We all have our favourite spot where we like to go for the weekend. You know, the one that’s less than an hour’s drive from home; quick to get to but far enough away that it still feels like a break. Between the transient travellers that float in and out of a great locale and those who are familiar faces, many tend to fit into one category or another of colloquial cliché. Whether they’re new friends you welcome along or ones who will never see another invite, these are the usual suspects you’re likely to encounter no matter where you choose to camp.
The most widely spread and easily identifiable camper of them all. They have done their time and are flippantly spending their kids’ inheritance on their experience of Australia without restraint. We are all secretly jealous of the Grey Nomad with their sense of adventure, humour and camaraderie. However, their ‘careful’ driving consistently more than 20km/h under the speed limit can turn your leisurely 45min trip into a caravanning conga line that doubles your journey time. From the spontaneous ‘pack up and go’ in their whizz-bang that runs off 50c cones from Maccas to the well organised ‘glamper’ that is all set up by 3pm ready to watch Landline on their widescreen, the Grey Nomad always brings added fun.
Usually European, dreadlocked and unwashed they appear to have landed in the country with nothing more than a backpack filled with denim shorts, singlets and 300 Euros that they hope to subsist on for the duration of their gap year. The best tent they could afford plus the cheapest car they can rent ensures the most pleasant smells from their site will be noodles in a cup.
These are the ones who won’t camp in out of service areas and are the first to ask for the WiFi password at the caravan park. They have an irrational fear of being detached from their mobile device, regardless of the stunning scenery, and will mumble between Facebook posts that they need to ‘plug’ in before their battery runs out. If they’re prepared, they’ve brought enough solar and battery backup to last them the weekend but you’ll be sure to find an entire album of pics and videos already shared online by the time you get home. And although you may appreciate the Bluetooth speaker setup they brought to play your favourite tunes, you’d rather they lend a hand to cook dinner instead of sitting in front of the fire playing Pokémon Go.
If you’ve booked a site at your local on your own for a change, hoping to have some quality one on one with the kids, beware the extended family. They may be related, or just a large group of friends, either way they’re taking up 5 sites between them and commandeering the entire oval space for their game of touch. Their eskies are always full and you can hear the clinking of their garbage after one night’s stay as they’ve been cracking tinnies since before the lunchtime snags were done. Never the first to wake, the singing usually starts around 10pm and continues well after the noise curfew. Avenge your sleepless night however by releasing your children at sunrise for a loud and enthusiastic game of ‘What’s the time, Mr Wolf!’
Lastly, the Newbie. Long-time day tripper, first time camper, the Newbie is almost always underprepared. Used to the convenience of heading home at the end of the day, they pop over to borrow any number of forgotten items they simply didn’t think to bring. They can be a good source of entertainment though as you watch them frantically search for the missing gas bottle to cook dinner or ask where they can plug in their portable heater on your unpowered site…just don’t get them to help with your annex.
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