"I've never slept out underneath the stars, the closest that I came to that was one time my car broke down for an hour in the suburbs at night.I lied about being the outdoor type." So sings 90s alternative rockers The Lemonheads. Whilst this might not be true for all us, it takes a big man to admit that he is a novice when it comes to all things camping and needs some tips. I mean, isn’t being an independent, capable and expert outdoorsman what all of us big blokes should aspire to? Since time immemorial, it has been our traditional role after all.
These days it’s so easy for us big blokes to get caught up in the rat race that we forget about the importance of slowing down and taking some time to reconnect and find ourselves in nature.
So, how does one go about honing the necessary skills to become a veritable Barefoot Bushman?
Maybe back in the day you skipped your school camps to stay at home to play computer games. Or maybe it’s been ages since you last pitched a tent. Maybe you are already a regular camper. The following tips are designed to help us big guys, experienced or not, both look the part when it comes to taking the family on a great camping trip, as well as making sure it’s a rip-roaring success.
Camping Tip #1: In-tents relaxation
A bad day camping is still better than a good day working
If you are going to enjoy your time in the great outdoors it’s important to invest in a quality tent. A good rule of thumb is to purchase one that is a size up from the number of people who you wish to fit inside said tent. That way you will have plenty of space for storage and enough room to stretch out the legs at sleep time.
Look like a camping connoisseur by placing a tarp under your tent. This will not only help make a smoother surface upon which to pitch your tent (after you have cleared the ground of sticks and rocks first, of course) it also helps stop the morning dew from seeping in and dampening your comfort.
P.S. Don’t forget to pack a hammer to help peg down your new home away from home!
Camping Tip #2: Campfire cookery
Cook up a storm in the country
Why does food cooked over a campfire taste inherently better? Many have pondered such a question. The fact is that it just does! In order to wow your nearest and dearest on your next camping adventure it’s important to plan ahead. Devise a menu for the length of your stay. Grab all the cooking utensils you will require (including some rags, buckets and detergent for the clean up!). That way you can both shop accordingly and ensure you have everything packed neatly ready to roll.
We big men are foodies. This puts us in a great position to deliver some tasty meals whilst we relax by the campfire. Why not cook a hearty stew in a cast iron camp oven? Pair it with a lovely red and you will be hitting all the right notes!
Don’t forget to pack a variety of snacks as well as drinks. Fruit, nuts, and muesli bars should be your go to. You’re also guaranteed to look like a seasoned camper if you bring along milo, tea and coffee.
P.S. Don’t forget the camping staples of marshmallows and Johnny Cakes!
Camping Tip #3: What to wear
When you’re on the go all day, communing with Mother Nature, it’s important to dress appropriately. This means you need clothes that can pull double duty. Something comfortable, rugged and preferably water-proof. Lightweight performance outerwear not only fits the bill, it will keep you warm whilst there still is a chill in the air.
If it does rain you want to be prepared. Packing extra socks and jocks is advisable so as to escape the chafe. For cold weather, remember that layering is your friend. That way you can add or subtract layers depending on the weather and your level of activity so as to remain as comfortable as possible upon your bushwhacking sojourn.
P.S. You are going to want to wear a good pair of hiking boots instead of runners. Trust me on that one.
Starry night skies, the magic of a campfire and phenomenal natural scenery. What are you waiting for? As spring is now officially in the air it’s time to start planning your next camping adventure! Anyways, it’s about the only holiday option left open to us in these uncertain times!
By Anthony Cheadle.