that one time the camping gear got used…

As I mentioned in a previous post, Beth and I had purchased some camping gear in hopes we would have lots of weekend time to get away! Although we had lots of weekend time, it wasn’t all that often that either of us had access to a vehicle for an entire weekend. The camping gear, for most of our possession, spent it’s time in my bedroom closet, although it was more entertaining than that. The day the gear arrived, I took it up to my room and excitedly did an inventory check. The first thing I did was “pop” the tent. Since it was just a small one, it came out of the bag and went up just fine. The previous owners had assured me this tent would be easy to set up and take down. They lied. After about an hour of trying to “twist hoop one over hoop two” and yelling at the Ikea like instructions, I got it as small as I could and tucked the tent into my closet. Why do they make tents so big and their bags so unattainably small? It sat like that for nearly two months until I got asked to go camping with a heap of Aussie’s in Marooychedore.

Beth came over the night before and we spent three long, painful, hours in my living room without wine trying to get this tent back in the bag as I had to take the train the next morning with this gear. You can only imagine the choosey words flying out of our mouths trying to get it together. We watched YouTube videos, looked at diagrams and tried every which way until finally Beth took a final crack at it and got it in the bag – I had been fully prepared to board the train with a half erect tent, although I’m sure it wouldn’t have been permitted.

Long story short, camping was great! It’s been ages since I’d gone and hadn’t done all that much when we were kids. Our campsite was maybe 100m away from the beach. Living in the city for the last few months, it was nice to constantly hear the ocean near you. It was nice to fall asleep to the waves crashing around you and even better to wake up to that sound!

The weekend was spent consuming mass amounts of BBQ meats, wine & bacon. The weather was a little on the autumn side so it was too chilly to swim an overly large amount but still warm enough to sit on the beach and watch a few friendly cricket matches or throw a few casts. I was coaxed to try vegemite again, baked beans and prawns! The first two, I’ll likely always pass on and prawns were a hit! I’m a huge fan, especially when they were delivered randomly in front of our campsite by a truck that just took them off the boat! Food is always better when it comes right to you and these fresh Noosa prawns were no exception! I got to chase ghost crabs on the beach after the sun went down, watch the stars without the obstacles of the city and best of all, enjoy a calm weekend at the beach!

I do have to add that one of the strangest things I’ve experienced while in Australia wasn’t eating Vegemite – it was actually when I looked up at the stars and didn’t see what I was used to. Growing up with the same constellations above your head every night has always been something I took for granted but always found seemingly comforting. I didn’t really realize it would be different in the Southern Hemisphere but it’s obvious when I think about it now. Every time I look at the stars while at home, I instinctively searched for the big dipper and knew I was home – you don’t get to see that down there! It always felt weird and I was so glad to find it when I got home!

Can’t wait for a few more camping excursions in the future! I may not be a very good backpacker but I think I have a little more potential to be a camper. I don’t mind eating BBQ food every night or playing cards for hours on end. I don’t mind sleeping at the beach or peeing in the woods. I guess I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t mind packing and unpacking all the time but that’s all part of it – the good definitely outweighs the bad in this situation!

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What happened to the tent you might ask? At the end of the weekend, I contemplated leaving it in frustration. I’m not equipped to get it in the bag so for entertainment, I let everyone take a crack at it, so I wouldn’t be the entertainment anymore – it’s more fun to watch others struggle with the tent! The tent was one of those things that look really easy to do but proves more of a headache than expected. I ended up leaving the tent so one of the trucks could bring it back to Brisbane rather than me embarrassingly take it back on the train half folded up. After about two weeks after camping, the tent was back in the bag!

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Massive thanks to the Dalton’s for hosting me, keeping my belly full, for lots of laughs and to Brett for getting my tent back in the bag! A fantastic weekend, even though it did rain a little!

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