Aussie campgrounds are full of characters, but somehow the same seven people keep rocking up! Here’s our definitive list of camp kooks.
The Bush Barista
Some get up for sunrise, while others wake to begin calibrating their elaborate coffee set up for the daily caffeine hit. Whether it’s fine-tuning the coarseness of the grind for their single-origin beans or setting up a work station that will rival your favourite local cafe, one thing is for certain, the day’s adventures are going to be delayed as the quest to caffeinate the entire campsite begins.
Despite ample time for prep, there’s always one. It’ll come as no surprise when the group chat dings a few days out from the trip:
‘Sorry guys, been absolutely pumped at work this week and haven’t sorted out my gear. Does anyone have a tent, sleeping bag, gas burner, head torch and sleeping mat I can borrow? Oh, and any spare seats going?’
They’ll crash in your tent for the night on nothing but misc. towels and somehow, someway, though they didn’t bring a chair, you can guarantee their bottom will always be planted comfortably in someone else’s.
The Campfire Guy
Campfire preparation is a true art form. With the sun still nowhere near the horizon, the Campfire Guy will crawl out from the shadows. After he’s collected the raw materials and provided a seminar on why the teepee fire lay is superior to any other starting structure, the hour-long process of starting a simple campfire from scratch can commence. Despite all their efforts to start the fire ‘the proper way’ it won’t be long till the firelighters make an appearance.
How will you know it’s him? If the flint and steel or the dirty flannel don’t give him away, rest assured he won’t know that tinder is not just an easily combustible material but a dating app too.
These happy glampers are convinced that camping is just a weekend away in a fun-sized version of their suburban home. Their safari tent is fitted out with a king-sized bed, a fully equipped kitchen, and a flushing dunny. The thought of doing a number 2 in a drop toilet has never crossed their minds and you’ll probably hear obnoxious chats about the vintage of the bottle of wine they’re demolishing.
Oh, you wanted to listen to the sounds of the cicadas under the pale moonlight? Think again chump. It’s time for a campsite karaoke sesh! Let’s pull out the acoustic guitar that’s been sharpied on by friends and lovers and give Wonderwall a fair crack. Did you teach yourself the guitar? No way! Enough of this chat though, let’s press on with the ten songs you kinda know so we can get on with our night under the stars.
If you see an old school bus pulling up to the campsite with Bob Marley on full blast, it’s a dead giveaway that the hippies are here. They’ll be kitted out in the grooviest hemp and tie-dye garments, and it won’t be long before they’ve rolled out the bohemian handwoven rug they picked up in Mullumbimby and got stuck into a meditation sesh to unlock their 7th chakra.
Speaking of rolling, a cloud of smoke might blow past adjacent tents smelling distinctly of natural remedies, before the fresh produce they bought from a local farmers market are whipped out for a ‘killer paleo, alkaline, vege feast that’ll truly blow your mind.’
The Grey Nomad
These seasoned veterans aren’t mucking about. They’ve done their 10,000 hours and have left the daily grind behind to spend their offspring’s inheritance attempting to circumnavigate the country.
Their caravan set-up is violently practical and they’re happy to spend the day sipping English Breakfast tea with just a dash of milk, napping, and complaining to caravan park management. If they’ve woken up on the right side of the bed, you might see them rock their finest socks and sandals as they set off with a wide-brimmed hat for a leisurely stroll through the bush.
Illustrations by Maddie Wilson Design