Recently I went on a trip to Kangaroo Valley with my boyfriend. The first thing to know about my boyfriend and I is we are complete opposites; I'm an anxious homebody that values comfort whereas he is a wild man who would love nothing more than to exit society and live in a cave catching his own food. So when he suggested camping I was hesitant, to say the least, nevertheless I survived the experience without having to eat roadkill or sleep in a cave and actually quite enjoyed the trip. The following are a few pointers on surviving a camping trip comfortably.
Types Of Camping:
There are many forms of camping but car camping is the way to go. Bringing your car along camping provides a mode of escape when you just can't deal, a shuttle bus service to the toilet blocks (even if it's just around the corner), secure storage, a heater (while someone else TRYs get the fire cranking) and last but not least a way to bring the comforts of home with you, which leads me onto The Tent Situation.
Notice how Tent Situation is bold and underlined this is because it's important! Perhaps the most important element of camping to the homebody. I like to make my tent a surrogate bedroom, basically a minimal version of my room at home. I filled my tent with the comforts of home these included the bedding, straight off the bed; Breakfast tray, which my boyfriend finds pointless and annoying (he probably doesn't like it because I like to put vases of flowers on this tray which fall on top of us at night spilling water everywhere); Pink faux fur rug, Dressing gown also don't forget a good book and WINE (compulsory).
Now onto the things I failed to bring but would recommend to myself and anyone else to bring on future camping trips these include; Socks, my boyfriend assured me these make a huge difference when it comes to keeping warm so I took his word for it and also his socks. They did really work but for some reason (perhaps karma) I could not keep two on my feet at the same time, one would always go missing. Next, a carpet or rug to put a few more layers between you and the cold damp ground. There are a hundred of other things I could include like a hot water bottle or couch if you could fit that into your car but I will leave that up to you and your boot size.
Choosing A Tent:
I entrusted organising our camping trip to my boyfriend which ended up with us wondering Kmart at ungodly hours the night before the trip; trying to decide which cheap tent had the most probability of working. We also looked on Gumtree (a buy and sell site in Australia) and discovered interestingly enough a lot of the tents were not only second hand but third of fourth hand, each with it's own legacy of owners.
Case In Point: One guy had told me he got the tent off some friends who were moving overseas but they had got the tent off a backpacker who had received the tent from someone staying in a hostel. While the history of the tent was interesting and probably also a testament to its durability the idea of being in enclosed in fabric that has been used by a lot of different people seemed a little gross. We went with an $84 tent from Kmart and it worked fine (to be fair the weather was perfect).
I will just do this quickly as i'm not fond of cooking and my diet is basically just tiny teddies. A great comfort food for camping is Bolognese without the meat unless your bring your fridge along.
A tip from my boyfriend that i'm sharing but not condoning is if it's really cold you can keep your left overs just in the bowl no lid in the car; just don't forget to take it out before you drive our it will look like someone was murdered in the back seat.
The thing to know about car camping is that it's generally not going to be anywhere too remote, I mean you need to get your car there.
We stayed at Glenmack Park in Kangaroo Valley. The campground was just off the main village strip which meant cafes, shops and a very pretty florist were all within walking distance (the things that matter when your camping). It goes to show that camping doesn't have to be all about immersing yourself completely in nature.
The tent spots in the park we stayed in were not plotted so you were free to choose whatever spot you could fit your tent into. We chose to place our tent overlooking an alpaca paddock.
I will leave activities in Kangaroo Valley for another post as this post is just on surviving camping comfortably. Hope this helps any fellow homebodies out there nervously facing a camping trip.