Are you staring down the barrel of a long weekend asking yourself why the heck you didn’t plan something sooner? You’re not alone.

National Parks are booked, the free campsites require booking, and even the Hipcamps are gone. But Goddammit, you want to pitch your tent. You want to curl up in a little house of fabric with the smell of campfire in your hair and the sound of wind snaking through the trees. Is that too much to ask for?

This long weekend, Monday 5th October, is for people in NSW, QLD, SA and the ACT. Melbourne crew, I’m going to respectfully ask you to stop reading. At least you’re not burning a ‘day off’ in lockdown.

For everyone else, here’s a list of outdoorsy options for your long weekend that aren’t the expected.

BeachDriving, 7 Things to Do on the Long Weekend when Campsites Are Booked Out, ruby bisson, film photography

1. Plan a Hike for Saturday, Sunday and Monday

You’re essentially on a 3-day hiking trip, only you get to return to your own bed, your own (delightful) shower head, and your own fridge at the end of each day. I know, half the fun is having a heavy pack on your back, so if that’s the case, fill your backpack with irrelevant objects just for the #vibe.

Not sure where to go? Check out our microadventure map and zoom in on your location.

2. Make the Most of Your House

Pitch a tent in your backyard and cook dinner over an open fire. I know, the tent-in-the-backyard thing sounds lame. It sounds like the ‘OMG let’s build a fort :3’ pipedream from our Tumblr years. And you’ll probably set it up only to crawl back into your actual bed at midnight. But that’s not the point. The point is that you’re doing something different. Something to spice up the weekend.

 

Camping, 7 Things to Do on the Long Weekend when Campsites Are Booked Out, ruby bisson, film photography

 

If you’re a climber, create an elaborate multi-pitch onto the balcony or roof. When has your agent ever checked the exterior of the house? 

Got trees in the backyard? String up a high-line or even a coupla hammocks, and pulley up some beers.

Live in an apartment? Sorry! Keep scrollin’

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3. Clean Your Camping Gear

You always say you don’t have time to clean your camping stove, so, as a result of not getting your shit together this long weekend, here’s the time you need. You did this. Dig out all that sand, wash your sleeping bag, sew up the holes in your tent. You know you need to. Future you will appreciate it. Maybe buy a calendar so you don’t make this mistake again?

4. House Swap With a Mate

If you’re actually friends with all your housemates (and not just the awkward-nod-in-the-kitchen-return-to-respective-rooms housemates), pop a last-minute post on ya socials and see if anyone’s down to house swap. Sometimes all you need is a venue change and a different set of drawers to snoop through to light your fire. 

Maybe start planning your move out of the city while you’re at it, 2020’s gone remote baby, it ain’t going back. Time for a seachange?

 

HouseSwap, 7 Things to Do on the Long Weekend when Campsites Are Booked Out, ruby bisson, film photography

5. Have an Elaborate Picnic

Dress in theme. Assign friends a food group (vegetables, fruit, dairy) and meet somewhere beautiful. I once hauled a table and two chairs, along with candles and a bunch of flowers, into a park, got Uber eats delivered and had myself a fancy meal under the trees.

If ya mates aren’t down, jump on Tinder until you swipe a random who is keen (this is only partly a joke. If you want to save me the effort, find my DMs and slide into them pls).

Cooking, 7 Things to Do on the Long Weekend when Campsites Are Booked Out, ruby bisson, film photography

6. Dehydration Session

This isn’t some fancy new slang for a hangover, even though a good sesh on an Australian long weekend might (?) be mandatory. We’re talking hiking food.

Practice makes perfect, but usually you’re trying to prep during a busy week or worse, buy on the fly in the supermarket before you hit the bush.

Use your long weekend to find a dehydrator and start practicing! Dehydrated food keeps for ages, so pop it in the freezer when you’re done and you’ll be ready to jet into the wild at the drop of a gaiter.

You might even have the time to make it nutritionally balanced.

7. Have a Beautiful Day Alone

When have you really had a day to yourself? A day without meetups, judgement, commitments, all the things that come with being a social being. Just once, try on something different, try experiencing things on your own terms.

Long weekends are a gift. 72 hours of freedom, with 24 of those a bonafide bonus. Whether you spend it with friends or keep it all to yourself, camp out back or prepare for future adventures, a last-minute long weekend never has to be wasted.

 

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