Our first camping trip with a very young 11-week old Oliver was planned to be a simple overnight camp at a campground we were familiar with and that wasn’t too far away.
The van was absolutely packed compared to how we usually travelled. So much extra stuff taken ‘just in case’, as it’s been a long time since we camped in a tent and we’ve never camped with a baby before.
Setting up was fairly quick, but we found ourselves missing the old Tall Black Van 11-minute setup times. We were staying in our old 4-man tent, which is pretty roomy and has a vestibule so you can store items out of the weather. We were using a blow up mattress, which is always a mistake, but we didn’t have access to our old sleeping mats. We’ll need to get a proper foam style mattress for next time.
Once settled, we started bringing out some snacks and that’s when we were visited by several unwanted flying insects. See if you can identify this one, seen here trying very hard to get into a tub of pate.
We didn’t know what they were at the time, but we’ve since found out they are European wasps. We thought they were a native species of wasp since they were quite docile and not at all aggressive. We were gently waving them away, though in the end we did end up lighting some mosquito coils and putting their favourite food far away from the camp to draw them away. Ollie was safe in his travel bassinet with built in bug netting, so it was only us idiot adults that were in danger of getting bitten. We’ve since reported the wasps to ewasp.com.au which deal with Canberra pest control.
After snacks we went for a quick walk to the creek for a look around. It started gently raining while we were there, but stopped very soon. We weren’t keen on heading up the 1km track to the Gibraltar Falls, particularly Rosie who was the one with a sleeping baby strapped to her.
When we got back to camp the wasps and most of the ants were all gone because of the rain. We played some games of Organ Attack and then started dinner. Robin lent his skills to start a fire, using pistachio shells as kindling. Dinner was our standard pasta dish followed by chocolate cake provided by Meg.
A relatively early night, but Ollie was restless most of the night and the structural properties of an air mattress didn’t help. He stayed in bed with us for a lot of the night, taking up at least half the bed. At around 3am I heard some noises outside and I went to make sure our pantry wasn’t being raided. I found a very happy possum munching away on some left over Doritos, so I just poured out the rest for him 20m away from camp to stop his munching from keeping us awake.
The next morning we had a quick breakfast and I put the drone up for a bit.
I still need to work on the camera settings to stop over-exposure and washed out details in videos and pictures. I’ve got some little ND filters I’m going to start using to see if that helps.
Packing up the campsite felt like it took ages compared with the campervan build. It was only 45 minutes or so and we’re still working out where everything fits together. I’m not sure we would like to do that every day if we were on a big trip, so a better solution needs to be found. A rooftop tent might be the way to go, but getting up that ladder with a baby is dangerous. More thought required.
But we will go camping again.