The BIG question

Submitted: Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 12:37
ThreadID: 13294 Views:2169 Replies:24 FollowUps:5
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So, forumites, what is it that drives you to do the CAMPING thing?

By camping I mean cooking outside, tents/swags/hiking/camper trailers (not caravaning).

What is that you experience, or hope to experience?

To start the discussion off, I enjoy the planning AND the execution of camping & touring trip.

I enjoy getting to know the early history of the region I propose to visit, the settlement patterns, land use etc. Then I enjoy the route planning, map reading, planning menus, & anticipating the drive. I enjoy slowing down & driving the dirt roads & tracks, identifying vegetation, seeing a new vista. I enjoy choosing a lunch spot for an hour's stop, walk, stretch, yarn, whatever. There is no set location or agenda in the middle of the day while touring. I never take a thermos as I always attempt to get that small fire going for the billy. In other words, I seek to experience life at that location; to assimilate some of the flavours of that region, to imagine what it would be like living there - to be a "local", to see things through their eyes.

When at the campsite, I enjoy setting up the camp, the layout, the fire, etc. I do enjoy the camp fire cooking, and use a stove only when I have to. I enjoy the camp oven meals, the big brekky next morning, going on that day's outing, collecting dead wood for the fire, and then back at camp, sitting around the fire with a drink, yarning and cooking the night away. Often, while kicking back, a favourite CD or tape is run through the car audio system.

I always have a wash bowl & antiseptic hand cleaner set up at the campsite. If a more than one night stop over exists, I grab a shower from the pub/caravan park/whatever is on that day's route; or use a solar showerif I have enough water. No sense camping & feeling grotty when there is no need to.

What really makesit all happen is sharing this with others. Usually it is other blokes who do not have my more intense focus, but are keen to get outdoors. It is [unfortunately] rare that the family comes with me - 13, 16 & 19 year olds have other things to do now they are grown up.

What is your take?

Cheers

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Reply By: Jimbo - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 13:29

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 13:29
Rick,

I reckon you've answered your own question.

Jim.
AnswerID: 60865

Follow Up By: Member - Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 15:28

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 15:28
I put that text there to get people started on their own thoughts.

As you can see, I know why I do it.

I'm interested in others, not me.............
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FollowupID: 322466

Follow Up By: Jimbo - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 17:41

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 17:41
Rick,

I couldn't really add much, you pretty well summed it up.

Perhaps you missed the bit about about a "cuddle" in the sleeping bag on a cold night, unless of course you're stuck sharing a tent with your mates.

Regards,

Jim.
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FollowupID: 322473

Reply By: Lone Wolf - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 13:47

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 13:47
You might do well to ask..."..what is the meaning of life?......."

Yours is a hard question to quantify a real answer. Sort of like why do people like to go fishing, when they can buy fish.

I think it's the whole doing thing. I like to take photo's, not so much for the end result, but just for the doing.

Dunno........ I like the curling up in my swag on the freezing cold nights!!

I'm sure you'll get lots of replies, and I'm wondering what they'll be.
AnswerID: 60866

Reply By: Member - Mike H (VIC) - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 13:55

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 13:55
Hi Rick,
After over 40 years of knocking about "out there" I simply still love the bush :-)
There ain't many places I haven't been to and I like 'revisiting', at least some of them.

It's very much the same for me as you describe it, with exception of a Thermos.
I like my 'fix' as soon as I pull up and then go for that 2nd cuppa once the fire is going and the camp is set up.

See you in the bush,
Mike
AnswerID: 60867

Reply By: navaraman - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 14:24

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 14:24
I love to take my two sons camping. It's a great feeling being self sufficient, mo cable TV, no playstation, no internet, no mobile phone. Just me, the boys and the bush. Hunting for firewood, climbing trees, building a dam across a creek, catching a fish, searching for wildlife; it's all good and it's all free.
AnswerID: 60869

Reply By: Member - Peter (York) - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 15:30

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 15:30
1)I love the sharing the experiance, my wife had never been camping until she meet me now she gets upset if I go into the bush on a trip and she can't go .
I lead a lot of trips and take people to some spots they would never see on there own , to see the looks on there faces and hear there comments of a great trip just gives me a buzz and I am glad that I have made a positive in another persons life even for a short time .
2) NO BLOODY PHONE SERVICE IN THE BUSH just makes me happy all over !
AnswerID: 60875

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 17:17

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 17:17
Rick I have never thought of it why but after reading your thoughts you have summed it up well.

Good thoughts
Eric

www.capeyorkconnections.com.au
AnswerID: 60880

Reply By: mikeyandmary - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 17:39

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 17:39
Hi all...

I've been married 3 years and and every school holidays my wife and I (both teachers) have travelled somewhere. We've camped, stayed at youth hostels, driven, flown and 4WDed. This easter we stayed home for the first time!!! I HATED IT. Next holidays, Flinders Ranges :-)

We love camping as it gets as far away from Sydney (and school) as possible. We love the simplicity and relaxation of camping. The only things that stop our travels are bad weather or bad budgeting.

Camping in Australia also gives you a much greater appreciation of what it would have been like to the early explorers and drovers. Plus it provides us with heaps of stories for our students.

Happy Camping...
Michael and Mary
AnswerID: 60887

Reply By: Mrs Diamond - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 17:45

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 17:45
quiet simple really.
take two weeks off work.
take one day to get somwhere and put up camper
open esky and grab a drink.
drink the drink.
drink for next 12 days.
pack up camper and take one day to go home.
now try that at home
AnswerID: 60888

Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 10:40

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 10:40
you could drink for two days more at home Diamond
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Reply By: Member - PatC - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 18:18

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 18:18
For me it's just getting away from people and work and all the "stuff" that's part of modern life. Where I go is not as important as just going. Some weekends we drive to a river that’s only 10min from where I work and we'll camp there with friends. Other times I might go on out my own, clock up 1000k's in a three day weekend and really "get away from it all". On holidays we get to see big chunks of our country without spending a small fortune staying in resorts or motels etc.
AnswerID: 60896

Reply By: motherhen - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 18:26

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 18:26
I love to sleep under the stars. My sister does too, but her partner likes 5 stars. In fact his idea of camping is a 4 star hotel! Isn't is great to think you're the only people for miles around - and how clear the stars are in the sky. Can't get that feeling in any hotel.
AnswerID: 60898

Reply By: Member - Bob - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 18:38

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 18:38
Rick,

I find your post truly disturbing. I find myself mostly agreeing with a South Australian - you probably support the Crows or Port ( to make matters worse).

As well as the vehicles, the preparation, the driving, photography, flora, maps, communications, getting away from it all, I really love the desert, the rocks and the vast disatnces, isolation, aboriginal art, the people.

I could go on - I just love it all.
AnswerID: 60902

Follow Up By: Member - Rick (S.A.) - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 22:42

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 22:42
Bob,

Can confirm your suspicions re the Crows. But they are hard to follow while they are so erratic.

How's the season treating you? What nick are your cattle in? I was very impressed with the Barkly, and the AA Co & Stanhope cattle on the way through recently. Lotsa rain in our far north currently.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 322682

Reply By: Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 19:40

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 19:40
I have been thinking about this for a while and that is why that article really grabbed me (Post 13267). I think that it is a Spiritual thing really and I don't mean spiritual in the sense of formal religion.

I reckon that we have a deep connection with the earth and this is particularly well articulated by the aboriginal people. In our modern society in the cities, we have been removed pretty much from nature a lot of the time, but I think something within many of us connects with the earth in some way and we feel alive and at peace and energised.

We were in a shopping centre today and it is so busy and bussle-ish that you don't slow up and come out feeling good. I am sure that slowing and taking in the environment is foreign to many people now and they have to learn to relax with dirty hands or feet, or feeling hot or cold, not not having entertainment on the screen in front of them.

The other great thing about camping is that no matter if you are poor or rich or old or young, you can go camping and, out there, we are all the same. You can sit down around a fire and talk to anyone - I love it!

Andrew
AnswerID: 60911

Follow Up By: Member - PatC - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 09:28

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 09:28
hear hear!!
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FollowupID: 322712

Reply By: Bitsumishin - Mike A (WA) - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 19:47

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 19:47
The stars at night
No T.V, pc, phone or playstation
No weeding
No work
seeing birds an animals without wire between us
& yes, the cuddles
AnswerID: 60914

Reply By: Gajm (VIC) - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 20:16

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 20:16
I agree with everything that's been said by you and everyone else. I love the time with my family, and when it's just me and my son it's totaly different, he's only 10 but when we go away together he is no longer my son but my best mate, and he seems to thrive out there as well. The only thing I can add is for me it's the only place I feel totaly relaxed and truly comfortable. I also feel like it's where I belong, I can barely breathe in the city.
AnswerID: 60919

Reply By: Jeff (Beddo) - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 20:30

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 20:30
Why do we go camping to see the wonderful country we have and to get away from house work, mowing lawns, telephones, bills etc
Don't ya hate the bloke that goes bush walking with their phone and when you are at some fantastic lookout a phone rings behind you.
I like going feral every now and then - swimming takes the place of showers, meet interesting fellow travellers, fire, BEER and more BEER and walking to places that you think no one else has seen or even walked on.
I think we all have that explorer instinct in us.
The planning bit - well I like to get a basic plan and then play it by ear whilst on the way. If some one says don't miss this place I will change my iteniary. Hate being pushed along like your on a tour bus and you cannot do what you want.
AnswerID: 60926

Reply By: Alex H - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 20:39

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 20:39
STOP THE WORLD - I WANT TO GET OFF!!!
Failing that, get away from the city, and the smog that gives me allergies.
Cheers,
Alex
AnswerID: 60931

Reply By: Member - Paul H - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 20:47

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 20:47
All of the above................................. Oh! And we all love it.

PMK
AnswerID: 60933

Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 21:43

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 21:43
I grew up in the bush, early education was through school of the air, my father was a roustabout, horse breaker, drover, shearer and my early recalection then was going on muster's with my father, since then thats all i've ever wanted to do go back to the bush and going camping is the closest i can get. I just enjoy every thing about the Australian bush, nothing in the world compare's with it and as long as i can breath i will continue to go out there.

Baz.
AnswerID: 60944

Reply By: Nomad - Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 21:45

Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 21:45
Oh the place that I worship is the wide open spaces, built by the hand of the Lord,and the stars are the candles that light up the mountains, mountains are altars of God......................

Some words from an old song, re-done by John Williamson some time ago.

I'm not a religous person in the sense of going to church, but to experience this fantstic country of ours is something that can be hard to explain to a non-believer. I love the desert, the bush and even the beaches. Must admit though, my favourite is the desert. The solitude, the openess and the beauty. Camped between the sand dunes on a night lit by a full moon is something you must do to really appreciate the significance of the experience.

Geez after all that I'm getting itchy feet.

Bill & Jan
Nomads
AnswerID: 60945

Reply By: Member - Lawrence (WA) - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 00:34

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 00:34
I have recently sold the house (long story) and purchased a 4x4 and a camper trailer (my midlife crisis)………. I was married for nearly 10 years, now by no choice of mine I am a single dad (this is a great thing……….I get to enjoy my children)
The kids and I went on our first camping trip a few weeks ago, nothing too adventurous, it was the first time that they had really been away ( my kids are 9 and 4). My son (the 4 year old) now wants to know why we can’t go camping every day.

Why do we go camping??? Perhaps it is because we can forget about all the things that really don’t matter and enjoy the things that really do matter.
AnswerID: 60955

Reply By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Monday, May 31, 2004 at 06:37

Monday, May 31, 2004 at 06:37
"Why do we go camping??? Perhaps it is because we can forget about all the things that really don’t matter and enjoy the things that really do matter."

Exactly!
AnswerID: 60960

Reply By: Member - Ruth D (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 07:53

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 07:53
All of the above - I grew up in a household where my father was very outdoorsy, sailing, fishing, camping - and used it as a way to relax from the rigours of the surgery. I especially enjoy that my husband came up in the same mould as my father so camping for me means all of the things above - with the added bit that the men in my family do all the work - cooking, cleaning up, buying the food and I do the driving and fishing. Fabulous.
AnswerID: 61122

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 10:50

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 10:50
I have always camped Rick from 8 yrs old in scouts. With 4 kids camping is a great inexpensive time away from everything (including the music and radio) talking to friends, watching the fire and getting up with the birds. The kids love being out in it, being able to wander off for an explore, and we enjoy getting out and about and seeing all the this country has to offer. We don't even have to go far, camped 20 mins from home for a long weekend once and it was great, its not where you are I find, it's where you aren't.
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.

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AnswerID: 61147

Reply By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 15:53

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 15:53
Hi Rick,

Camping is a chance to escape, enjoy the company of others, sit around a fire and tell tall tales or relive moments in time that were funny or sad, share a bottle of red and have a laugh, going camping means that whatever stress may be in my life gets left behind when I lock the door and jump in the car.

For my kids it’s a chance to enjoy time spent with their father, and for their father It’s time he can spend with them.

It’s a time where Tegan and Callum can enjoy the bush, beach or wherever, ask questions about new things they see or find, and generally learn and have fun, and for their parents to do the same.

Cheers

Lyn
AnswerID: 61195

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