The Lady Boomers Guide to camping

Lady Boomers Guide to camping by Caroline Gaden

  1. No matter how many camp sites are available, or which one you choose, the ladies amenities are always further away than that for the men.
  2. The time you really, really need access to the amenities is when they are closed for cleaning.
  3. The amount of hot water available is inversely proportional to the number of notices posted in the amenities block
  4. The loudest snorer on the camping ground is always located immediately adjacent to your own site.
  5. Whatever denomination of coins you have in your wallet, they will not be suitable for the washing machines in the laundry.
  6. The shadiest tree is always inhabited by the noisiest possum.
  7. The earlier your neighbours pack up to leave the louder they need to talk and slam car doors.
  8. The beauty of the campsite is directly proportional to the ferocity of the mosquitoes.
  9. Where ever you park your car, tent or camper, you will always find it under the flight path of toileting birds.
  10. The campsite with the softest greenest grass always contains the most hidden foot-cutting objects.
  11. The campsite furthest away from the amenities block, crying children and teenage radios is always adjacent to the middle-of-the-night-truck-stop or dawn delivery site.
  12. The delightfully quiet campsite selected by you at 3.00pm becomes a magnet to attract all the noisy late comers by dark.
  13. When the shower is issuing boiling water, the cold will be cut off by someone flushing the toilet.
  14. No matter how carefully you place shoes, torch and amenities keys at bedtime, they always have relocated so you can’t find them when they are needed at 2.30am.
  15. No matter what their colour and signage, the various garbage and recycling bins are always full of exactly the same type of rubbish.
  16. The later and darker it is when you arrive at a campsite, the more tent pegs, ropes and poles will have re-located during the journey.
  17. When you really, really must stop for fuel you will be hit with record prices whatever your location.
  18. Showers which require coins for hot water always issue the water immediately the coins are dropped into the slot and the slot is usually outside the door.
  19. The windier the day the softer the sand holding the tent-pegs.
  20. No matter how carefully you select your campsite to avoid the prevailing wind, a southerly buster will appear just as you finish setting up.
  21. Eight inches of rain in one night makes for a wet bed and the amenities block benches are most uncomfortable in these circumstances.
  22. The fiercer the storm the more unstable the tree you camped under.
  23. You only need the amenities key when your partner has disappeared with it in their pocket.
  24. Your partner tells you that you need one $2 coin and one 20c piece for the washing machines; when you arrive at the laundry you find you need two $1 coins and one 20c piece.
  25. The laundry allows you to catch up with the story in the 2001 magazine that you didn’t finish at the doctor’s surgery.
  26. When you remember to take toilet paper with you to the Anytown Central Park loos there will be an abundant supply; when you forget, there will be zilch.
  27. You need to get at least 5km off the highway to avoid the nightly symphony of Kenworths and Big Macs.
  28. When you travel interstate with urgent plans to replenish your food supply, you find they have a state-wide public holiday which is non-existent and therefore unknown, back home.
  29. The more attractive the river bank, the more prone it is to flash flooding after rain 5km upstream.
  30. If you camp in an area which has been waterless for months, and if you forget the Aeroguard you can guarantee the camp will be the secret training facility for the mosquito army.
  31. Citronella candles do not work on sandflies.
  32. Newly graded gravel roads become impassable after a night of rain.
  33. Carnation milk diluted with rain drops are suitable for breakfast cereal.
  34. Despite packing laundry powder and pegs together, one or other will have disappeared when you need to do some laundry.
  35. The road to the Great Wall of China in South Australia is a likely but inconvenient place to have a puncture
  36. Angorichina near Blinman in South Australia is a surprising small but welcome place where new tyres are available.
  37. The more beautiful the scene the more likely the camera batteries will have died.
  38. The Park Ranger will do his rounds the moment you fill your illegal washing line with clean clothes.
  39. Tents with no floor may be a super hiding place for sneaky slithering wildlife.
  40. Possums are excellent sorters of garbage and food stores at 3.00am.
  41. You may have drunk nothing but wine from screw cap bottles at home but you will definitely need a cork screw on your first camping night.
  42. Ducks, magpies and possums are brilliant beggars of Hollywood ability. Ignore them
  43. If you want the chance of peace and quiet, go to un-powered sites.
  44. Tree roots can be felt through the thickest of mattress.
  45. Magpies and other birds will collect jewellery from your tables.
  46. Frost is cold… you do need an extra blanket or three.
  47. The more people there are in the amenities block the louder the noise you make when you pass wind.
  48. Thongs worn in showers helps to prevent foot infections, or take your own bathmat.
  49. Waterproof shoes are useful for early jaunts of dewy wet grass.
  50. Collect your rubbish, supermarket bags are useful for this, take it with you and dispose of it properly.
  51. Learn to fold a map.
  52. The designated location of the amenities key ie inside the door on the LHS, is always vacant as the key resides in the last user’s pocket.
  53. Sometimes the only thing between you and a divorce is an excellent anti-perspirant/ deodorant.
  54. A useful addition to the glove box is Slater’s Field Guide to Australian Birds.
  55. Follow the crease lines when re-folding tents and awnings.
  56. If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and clean the seatie.
  57. Isolated camp sites have no mains town water so learn to be a water miser.
  58. Bore water is hard, it takes more soap and shampoo to lather.
  59. Not all taps contain potable/drinking water, if in doubt boil thoroughly.
  60. Colour code cups and towels so each user keeps their own.
  61. Practice reversing with a trailer before you leave home.
  62. Practice squats before you leave home especially if you are going to be using bush camps with no facilities….. you need to strengthen your knees and thighs.
  63. Squats are also good for getting low enough for that extra good photo.
  64. Practice standing on one leg, it’s useful for balancing on a wet shower floor as you try to get trousers back on.
  65. Sunscreen… sweat runs down into your eyes and sunscreen can make them very sore… wear a hat to cover your forehead.
  66. Don’t put a bag in the car, then close the door, then a second and third bag each with another noisy slam.
  67. You can guarantee that the person who has to leave the camping ground at 4.00am will park next to you and will be a noisy packer who has to turn on the vehicle engine half an hour before he actually leaves.
  68. Quiet pre-dawn rises allows you to see beautiful sunrises and get your walks done before the heat of the day.
  69. Beanies and gloves are useful sleepwear when it’s chilly or frosty.
  70. If you wouldn’t let your next-door neighbour see you in pink fluffy slippers and dressing gown, will you be comfortable if fellow campers see you in those clothes?
  71. Toilet paper does not disintegrate in the drier regions of this vast country, even if you bury it. Take it with you in a plastic bag to dispose of later when you come to a flushing or long drop toilet.
  72. DON’T LEAVE TOILET PAPER BLOWING IN THE WIND.
  73. When going to dig a bush toilet take your shovel, loo paper and matches to burn the paper in the hole before burying it. Burning prevents the white ribbon of visual pollution and probably discourages the dingoes from digging up your offering.
  74. Many camping grounds have amenities blocks with a key pad for entry. The letters and number keys are tiny and not in a familiar configuration. You can guarantee that you won’t be able to read the numbers nor will your arthritic fingers be able to press them anyway, so take your specs and learn to hold on!
  75. If you are towing a caravan or campervan on gravel roads remember that a stone can easily bounce off the trailer and break your back window. Long mud flaps on the back of the vehicle can help avoid this, so can a thick piece of cardboard taped over the window. If you suggested these alternatives to your other half and he ignored you, when it happens try not to say “I told you so”.
  76. Pyjamas or track suits take longer to dry than tee shirts and shorts. Wear your undies at night so you can lessen the washing load every once in a while.
  77. Check out the colour of the water before you hand wash or load the machine… in some outback places your clothes come out muckier than they went in… the only consolation is you may smell of bore water rather than sweat.
  78. Have a camera each, otherwise you know you’ll miss the perfect shot because the camera was with him
  79. Before you go get used to 3 minute showers.
  80. Before you go get used to drying and dressing in miniscule space.
  81. Most showers have too few pegs and too small benches.
  82. Shower curtains will wrap round you whatever avoidance strategy you try.
  83. Fly veils are the most important piece of clothing you own.
  84. If you are worried about satellite photographs and appearing on Google Earth, take an umbrella with the shovel, loo paper and matches.
  85. Don’t stock up on fresh vegetables, honey and then find within 50 km you have to dispose of the lot when you cross a state border with a fruit fly exclusion zone.
  86. Leave all gates as you find them.
  87. Vermin proof/dingo fences are there for a purpose, shut the gates after you’ve gone through.
  88. If you are going off public roads and onto private ones maintained by property owners, remember they are people’s homes. Be polite and call in to discuss your plans and make sure you won’t be interfering with stock.
  89. Don’t litter, don’t litter, don’t litter. Take your rubbish with you.
  90. Don’t camp within 500 metres of a stock watering point. Sensitive cattle and sheep will not come in to water if you are there and it may cost them their lives.
  91. UHF radio aerials vibrate and snap on gravel roads. Carry a spare [or two].
  92. Laundries in camping grounds have been known to become war zones when bush campers descend for their weekly/monthly clean-up. Don’t jump the queue and do talk to the others who are waiting.
  93. Washing machines and driers should not be left holding your clothes after the cycle has finished. Be there and empty the machines immediately so others can use them.
  94. Don’t get cranky if someone gets fed up with waiting for you to empty your laundry from the machines, and puts your stuff out on the floor. Be there and do it yourself.
  95. Bush flies boldly fly into your mouth, nostrils and eyes, take a fly veil…. And ditto for mosquitoes
  96. If you go to the Red Centre, you’ll end up rust coloured. The dust shows up equally well on beige and navy… so buy rust coloured clothes.
  97. Look down at the ground as you walk. That way you’ll hopefully miss the snake or scorpion and not trip over the rocks
  98. Wear shoes, not thongs, and long trousers, not shorts, for the above living reasons.
  99. When walking wear a sun hat, long sleeved shirt and take at least one litre of water per hour.
  100. Water courses have bigger trees, but not necessarily any water in them…. carry your own.

 

#Camping  #LadyBoomer  #CarolineGaden “OutbackAustralia”

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