’t.  So that kind of rules out busy camping grounds with all the facilities.  BUT I do love taking nice food, good wine and cold beer.  I like deck chairs at sunset with drinks holders; fresh coffee and B&E for brekkie. I also like that old foam mattress instead of the closed cell mats which feel more like you’re sleeping on a layer of second hand Mills & Boon paperbacks.

I once spent the most incredible ten days four-wheel-driving and camping with my sister and brother-in-law in the Flinders Ranges in South Australia.  Our days spent exploring some of the oldest rock landscapes in the world and seeing incredible wildlife, plants and views to leave you speechless.  We’d race to pitch the tents, avoiding the ever-present ant armies, and get the chairs set up for an ice-cold Coopers under the vivid, red sunsets.  Nights camped under millions of stars drinking and eating excellent food prepared from scratch (it was generally a 3 person job – one to cook and two to swat the flies away) and eating pistachios and chocolate.  Not too shabby eh.  We were literally days driving from any other humans and most of the areas for camping were little more than lines on a map – no facilities whatsoever.  But we had the trusty 4×4 and a large chilly bin. (Esky, cooler, whatever).  Two essential conveniences.  The best trip of my life.  Now, those guys know how to camp.

I suppose I’ve been a little bit spoilt by that experience ever since.  Anyway, that’s why I’m kinda excited about the prospect of camping on those guys farm over the New Year…

61 acres of cloud... eat yer heart out!

Obviously it won’t be snowing then…

And I’ve found some inspiration for future luxury camping ideas – I’ll leave you with this little image of bliss in the wilderness:

So, which kind of camper are you?

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9 thoughts on “Camping Deluxe

  1. It’s all about purpose. As you may well know, I am well used to sleeping on a close cell mat in a tiny tent with absolutely minimal gear. But that’s because the purpose is not camping, it’s hiking – when you have to carry everything because you can’t drive there. As a result the location is often more spectacular, and you don’t care about the facilities because you are totally knackered by the end of the day.
    If I am camping, I bring my own dining table (wooden, with detachable cast-iron legs). No, I’m not kidding.
    On the other hand, I m usually bored after camping for 2 days and dying to put everything in my backpack and go for a good hike.

      • You would enjoy the French hiking experience. Nice mountains, different village each night in which to purchase more wine.
        I was musing on the “loving the effort” thing when I was out running today. it has taken years but I have come to accept that I don’t enjoy what most people consider to be relaxing. I do find working hard quite relaxing in a way though, maybe that’s why I don’t like taking a break from it.

  2. Funny you should write about that trip. I was thinking about it the other day. It was certainly a stand-out. Chilly bins! I can’t believe we did that!

    I would’ve loved you to have seen some of the spectacular spots we’ve found in North West WA. Having permanent water holes makes all the difference. Bobbing around on a polystyrene ‘noodle’ with wine glass in hand as the sun goes down is one of the very best things a camper can do.

    Can’t wait to see you guys around Christmas. I’ll make sure we don’t give you the air mattress! xxx

    • I’ll never forget it. It helped with the heartbreak at the time I seem to recall. There’s nothing like getting out into that great wide open and staring at 500 million year old rock formations to give you a dose of perspective. Not to mention those incredible vistas of rampant Pattersons Curse. I must dig up the photos and post a few here! BTW – Cyclone Margaret and Donald have arrived! In-house babysitters!!!

  3. Soph, Al is the same, he’d much rather be working hard than taking a break – he hates taking holidays!

    My favourite camping experience was the few weeks nessy and I did around Marlbourgh Sounds. We were in a tiny pup tent and doing it on the cheap. But to be honest if we were doing in luxury it would have been just as cool – it was the company that made it awesome! xx

    • Hear hear! I remember a couple of fantastic camp outs (including your 21st) at your parents’ olive grove in Robinsons Bay – people in tents and everywhere throughout the house – Soph – you and I have quite fond memories of that too! 😉 Another great one at Whites Bay near Blenheim – that’s a wonderful camping ground. Okains Bay, Woodend… I could go on…

  4. what about the spider-canopied shelter on the beach the night we lost the World Cup to France. The epitome of hard-core camping

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