Thursday, May 10, 2007

Five things that I love about camping

I had just decided to get into blogging and was looking around for information on how it was done when I came across Darren Rowse’s Top 5 - Group Writing Project. For my contribution I am going to write about the top 5 reasons that I love camping.

The first thing that I love about camping is the bush itself (bush is the Aussie word for wilderness). I love the trees that grow around Sydney, especially the ones with smooth bark like the Scribbly Gums. They don’t just have a trunk that goes straight up, instead they can have branches that twist and curl in fascinating shapes. Also there is a quietness to the bush that contrasts with the noise of the city. The air is so fresh and clean it takes your breath away. I love the bush so much that on the weekends that I can’t go camping I will try and take my family for a picnic in the bush instead.

The second thing I love is getting away from it all. I’ve always liked going away whether it was camping or holidays or whatever. I like being somewhere different, where there are new things to see and do. There is a different pace when you are camping. You don’t need to watch the clock all of the time. Instead you can get into the rythym of nature (or you will be cooking in the dark).

The third thing that I love is having a campfire, especially at night time. I am fascinated by fire. The way it dances across the wood. The way the hot coals pulsate as the oxygen wafts around. The way the fire dies down, but bursts into life when you blow some air into it. There is something about a fire that just draws your eyes in. Sitting around the campfire and chewing the fat with your mates is great fun. The fire means you don’t even have to talk all the time. You can just stare into the fire watching the flames dance around alone with your own thoughts and no pressure, but not really alone. Also the clear skies at night are awesome. I never get to see so many stars at home.

The fourth thing that I love is the bush cooking. Not necessarily the eating, although mostly that is good too, but the cooking. In the bush you do things differently. Toast in the morning is a cooperative affair. You put the bread on a stick and hold it over the fire, while your mate on the other side of the fire tells you when to turn it over. My favorite camp meal uses a pumpkin. You cut the top out, scoop out the seeds, and fill it with thinly sliced vegetables. You then make a whopping big fire, which you let die down to a pile of hot coals and bury the pumpkin in the coals. The skin burns, and it does take a few hours, but what is inside is absolutely delicious.

Finally, I love the creativity of improvising in the bush. I don’t really believe in roughing it. I will make myself comfortable with whatever I find. A bit of rope, a few sticks, maybe something brought from civilization and you can build all sorts of things. The fun is working out how to do it. It might be as simple as a tripod that holds a wash basin, or as complex as setting up a camp kitchen, but it gives you a real satisfaction to know that you made it.

So the bush is the place for me and I can’t wait until I get back.

No comments: