We think camping is a great way to spend a weekend or a week, but we know it’s not for everyone.
Here are some reasons camping might not be up your alley:
1. You hate waking up to birdsong
Bush parks are full of nasty, noisy birds who all want to sing and wake you up at dawn. Mount Remarkable National Park is the sort of place you’d really want to keep away from, with 117 species of birds. You can lie in your tent at the Mambray Creek Campground, and instead of just hearing burnouts and leaf blowers and your neighbours having a barney, all you can hear is birds like kookaburras, magpies, rosellas, bronzewings, rufous whistlers, lorikeets, honeyeaters, galahs and cockatoos – all at the same time.
Parks have lots of animals too, so if you don’t like seeing Australian native animals like koalas, kangaroos, emus, goannas, wombats and echidnas wandering past your tent, you’d probably better just stay out of national park campgrounds completely.
2. Relaxing isn’t your thing
When you go camping, there’s nothing to do but relax outdoors. Seriously, all there is to do is go bushwalking, four-wheel driving, fishing, birdwatching, snorkelling, beachcombing, lie on the beach, or just sit in front of your tent with a cup of tea and a book.
Without your couch and your widescreen TV, it’s so boring. And most pizza places don’t deliver to parks, so we’ll understand if you’d rather stay home. Inside. Away from outdoor things.
3. You don’t really like stars
Staying in a hotel in the city is way better, because you just get five nice, orderly stars. If you go camping, there are millions of them and they’re everywhere.
Getting into a park away from the big city lights – like the Gawler Ranges National Park, Flinders Chase National Park, Coffin Bay National Park, Innamincka Regional Reserve or Canunda National Park – means you can actually see the Milky Way. We get that that might not be cool – it could start you worrying about all sorts of things, like whether there’s life on Mars…
4. Beautiful views just don’t appeal
Urgh. Amazing views are everywhere in parks, and if you go camping, you’ll be way too close to them. It’s so boring having to wake up to iconic views like the Flinders Ranges, the Southern Ocean, Lake Eyre, the Simpson Desert or unspoilt bushland, so you’d probably better not go camping.
5. You love being at everyone’s beck and call all the time
There’s nothing quite as good as having people calling, texting and messaging you 24/7, is there? It’s so nice to be wanted. Then there are the work and private emails, notifications from all your social media accounts, binge watching all the latest shows on your favourite streaming service, and having very important arguments in the comments section at 11pm with random people you don’t even know.
Lots of our parks have limited mobile phone coverage, so you won’t be able to do any of that important stuff if you go camping. Some people find peace through digital detoxes, but we get you probably don’t want to do that because, hello! Borrring!
6. You don’t like fresh air
Nothing like the odour of a car exhaust or stale cooking oil from a fast food place to really get you feeling great about life, is there? All you’re likely to smell in our parks are fresh scents like the saltiness of the sea or the scent of eucalyptus. Sounds pretty horrible, doesn’t it?
7. You hate seeing your kids having fun in nature
Children these days spend more time in front of screens than playing outdoors, but at least that means they don’t get dirty or muddy, and at the end of the day they’re not tired from exploring, climbing trees, playing in creeks, or building cubby houses. They might even skin their knees, which could leave them with lifetime scars, both mental and physical.
Camping is pretty much the ultimate nature play experience, because without the distraction of TV and computers, there’s nothing to do but have fun outdoors. And no responsible parent would want that for their kids when they could be watching cartoons and eating biscuits.
If you think camping might actually be quite a lot of fun and you’re looking for some inspiration, visit theNational Parks SA website. And if you’re wondering how camping can be smooth sailing with the kids in tow, check out our series aboutcamping with kids.