Don’t be a beach camping buffoon

Paddlers on the Paradise Coast Blueway may choose from several beach islands to camp along their route.

Paddlers on the Paradise Coast Blueway may choose from several beach islands to camp along their route.

Oh how romantic, just you and your loved oneon the beach – just the two of you sitting there watching the waves come crashing in until the sun sets and you sleep under a dreamy starry night sky.

Hang on, hang on one minute.

You’ve just realized you’re covered in mosquito bites.

You look for the anti-itch cream. Your campfire has dwindled into a sorry orange glow, the sky has become overcast and you can’t see a thing. All of a sudden, eyes – humongous yellow eyes are staring right at you. The accompanying shadowy figure makes its way towards your food, then disappears back into the night. Oh well, at least you’ll sleep soundly to the soft lullabying whoosh of the tide coming and going.

The sun is coming up over the horizon, beautiful – but hang on. Oh dear – your back is all wet! You feel achy and hungry and oh yeah, someone or something has had a nibble at your food and the nearest town is miles away.

If you and your loved one would like to avoid a difficult time at the otherwise stunning beach, then take some advice from people who have tried, made mistakes and tried again. Here are some tips to get you off to a good start.

Don’t lay all your pegs in one wet basket

Don’t want to get wet? Don’t pitch your tent near the water, dummy. But seriously – move that tent far from incoming tides. Walking a few extra yards is no biggy – you’ve got the whole day to spend in, on, or around the sea – night time is for sleeping and staying mostly dry – that’s up to you. Also, keep a tarp under the tent.

Those big yellow eyes

Why do you think Tupperware exists? Use it. Animals won’t appreciate a man who cares about freshness and safe food handling, but your partner will. Keep food sealed and out of sightunless you’re trying to spot the local wildlife.

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Ouch! The sun makes things hot, and a steamy hot tent isn’t fun. Look for shade or cover your tent with another tent. Use a second tarp and some logs for a makeshift shady cover.

Off limits

Some places prohibit camping. Don’t camp there. It’s prohibited for a reason, either because it can be dangerous or to protect the local wildlife. Either way – respect the law.

How to make a fire pit

It’s a hole in the ground where you set a couple of wooden logs and twigs alight and eat marshmallows.

Come prepared

Be smart, make a list of what you’ll need. Two tarps, a tent, some Tupperware – food – a change of underpants and maybe a wetsuit to keep your surfing sexy bod smooth.

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