The camp was great

I’m back from a few days away camping, had a fantastic time. My sister and I drove out in heavy rain with thunder and lightning, and chose a camp site by the time-honoured tradition of pitching a tent at the spot we got bogged. šŸ™‚ Well, first we spent a filthy wet hour heaving the car about 5 pointless metres through the mud, then we decided that the middle of the road looked like a great spot for a camp site after all.

The rain stopped for just long enough to find a flat spot about 100 yards from the car, pitch the tent in the dark, and haul all the camping gear from the car to the tent, and brew up hot cuppas and soup for tea.

Laying in bed we were feeling extra fortunate for the break in the wet weather when the rain started up again with enthusiasm and we discovered that our tent was no longer waterproof. First it was a drip – which might even have been attributed to an over active imagination or mildĀ hallucination… thenĀ rivuletsĀ of water started seeping down the inside of the tent. We scrambled for plastic bags and wrapped electronic items like cameras, also shoes, a spare change of clothes, and books as best we could, then covered our beds with towels and jackets and hunkered down for a very long damp night. Fortunately the weather was warm so we didn’t chill, although it was by far the wettest night I’ve ever had. In the morning the entire tent was sodden, the floor was a lake, the bedding saturated. Somehow the tissue box was strategically placed in the one dry spot in the tent, and the plastic bags worked to keep the valuables dry.

The next day was hot and dry so we dragged all our belongings out and left them strewn about the landscape on salt bush to dry.

The car was now moored in its own private pond and listing heavily to the left. We’d stopped before we buried it up theĀ axle, so I wasĀ optimisticĀ that with some time and effort we’d be able to extricate it. That evening we dug a channel from the water around the car to a depression along side the road and drained most of the pool of water.

I love camping. It’s such a fantastic experience to be out in the bush, the stars on the second night were breathtaking. The bird song was incredible, the wildlife shy but plentiful. The flora is lovely in a subtle way, the hues of the saltbush and pigsface, tiny flowers and lovely black limbed twisty trees.

Kangaroo prints
Pigsface in bloom
The sun roasted all our gear dry in a couple of hours. We napped, read books, swam, played cards, and I sculpted a river dragon out of mud.Ā 

As we weren’t sure how long we may be stuck for, we were careful with our water supply, cleaning our dishes with sand.

The evaporating rainwater left interesting patterns on the earth.

Yesterday a passing motorist kindly tugged our car out the bog, so we were saved the hard work of hauling it out ourselves. I approach camping rather the same way I approach life – be prepared – we were well stocked with food, water, first aid, etc, and don’t expect it all to go to plan. Most horrible things make great stories later on, and the experiences make the miserable times worth getting through. I love camping with someone else who does too, going out with people who are not very keen is a frustrating exercise in trying to prevent them giving up at the first glitch. Being in the bush is one of my restoratives, it calms and inspires me. Such beauty. Wish we could have stayed longer.

2 thoughts on “The camp was great

  1. I agree, camping is one of those superb activities that can be done quite cheaply once you've got some basic kit. Adelaide to Brisbane sounds fantastic, I've done the great ocean road before and that was awesome. Yeah, I'm the same, I'm not so keen on camping by myself. Get a bit anxious about other campers and suchlike. I'm not happy about being without communication for emergencies either, when I go bush again I'll look into hiring radio or sat phones. Plus, everytime you see something amazing you want to point it out to someone! I did enjoy it, very much so, and slept better than I do at home šŸ˜› šŸ™‚

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  2. I'm envious of going camping but not envious of your experience. Camping is a great yet inexpensive way to get away for a few days. My ultimate camping adventure so far was spending three weeks driving from Adelaide to Brisbane and back, using a different route there and back.

    I visited the Murray river in March 2010 but that happened to be the dry season, I saw the signs saying that the area was flooded during certain months.

    Must be nice to have someone to go camping with, when I've run into trouble (eg. sun setting before I've found a campsite, navigation issues) panic can tend to set in when I'm all alone out in the middle of nowhere. But the motivation to not get into trouble in the first place is all the much greater, eg. I have not gotten bogged so far. I generally don't have a mobile phone with me either šŸ˜®

    Glad you enjoyed your experience and thanks for sharing. I hope you two got adequate sleep despite the leaky tent.

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