We spent the weekend camping next to a dam out in the bush and freshwater fishing. No TV, limited phone connectivity. It was bliss. The dam was still low, but the fish were biting and we supplemented our meals with tasty little fish fry ups.
We have recently converted our van to be something I could not honestly describe as a camper but more like a bed on wheels with a bit of room for cooking equipment in the back. It makes for a comfortable and cheap weekend away. We are organising our needs and wants as we go, the more we camp out the better we are getting at not going overboard with the unnecessary supplies. There is a bit of tweaking yet to do but I feel we are almost there.
My major issue has always been and will always be my hair. I wash my hair every day. While I will get up before dawn breaks (so as not to horrify fellow campers) and take a bucket of freezing water for a quick top and tail with a face washer for my basic cleanliness for an indefinite period without complaint, I cannot wash my hair every day when I am camping and it drives me crazy. I get through the first day okay. The next morning I wake and my hair feels heavy. I put on a hat. I try not to think about it. I don’t want to touch it. If I was at home, I’d be dying to get in the shower all day. The next morning I try not to think about it, I hide my brush, I put on a hat as soon as I wake. I pretty much leave the hat on for the duration and hope I don’t have dreadlocks by the time I get home. Everyone knows that the second we get in the door, I dibs the shower first and a good shampoo will restore order to all our lives.
Other than this (to me, very major) issue, I quite enjoy camping, especially in the winter. While I am obviously as averse to being constantly wet and cold as every other thinking human being is, winter is one of the best times to camp, providing you luck in on a few dry days. Here is a list of the very best parts of winter camping, in my opinion.
- Less people (very important, yahoos tend to come out only in the summer months and are attracted by water, during winter they stay in and drink at home)
- No flies (dunno about other countries, but in Australia where we talk with our mouths shut in summer so as not to ingest lungfuls of flying disease , this is a VERY important consideration)
- Less sun (Sun is brutal in Australia, in Western Australia it can actually slap you to the ground when you walk out in it on a hot day. You can FEEL you skin peeling off and blowing away)
- Cold crisp mornings that turn into pewter skied comfortable days where you can wear jumpers and such (unlike much of the Northern Hemisphere, cold means anything below 20C or really any day when you don’t walk outside and immediately break into a sweat)
- An actual need for warm food cooked by a camp fire
- Actual fire, legally, outside (rarely happens in Australia, fire normally means people losing their houses, livelihoods and possibly lives)
- Snuggling up in bed with a warm drink instead of laying naked and sweating at 3am in your tent wishing you were home in the air conditioning
- The ice in the esky lasts more than 4 hours (meaning you can have steak and sausages, bacon and milk that doesn’t go off before the first night away)
These are just some of the things that I enjoy about winter camping. I think we will try to get out and enjoy more of it this season.