The Simple Joy of Camping

I have never done much camping when I was younger. I think the most exciting camping that I have done growing up was probably setting up bedroom camp with all the bed sheets and blankets that I could find. Gosh! I can still remember how much trouble I got into after with my mum.

However, making the move to New Zealand had given me the opportunity to really experience outdoor camping. I had a blast! I was thinking to myself, where have I been all these years? LOL!

I still remember my very first camping with a real tent experience in New Zealand —  Summer of 2009. We had the tent which we bought from K-Mart. It was a small blue-ish green and grey tent. I had my first glimpse at the tent and my head was like going – “hmmmmm!”. The first camping for me was in Paia Point, Kaikoura. And, I was happy that someone else other than me at that point and set up the tent. I was nowhere near to figuring out what goes where at that point. But, the whole experience of setting up the tent was a whole adventure in itself. It’s like setting up your turf. We have to first go around the camp ground to check out the spots. Once the “spot” (often somewhere sheltered and safe) had been identified, now to arrange the parking of the vehicle for conveniences, of course. This is followed by the crucial hunt nearby the vehicle for a smooth ground where the tent would be set up.

And, amazingly with little effort, just a few poking, connecting the poles, tugging, snapping the poles into poles eyelet in each corner, hammering the pegs and ” Ta da” – the tent is ready. Ok..ok…it does sound easy the way I put it.

Anyway, I came across a real cool blog on HOW TO SET UP A DOME TENT for those who need the online learning lesson.

When the tent was laid out and set up, it’s my job to wriggle inside to place the sleeping mat and sleeping bag. Cozy! Whenever the light breeze of wind swept through the tent, it heighten my sense of excitement.

The few unforgettable adventures I had with the tent were the times where

  • the tent was attacked by a single small mouse in Kaweka Forest Park. I think it was attracted by the food smell in the tent. It actually did bit a hole thru the netting on the tent whilst I was in the tent. How daring was the mouse?
  • the noise that hedgehogs made when moving outside the tent

  • the scariest got to be when we camp beside a farm in Central Otago, and just when I was about to fall asleep — I heard some sort of weird heavy breathing. It felt as if the breathing was right on top of me. It freak the hell out of me. Finally after gathering the guts to check it out, I realised it was a big bull standing right at the gate beside where we camped.  Gulp~! I was wondering the whole night if the fella was gonna get loose and stomp towards our tent.
  • and, of coz, the heavy rain fall. The rain drop slowly sipped through the tent and droplet of waters falls on my face while sleeping. LOL!

Cooking was done mainly on a gas burner stove and lighting was torches. Unless, we uses the proper camping ground equipped with facilities.

I am still looking forward to do more camping in the near future. Oh, not forgetting, I am now an expert in setting up tent. YES!

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