Thursday, 3 November 2011

Braving the Elements

Over the weekend Hubby, Jessie the puppy and I headed an hour west of Kilcoy to the Bernakin State Forrest for two nights of camping.  We planned to relax, read, swim in the creek, play some majong and enjoy the wildlife on offer.

We do quite a bit of camping and have all of our things packed into plastic storage tubs so we just throw the tubs on the trailer and away we go. 
We own two tents, one that is only a few years old, very sturdy and sleeps 8 but takes a bit of time to put up, and the second that is over 30 year old sleeps just the two of us and was a hand me down from Hubby's parents. 
The old tent is so quick to put up that we decided that since it was only two nights we would just use it.  But it seems that some pesky rodents had taken a liking to our tent as a possible nesting material and chewed some holes in the sides and floor. 
Not to worry, a bit of the old gaffa tape to the rescue on the hole in the wall and an extra ground sheet under the tent  instead of taping up the floor and we were good to go. (I do wonder what other campers must have thought seeing our patched up tent).
We spent the first two days teaching Jessie to swim, relaxing and enjoying the scenery.  There were King Parrots, Pale Headed Rosellas as well as Lorrikeets and Galahs.  We even had a Koala sleeping in the tree above us and Bandicoots raiding the campsite at night.
Learning to swim
Pale Headed Rosella

Mr King Parrot and just on the right is Mrs King Parrot hiding behind the twigs
Can you see her?

Because of all the bandicoots during the night Jessie kept barking at them (we don't have them at home) and after trying to get her to calm down I gave up and brought her in the tent with us. 
Once inside she was fine and lay down on the floor beside me to sleep.  But apparently she was not ready to sleep and wanted to wrestle her lead instead. 
After being kicked in the side a few times as she rolled about on the floor fighting her lead I finally got her to calm down.  So with Hubby sound asleep beside me, oblivious to the goings on, I am finally nodding off to sleep.   Then I head this twanging noise and feel movement beside me again.  So on comes the torch (by this stage I don't care if I wake Hubby up) and here is Jessie with a cord from the tent between her teeth using her paw to pick at the cord causing it to make the twanging noise. Ahhrrrr.
After doing an investigation into what else she might be able to get he puppy paws on we finally settled down for some sleep.
Thankfully I was able to catch up on a few hours with an afternoon nap the next day.

"I like camping"
The next day was filled with more swimming and general relaxing.  As we headed off to bed that night we noticed some lightening to the west so we secured the big tarp that covered the tent and gave us an undercover area, made sure all the plastic tubs had their lids on tight and headed for bed. 
But then it started to rain, and not just a little but a lot.  And in rolled the thunder and lightning just a little at first but I could tell it was building.  So since I knew Jessie was frightened of storms, and could bolt for miles if she got off her leash there was nothing for it but to bring her in the tent with us.  Oh dear not a repeat of last night.
Thankfully no not a repeat of the night before, but this time I had a trembling puppy snuggled up next to me while the rain pounded down on the tent and the thunder and lightning crashed around us.  It was raining pretty hard and I could feel the water running under the tent, and I could hear it pouring off the tarp in a a waterfall.  The wind was blowing a mist of rain under the tarp and the sides of the tent were billowing in and out, but as long as we were dry it didn't matter too much.  The storm would pass and we could dry everything out in the morning.
The next morning we woke to the sound of the early morning bird chorus just as it was getting light.  The storm had passed in the night and the tent was still standing but I still had this feeling of being a bit damp and figure it was time for a cuppa. 
It was when I sat up and looked at the bed that I realised the was a pool of water at the foot of the bed and the cotton blanket on the bed was acting like a wick soaking the water off the floor and drawing up towards us.  That hole that the rodents had chewed in the floor (yes the one we did not tape up) had channeled the water into the tent, under the bed and had then become trapped inside by the (none holey part of the) waterproof floor. 
Oh well too late now, may as well have my cuppa then worry about it.  In the end it was not as bad as it had looked, and since the blanket was already wet I just used it to soak up the puddle of water and would worry about it when we got home.  Sadly though with lots of water comes lots of dirt splatter so all the plastic tubs and eskies had dirt splattered up the side of them.

The morning after
Needless to say I have spent the last few days washing and drying all of our camping gear, thank goodness we have had great weather.  It is not the first, not will it be the last, time that we have come home a bit soggy but that does not put us off.  

However I think we will patch those holes in the floor after all.


  1. What a great little holiday escape! Although, damn those rats for choosing your tent as nesting fodder. Jessie looks to have her crazy spirally eyes on, which no doubt means that everything beomes a play toy, and if it moves then even more so. Our Boxer dogs are the same. Spirally eyes and selective hearing.....however they still take bedtime seriously and clock off for the day at 8.30 each night.

    Love the wildlife pics, as well.

  2. Ah camping. Had dreams of regular camping trips with the kids. Did it once. Need to be persuaded to do it again. You unlike me, seem to have the right attitude.

  3. I have fond memories of camping while we were growing up. I never really got into the groove as an adult though. Maybe you just remember the good times and forget about the soggy beds.

  4. wow, that was a massive storm (or it was in Nanango anyway), sounds like you had a decent tent then. We had two very scared dogs in our bedroom that night, you'd think they'd learn after surviving countless thunderstorms over the past ten years that the they are going to be ok, but still they shiver and whimper and carry on like puppies. Bedtime is usually around 7pm, unless we're still eating dinner and then they can manage to stay up a bit later to supervise :)


I'd love to hear your thoughts...
Thanks for taking the time to comment