Paraphrasing an excited post from 2015, this might just be the year I return to serious camping!

I have a week in July pencilled (remember those?) for a bushwalk. Naturally, at the end of a day’s bushwalking you camp.

Now slap yourself upside the head if you mentally segued to the tent-scene in Brokeback Mountain, because there’s no ‘camp’ in my camping!

That said, to borrow as always from Seinfeld, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!” unquote. Honestly, hammer that peg anywhere you like, mate.

For purists and pedants alike, it’s called bushwalking in Oz. Not hiking (US), tramping (NZ), or rambling (UK). Prices hike, hookers tramp, politicians ramble.

We walk through the bush then camp.

This is not just your tame Europoean-variety bush, either.

In Australia everything wants to bite, sting or scratch you to death.  It wouldn’t be a legit wilderness experience if I didn’t step over at least one Eastern Brown snake or shake a Funnelweb spider out of my boot.

But 2023 will be different insofar as I want to take a friend.

Okay you bastards maybe ‘friend’ is a stretch — but somebody else in addition to myself. Somebody slower than me in case we meet a bear.

It also needs to be a classic bushwalk.

I want the total Zen experience: fetch water from tiny spring dripping out of mountainside, gather faggots for fire, cook chilli beans and eat straight from can, periodically fear for my life due to predatory wildlife.

And enforcement of a strictly one-person hammock rule.

None of that “Oops! Must have left mine in the car! Do you mind…?”

The only downside to camping is work the next week.  

When my homophobic workmates ask what I did on my break, “Spent a fabulous night in a hammock under the stars with a male friend!” is not what I’ll be telling anyone.

I know I should be a better person, but nobody has a gay old time anymore.

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