Are you ready to go bush camping?
Are you ready to go bush camping?

Are you ready to go bush camping?

My campsite at Arkaroola with the campfire and my swagThis is how to ease yourself into bush camping if you’re at all nervous or unsure.

Dinner’s cooking on the campfire, and my swag is ready for me to hop in. I’m in beautiful bush surrounds with absolutely nobody else about. The sun is setting behind the Flinders Ranges, there is a mass of birdlife swooping and filling the air with their song, and the wallabies are coming quite close. I’ve already had two hop in to check me out, nibble on some grass and then leisurely hop away again (shame I left my camera in the car).

And yet I’m at Arkaroola resort, and there are people about 1km away at the village.

My swag in the morning, with ice glistening in the sunshineTravelling on my own I am a bit nervous about just pulling up somewhere and throwing the swag out. I guess all those horror stories before I left have had an impact. I’m sure I will get to it soon, but for now, this is perfect, even if I did wake up with ice on the swag this morning.

So far I’ve camped in a roadside rest area with other people around, and at Parachilna camping ground. This is the most isolated I’ve been, even though I know there are people not too far away.

And you know what? I love it.

I love the solitude and just being in the environment. Sitting here and soaking it all up, listening to the sounds around me. Birds, running water, more birds, trees, and yet more birds. The birdlife here is just amazing, and except for that one that Graham Kennedy got banned from Australian television for, they are mainly song birds so they sound absolutely beautiful. It’s a pleasure to be woken before dawn by them.

20160806_133802[1]I don’t know what the different songs are, but I will try to learn. I have my birdbook with me, but I’m not very good at identifying the different birds yet. I guess I truly have joined the Grey Nomads.

It’s better than working for a living.

This is my first night with my campfire. I’ve had communal campfires at Parachilna, and joined with somebody else around their fire, but this is the first one I have done myself.

I discovered why this park is so clean. You can collect your own wood for a fire, as long as it has fallen naturally, and there is nothing living in it. Problem is trying to find some firewood at all, and then trying to find some that will burn for more than 2 minutes!

20160806_164951[1]I did manage to find a decent size branch that I had to drag about 500m back to my campsite, and which I am burning bit by bit. It’s not really dry enough to burn properly, but it will do. It will have to – there was nothing else around.

After my lazy night last night, dinner tonight is zucchini and tomato curry, with rice and black eyed beans. Cooked in two pans over the campfire. It’s not quite how I would do it at home, but it’s not too bad.

As a matter of fact, it’s pretty good.

I think this will be one of those nights where I sit by the campfire, then go to bed early to look at the stars.