As we mentioned in our November Expense Report, Poopsie and I were inspired by Our Next Life to give camping a go. So we packed up our little red car and hit the road.
Before we left, we needed to make sure we had the right gear. Neither Poopsie or I had been camping since we were kids, so we didn’t own much ourselves. However, because both of our parents had taken us camping when we were younger, they both still had a lot of camping equipment stuffed in the back of their garage.
We were able to acquire the following for free/extended loan:
- a car fridge
- a small table
- a light
- 2 sleeping mats (more on these later)
- a butane gas cooker
- a kettle
We purchased the following:
- a four man tent that Poopsie can stand up in (very important in our eyes)
- 2 sleeping bags
- an LED lantern
Things we already had and took:
- 2 camping chairs
- a picnic set
- a ground tarp
We arrived at Brooms Head and, despite having never opened our tent before, it only took us about thirty minutes to set up. We were very pleased with this, as we wanted to make sure it was easy for us to camp- not a difficult task we were dreading.
Wanting to ensure a successful trip, I planned out a fairly detailed menu. We took along our trusty frying pan and Poopsie whipped up some delicious fare. He made fried rice, omelettes and sausage sandwiches. Excellent camping meals! We made sure to take all of our ingredients already cut up to make it easier- that’s definitely something we recommend.
Brooms Head was suggested to Poopsie by a colleague and one of the biggest draws for him was that it is on a beach. If there is one thing Poopsie misses about Newcastle, it’s the beach!
The water was far too cold for me, but Poopsie was determined to get some swim time in. I much preferred to wander along the beach.
Our butane gas stove that Poopsie’s parents gave us not only served us to cook our meals, but also to provide us with copious cups of tea.
So what did we do besides wander along the beach and go for freezing cold swims? We did a lot of reading. Poopsie downloaded some instructions to some cards games and we spent a lot of time learning to play Gin Rummy and German Whist. We loved it, especially when enjoying a cheese and fruit platter.
There was a bit of a downside to our experience. My parents gave us two sleeping mats to use and… they were awful. We both slept terribly and woke up with sore backs and hips. Those mats have already been donated to Goodwill. They were so, so awful. Poopsie has begun researching better options and, as sleep is very important to us, we are willing to spend a little bit of money.
Brooms Head itself is a sleepy little town with nothing but a Bowls Club and a General Store. It was lovely and picturesque, particularly on the beach. Despite this, it’s probably not somewhere we’ll travel back to. It’s a fair way from home (three and a half hours), and we’d prefer to explore closer to home for the time being.
All in all, we are converts. We both really loved camping. We found it incredibly relaxing, we enjoyed being outdoors and the simplicity was wonderful. And, for $68 for two nights, we are happy with the price. We will definitely be camping a lot more in 2017.
Have you ever been camping? Do you have any tips for us?