Enjoy fresh air every which way
One person’s leisure is another person’s torment; just because we share a love for getting away into the great outdoors doesn’t mean we all want to do the same thing when we get there.
If you want nothing but to lie back and relax and catch up on quiet reading, do the crossword or become a Sudoku master, then camping provides the perfect opportunity. It also provides the time and inspiration to treat your creativity to a boost with arts and crafts, from painting and sketching to knitting.
If you’re restless and want to burn off energy then pack your hiking boots, load a GPS app on your phone and plan on extended two-feet exploration.
A camera will be your best-loved accessory as you birdwatch, find strange and beautiful plants, climb weird and wonderful rock formations or spy cute critters. Don’t forget a night walk near camp can spotlight all sorts of nocturnal beasties who stay well hidden during the day.
For those who prefer motorised transport, unhitch the tow tug and head off to more distant points of interest.
Quad or dirt bikes are also fun, but be respectful of peace-loving fellow campers and head to an unpopulated zone for your day’s play.
If you’re at a beach you can hit the waves for swimming, surfing, bodyboarding or sand-boarding down the dunes.
Whether it’s beach, river or lake you can try your hand at catching dinner or float, lounge, kayak or canoe across peaceful waters.
For the young — or young at heart — include some portable game gear, like a tethered tennis set, quoits, boules, footy, frisbee, water pistols and even a kite.
Or, plan a scavenger hunt to keep them running for hours.
Come night time, the first priority is to channel your inner cave dweller and build a camp fire.
It’s the perfect time for snacking and telling tall tales. Don’t limit your toasting to marshmallows, try other sweet treats such as Starbursts (hot gooey chewiness) or wrap a cheese ’n’ chilli kransky in pastry and get dinner sorted on the end of your toasting fork.
Break out the guitar and strum a melody or two, include a pack of cards or favourite board game; even old-fashioned charades are fun once everyone gets disconnected from their electronic devices.
A camp-fire collective is also the perfect way to make new friends, so invite fellow campers to share your fire and some stories. You’ll often get great tips on places to visit or things to do.
If anyone is still full of energy then consider flashlight tag, hide and seek or a midnight swim — pair younger children with a responsible adult, make sure everyone has a headlamp and set the parameters for safety to make sure no one gets lost.
A hand-held radio is a great idea to stay in contact.
Once the day’s adventures have finally caught up, it’s time to stare meditatively into the hypnotic glow of the dying embers or tilt your chair back and quietly stargaze.
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Kick back for a peaceful snooze after a cuppa.