By Ort from Alvah - 27 August 2017
G'day, it's Ort again.
I just got back from a week in the sticks and it was a ripper of a time. Hope your last one was up there too.
One night I was kickin back with two fingers a rum, an I don't mean ya index finger an ya social finger, I mean ya nidex finger and ya little finger, I was borne in Bundy, straight from the boob ta the bottle. Anyway, I was just starin inta the fire as ya do when the conversation dies, may be the conversation dies because of the fire, it has that affect on ya, an I got ta thinkin bout the twists an turns of me life as a happy little camper.
The first coupla years was on me trusty pushey with the bare bones essentials. Got me licence the day I turned 17 and me first ute when I was pushin 18. With the exception of a Troopy a couple a years ago I've always had utes, they fit me lifestyle to a tee.
With me ute I could get places that was outa reach on the pushey, mind you 20 ta 30 miles wasn't outa the question, but on a 24 inch pushey ya was pleased ta get there I'll tell ya. The run home was even worse, usually had to take Monday off school ta recover, an sometimes Tuesday as well if it was a hard weekend. Mum an Dad left for work before the school bus turned up, every bush kids dream. Maybe if I went to school as often as I was sent, I'd be one of them corporate high flyers, naa, stuff that, give me the bush any day.
With a ute ya can cart a bit more kit too, table, chair, esky, camp oven an a proper swag. Getting flash now hey. Just because ya got a bit a space don't mean ya gota put somethin in it. Ever heard of the KISS principle?
If something hasn't got 2 or 3 uses, then think twice bout taken it.
Parently there's a saying amongst the ardent campers, accordin to a fella I met, that if ya take something on a trip 3 times an ya don't use it, BIN IT. Makes sense ta me. Then as serious as a heart attack e says "Ow come most of these fellers are still cartin the misses around ?"
Hey don't get up my ribs, I'm just tellen ya what e said, orite. JJ
Ya can sleep in the back of a ute too, just back it up to a tree, get up on the tail gate an tie a bit a rope around a tree, drive forward a couple a yards, throw the rope over the hood an tie it off on the bull bar, throw a tarp over the rope, turf ya kit out, roll out ya swag an there ya go, home sweet home fa the next coupla days. The tarp keeps the dew off at night and the sun off during the day. Don't ya just love it when a plan comes together, I do.
Never was too keen on sleepin on the ground, too many uninvited guests looking for a warm place ta camp an in those days there wasn't too many invited ones linen up either. Tried a camp stretcher with a mossie net over it, you know one of them upside down ice cream cone shaped mossie nets that ya tie the pointy end up on a branch, if ya can find one that is. I like to spread out a bit when I'm sleepin and the stretcher was just too skinny gutted, so it ended up in the shed till the rats et it, then I binned it.
I got the idea of the mossie net and stretcher from me old auntie up Cooktown way, her and a mate was out in the sticks one night stretched out in their swags. They didn't av a fire goin, they was probly some place they shouldn't ave been, she was like that. She woke up to something heavy layin across er belly. First up she thought it was ol mate helping hisself, she recons she was pretty relieved to find out it was just a bloody great python, bout 20 foot long an as thick as er leg, takin a short cut. She was a bit lean on it an ad skinny legs but still it was a fair lump a snake, a bit too big ta eat she recons, if it ed been a bit smaller she woulda. She was a tough ol bird that one.
Lucky for ol mate it was a snake an not im. Bugger the swag she recons, the ol Rover was looking pretty good, in case it came back an wanted to give er a hug an it was plenty big enough ta give er a squeeze a she wouldn't forget in a urry. An ol mat was big en ugly enough to look after isself she reconed an left im sleepin. If e ada started squealin like a girl she mighta got the gun out, mighta.
You ever tried sleepin in the front of an ol short wheel based Rover? One of them real ol ones that only ad arf a back on the seat. Once was enough for er, that's when she got erself a stretcher and mossie net, kept every bugger out.
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