Friday, 8 October 2010

Not a fair weather camper

Image by Dancing in the Rain
I think once you develop a love of camping there is precious little that can get in your way. Even a weekend of rain can't dampen your spirit (excuse the pun!).

Every October long weekend for the last 4 years we have packed up our stuff and headed into the bush for our annual group camping trip. Each year we were accompanied by friends (some have even braved it with us more than one year, despite our rapid breeding). On three out of four of the weekends it has absolutely bucketed down.

This year we went to Coolendel, about 30 kms out of Nowra. This was a new spot for us. We usually find ourselves somewhere in the Blue Mountains, but because I had my school reunion, I had to relocate the group. 8 Adults. 11 Children, 5 and under.

It was a gorgeous part of the world. Abundant wildlife (such as wombats, peacocks and wallabies). A serene river. Bushwalking. Biking. Even gold panning if you are so inclined.

The weather was as we have come to expect. Bleak. Wet. Really, bloody wet actually.

People always feel sorry for you if you go camping and it rains. I think they imagine you being washed away or soaked through or at the very least, dripped upon as you sleep. I admit that one of our friend's tent was not up for the task (it was a single skin tent and this is never a good option unless visiting a drought-stricken location), but for the rest of us, none of these fears came to fruition.

The way I look at it, rain just adds to the adventure. It makes things harder, that is for sure, and, if given the choice, I wouldn't specifically decide to go camping in the rain, but it is totally survivable. And enjoyable. You just have to be a bit more prepared. And go with good friends.

From a kid's perspective. Rain is tops. They love it. Rain leads to puddles. Kids love puddles. Rain leads to mud. Kids love mud. There is much stomping and sploshing and general enjoyment to be had. In gumboots and raincoats, what's more. Exploring the surrounds. Practically as free as birds.

Happy kids equal happy parents. Here are some ideas to keep the kids happy while camping in the rain:

  •  Bring an extra tent - a playroom of sorts. This keeps the kids occupied in their own space. We did this last year, but not this year and boy did we miss it!
  • Don't forget the waterproof shoes (gumboots or crocs are winners). As much as kids love the squishiness of wet-through shoes, it is not great for their health!
  • Bring an age-appropriate boardgame (or two). Snakes and Ladders was the saviour of our sanity on more than one occasion this trip.
  • You can never have enough marshmellows. An activity and snack all in one.
  • Keep to your routine as best you can. Getting the kids into their sleeping bags by 7pm each night means that you have a few hours to enjoy the adult company. Around the fire. With your raincoat on and umbrella up :)
 Are you a camper? Have you got any other wet-weather suggestions??

16 comments:

life in a pink fibro said...

You know I was one of the people imagining you being washed away. More than once we said to each other 'glad we're not camping this weekend'. Glad you had fun though!

DancingInTheRain said...

Many were suprised we didnt pack up and come home! While I too would not choose to camp in the rain it does add to the adventure and the memories!
I had packed a new kids magazine for our kids as a rainy day activity. Had stickers, activities, stories, pictures to look at etc and as they dont get them normally it was an exciting surprise when I pulled them out of my bag.

Lucy said...

Oh I am glad I am not the only one that thinks camping is amazing and brilliant regardless of whether.

We camp every October long weekend too.....(it marks the final weekend before the cricket season starts...)

As yet we have managed it without rain for the past 4 years....

MultipleMum said...

@Lucy - something about living in the driest state on the driest continent on earth! Not much of the wet stuff around your parts :) I will think of you next October long weekend now. Sunning it up while we dance in the rain!

Maxabella said...

I'm always impressed with your resillience in the rain. I think you just love camping enough to make it work!! x

Langdowns said...

Your blog is so pretty!!! That's all I wanted to say ...
Ciao for now
Leanne
www.DeepFriedFruit.blogspot.com

cityhippyfarmgirl said...

I can't wait to take our family camping. Just need to get a bigger tent and we are off...and I love that rain doesn't stop you and your family.

ClaireyH said...

I let Miss 4 camp on her bedroom floor! while I can handle a crappy caravan, I just can't do camping. I see no joy in it at all. Possibly too many bad camping holidays as a child. I am not fussed about hair dryers etc, it is just the whole amount of work, just to sleep in a tent...

Lolaferrola said...

I love camping, we went camping in the summer with the boys, first time for Boy no.2, who is 1.He got so excited I had to make a midnight run to my parents,he was a little overwhelmed by the freedom of the tent and was giggling all night, keeping everyone else awake. Waiting until spring to try again.

The Clip Cafe said...

Oh I want to go camping more often. I agree rain can make it more fun and it is all about the kids to an extent :-)

Posie Patchwork said...

OH i'd love to camp, outdoorsy husband, lots of active children, i don't mind getting dirty, bush walking, cooking over a tiny grill . . . only i married a soldier who only camps when he's paid to, bugger. One day, love Posie

Suzie G said...

I don't mind camping with tents, however since we want to go away for a month (hopefully to Ayers Rock, otherwise somewhere else if it gets too hot), we have bought a Jayco Eagle Outback camper - the kids love it! I love it. Especially in the rain... :)

Carol And Stacy said...

My boys grew up camping. Now they are 19 and 23. This summer they were inspired to work for The Montana Conservation Core and camp out all summer clearing mountain trails. Hard but gratifying work.
~ Carol

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Foxglove Spires said...

Sounds like you all had a wonderful time camping and enjoying the rain. These are the memories that are cherished and kept for all times. I still remember so well the happy time of bush walking and exploring when only little.

Thank you for visiting my blog today and leaving a lovely comment. You have a lovely blog which a have enjoyed tonight.

Have a wonderful Sunday. xxx

The Clip Cafe said...

H thanks for visiting my shadow shot -- it was taken @ Woodman Point Perth WA :-)

Kelly said...

My parents used to take my sister and I camping twice a year. It was a big familly affair, I spend alot of time playing in the bush with my cousins and uncle's and auntie's. So many happy memory...

I have never taking my children camping, I think they may have missed out on something special. I can see myself planing a family camping trip in the near future.

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