|Image by Dancing in the Rain|
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 :)