CampingA quick look at the calendar reveals the uncomfortable truth – apart from ANZAC Day, the Easter weekend is the last public holiday until the Queen's Birthday on 9th June. At Easter approximately 5.3 million Australians go camping. This figure is completely made up, but any straw poll of friends and acquaintances will reveal it to be not far from reality. 

As we all pile in the car at some ungodly hour of the morning to travel south from Brisbane to a spot roughly (very roughly) half way between Brisbane and Sydney, we grit ourselves for the long trip, until we think about what our in-laws are facing coming up from Sydney, and then we feel a whole lot better. It's a long way to drive down from Brisbane, but at least we won't be stuck in bumper to bumper traffic all the way up and all the way down again.

We will resist the temptation to pack the kitchen sink, instead the car will be filled with all sorts of 'essential' fluffy animals, barbie dolls, toy horses etc and that's just the young lad's collection.

There are only a few genuinely essential items. Well two, maybe three – a small torch with new batteries in, a bottle opener and a good knife, like the Bolt Action Stainless Steel Kissaki knife (the Bowie's a bit over the top for camping – we're not trying to be Crocodile Dundee). The knife comes in handy for a ton of things, apart from self defence that is. Ropes need to be cut, vegetables, fruit, meat and cheese need to be chopped, and if we get lucky with the fishing rods, we might even get something decent to put on the barbeque, so we'll need the knife to prepare whatever we catch. On second thoughts there are in fact four essential items. I forgot the mobile phone charger.

But is it all about practicality? No, the knife is a connection with a simpler era, when we didn't need to bring the phone charging cable, when we truly did go back to nature and we didn't have access to a camping site toilet block. Then the knife really was essential if we wanted to have something to eat. The knife is a symbol of those times and feeling the weight of a good sturdy, heavy folding knife is almost a badge of manhood (or womanhood?), a tool that says 'I can feed myself and look after myself'.

Now wonder Bear Grylls is so popular. Now he's the sort of guy who would carry a Bolt Action knife around with him. Even going shopping.

A short note about the current trend of 'glamping'

What's the point?

PS If you're getting together your essential items for the camping trip and realise – shock horror – that you don't have a decent knife, don't worry. We can still (maybe) get one to you in time for Easter. Be very quick though.

Image credit: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2580/3936254315_a01d2e9b1d_o.jpg