By KATE HUNTER
If you are reading this now, it means I am camping.
Yes, it’s a long weekend here in Queensland, so naturally we’re leaving our comfortable house (hot water, refrigeration, two toilets … BEDS) and heading into the freezing bush to spend three nights huddled around a campfire.
That’s the best case scenario.
If the forecast of ‘chance of showers’ runs true to form, we’ll be huddled under dripping canvas reading my friend Robin’s collection of ‘Hello,’ magazines, nicked from her workplace. Good times.
Do you see the weirdness of this situation? Four families, all with solid homes in peaceful suburbs, CHOOSING to spend their leisure time boiling drinking water and queuing for composting toilets.
From my place in the queue I often ponder what people not so fortunate would think of us and what we do in the name of fun.
In many parts of the world, living under temporary canvas shelters is normal. People don’t do it for fun. They dream of clean beds and hot showers. They’d love to bath their children in warm, soapy water, while we leave home with the intention of seeing our kids get filthy.
1. Even if you hate the very idea of camping, never go for, ‘just one night’. Insist on a three night minimum. The amount of packing and cleaning up is the same for a week as for one night. You need to make the window of enjoyment as wide as possible.
2. At least one couple will have a major bust-up over a misplaced torch.
3. Composting toilets are not odourless. And when you find yourself in a queue behind a fella with the Sunday paper folded under his arm, you’re in big trouble.
4. All children are pyromaniacs. Most men too.
5. Children who have not wet the bed for years are very likely to wet the sleeping bag.
6. It takes three days, or the duration of your camping trip (whichever is the greater) to get a sleeping bag dry. The wee smell is there forever.
7. No one knows where the Stingose is.