Camping has a long history in Australia, in a formal sense, as long as the land has been occupied by Europeans. But the country’s original occupants, the aboriginal people, have a long tradition of what might be called camping to some but is simple a way of life for them. Although that way of life has mostly died out in the modern country we live in now, for better or worse, and we must take care to remember this way of life and what it means that it’s now gone. What have we lost, and what is there still to recover.

But nevertheless, there is a long tradition, ever since the first settlers laid down a swag and found a place to rest their head for the evening, when the European explorers first made their way into the heart of the land, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, there has been a connection between the earth we walk on and the earth we sleep on. When gold was first discovered and people came from around the world to find their fortune many could not afford to stay in accommodation and nor would there have been enough if they had wanted to, and so they all brought primitive tents and set them up next to their little patch on the goldfield. Many people alive in Australia today are descended from those people who spent large parts of their lives in tents. And it seems to have stayed with us all the way to modern Australia.

Come summertime and the nations numerous camping grounds are packed with families on holidays, making the most of the hot weather and the time off work and school. Taking the opportunity to change the scenery and experience the world a bit more intimately than they are used to. Parents often consider this getting into to nature to be a vital part of a child’s upbringing; it teaches them early on that there is a different world to the one they know. It is a beneficial experience for a kid to lie in a tent where he or she can hear all the sounds of the bush and the insects and perhaps the waves crashing in the ocean beyond. It’s a place where they can learn skills like making a fire, and cooking, swimming in the water, that they will use for their whole lives and in some extreme cases it might even save their life.

Of course, things have changed a lot from the early days of camping, where you would carry everything you needed on your back and when you found a good spot, somewhere that would be shaded from the morning sun, not underneath any overhanging branches, especially in a storm, somewhere that is flat and free from any ants nests or other insect colony, then you through your stuff down and enjoy the peace of the world around you. Now there are all manner of wild contraptions to take camping with you, from solar panels for your electric razor to an outdoor shower. Indeed many campsite you see around the country are so decked out that you have to wonder why they bothered to leave the house at all, it’s like they’ve packed so many things that they couldn’t possibly do with out you have to wonder just what it is they’ve come looking for in whatever remote place they’ve come to. Not to mention of course, the camper vans, that luxury mobile that has become the home away from home for many campers. Campervan hire in Australia must be going through the roof.