How old were you when you first went camping? Have you been doing it all your life or is it something you got into later in life? Maybe you started camping with a partner or as a cheaper holiday alternative when you had kids?
My first camping trip was when I was in Year 9 at school and completing my Duke of Edinburgh Award. As I was at a boarding school in Sydney at the time we were only able to take food that was provided by the boarding house. Our tents, sleeping bags and backpacks were supplied by the school as well.
We caught a train from Parramatta up to Katoomba and then hiked out into the bush. I was a farm girl so being in the bush didn’t bother me. But I remember a couple of the other girls in our group were city girls and didn’t like it much.
I think we must have practiced putting our tents up before we left because I don’t remember having much trouble with them.
The spot where we were to spend the night was right on a river with a nice deep swimming hole. We were able to jump off a rock into the water. As it got darker we started to prepare dinner. Us ‘boarders’ had been given hot dogs for our dinner and of course by the time we got to them the buns had dried out so most of us just ate the frankfurts.
When it was time for bed we had to wriggle around a bit to make a dip in the sand underneath our bodies as we didn’t have air mattresses. Unfortunately, the girl I shared my tent with was terrified of the dark and all the bush noises. Poor thing spent quite a bit of the night crying so not much sleep was had.
The next morning we were all pretty hungry and breakfast consisted of squashed weet-bix with powdered milk. Neither of which are my favourites even now. On the walk back out it started to drizzle rain so needless to say by the time we got back to school we were all wet, cold, hungry and tired. But we all passed our Duke of Edinburgh Award.
24 YEAR GAP
It would be another 24 years before I had the opportunity to camp again. When the kids were three and five, we bought a tent and headed north to Cairns. I guess that must have turned out okay because here I am another 10 years on and still camping.
I must say the camper trailer does make life much easier. My advice to anyone who has had a bad experience is give it another go. A different time and location may just equal a better experience for you!
We love being able to get away from it all, even if it is only for a weekend here and there at the moment! I’m so pleased I didn’t let my first camping trip be my last.