For good reasons (bushfires) and lame (life got in the way), we didn’t do much camping in 2009. So we have resolved in 2010 to do more of it. In our overscheduled lives, the way to ensure this is simply to put it in our diaries.
First booking for the year – Lerderderg State Park, just west of Melbourne, in mid January. They don’t take reservations and you can camp anywhere in the park, so we figured we’d have a good chance of getting a spot.
We rocked up on Friday afternoon. There were quite a few people camping near the river, but after a bit of negotiating with a jumpy potential neighbour (who didn’t quite get the idea of sharing the park… I don’t think you can actually ‘bag’ one side of the river), we found a quiet place to pitch our tent.
We like to travel light and do short trips on quiet, non-holiday weekends. Our tent, which fits the four of us, is not palatial but is super-fast to put up, and our camping kit fits in the back of the car (just).
We have a no-electronics rule (i.e. no DS, DVDs etc.) Just us, the kids, the bush, preferably a body of water to swim or muck about in, some rocks, some sticks, hopefully a campfire and marshmallows, fire restrictions permitting… what more do you need? (OK, I know many would say a softer bed, room service and a big fly swat… but it’s worth it to spend the time in the bush.)