It's that crazy thinking that means I usually forget something critical...like the camp oven, or the children's flip flops, sunblock or rain coats. And we always need rain coats, because if we're going camping, in Tasmania it's highly likely that it will rain. It's how we roll.
We're just back from a six night camp with friends at our favourite camp ground on Bruny Island. The first day the weather was glorious but from then on things got a little wet, quite a lot wet actually, the biggest downpour for January on record. And it got windy too. Very windy.
But we were in the most delightful place and made the best of it. We saw loads of baby echidnas up close, swam in the sea, didn't catch a single fish but caught plenty of waves. We ate paella, bacon sandwiches, watermelon, and peaches. And toasted jaffles with cheese and tomato with bacon on the outside, plus oysters, and samphire that we foraged along the shore. Cooking outdoors on the fire is the best part of camping for me.
Round the fire one night, I got talking to my friend about camping lists, and she shared some camping wisdom about "the master list." A document listing camping essentials that you keep on your computer and update if needed when you return from each trip. I need a master list, so I won't forget things, so of course I jumped on the idea as soon as I retuned. I not sure this is what she had in mind, as my version is not at all practical but it's all very nice and filled with my favourite camping things.
My camping master list
Tartan :: blankets especially, but we also have a tartan esky to add to the mix. It seems very fitting in the outdoors.
Canvas :: we took a our new canvas tent and it stayed bone dry in the downpour, along with canvas stools, canvas shoes and canvas hats.
Enamelware :: mixing bowls, washing up bowls, plates, cups and tea pots.
Cast iron :: jaffle iron, tripod, frypan, dutch oven.....when cooking over a fire, cast iron is the best.
Wool :: woollen blankets, wool for knitting and woollen beanies and jumpers to keep warm at night.
Tea :: goes without saying, I like strong builders tea like Yorkshire.
Paper :: books to read and note pads for drawing and writing lists.
Coffee :: absolutely essential, I bring my little italian espresso pot.
Bacon :: also an absolute must, each day must start with bacon. That's the camping rules.
Khaki :: on anything really, our new tent is khaki, but we could do with more. Second only to tartan.
Baskets :: Great for fishing, carting stuff to the beach, and storing kitchen essentials.
Timber boxes :: I use vintage timber boxes to lug stuff to camp, then they can flipped over for little side tables or used to prep dinner. No plastic storage bins for me thanks.
Cotton :: I have warm cosy cotton sleeping bags that are so comfortable, plus I bring cotton sheets and cotton face towels. Not practical in the wet, but super comfy when it's dry.
Lashings of ginger beer :: It's the rules. Ration of one ginger beer per day.
Cake :: a sturdy and honest cake to drink with tea, stored in a pretty cake tin.
Famous Five books :: those adventures are even more inspiring when read under the stars before bedtime.
Dark chocolate and whisky :: for adults to nibble and sip when the children have gone to bed.
Bunting :: I think so.
Binoculars :: For bird watching and that important Moonrise Kingdom touch, or swap for a vintage portable turntable.
When we got home, smokey, salty and tired we slept so soundly that first night, dreaming of the next outdoor adventure. But not before writing my master list.
Do you have a camping list? What are your essentials?