Whether you’re hitting Wilsons Prom or Yosemite, Jasper or Tongariro, camping is a universally loved outdoor affair. But do you know what else is universal? The kind of characters you’re likely to find huddled around the fire, sharing the barbecue or waiting in line for the drop toilet.
To celebrate camp life diversity, we thought we’d highlight a few of our favourite camp personality types. Grab your torches, here we go:
Falls into one of two categories; gourmet or hack. For the sake of your bellies, I hope your next outdoor adventure blesses you with a gourmet chef. These are the guys who take camp meal times incredibly seriously. I mean, they bring their own knives and spice rack after all. While you go for that sunset hike, they’ll likely be back at camp prepping the fish tacos (with homemade salsa, obviously). They always bring enough ice, know how to multitask that camp cooker like a pro, and will never turn you down for seconds. The hack chef, on the other hand, brings five BackCountry meals for six people, forgets the spatula and refuses to help wash up. I know who I want on my camp team.
The Gear Junkie
Now this camper knows the difference between GORE-TEX® and Hydronaute. A gear addict and brand expert, you can pick this enthusiast out from the crowd by the quality of their headlamp and the top-tier solar charger they’re carrying around their neck. They’re always the first to give you a go in their camping hammock (the latest and greatest), offer you advice on lacing your hiking boots or regale you with the benefits of a good mid-layer – these guys are well-researched and well-meaning. Just be prepared for all the questions, they’ll want to know exactly what brand of foldout chair you’re sitting on, where you bought it and for how much. Then they’ll tell you the story of their foldout chair.
The Bear Grylls
Inflatable camp beds are for sissies, mosquito nets are for wimps and rivers are for fishing with your bare hands. There’s always one character in the group who thinks camping should be a back-to-basics, survivor-style test of endurance. They’ll start their day with a glacial lake swim, forage for their lunch and then bunk down in their swag under the stars come nightfall. The last part is actually really fun. They bring a sense of spontaneity and adventure to the campsite, but just be wary if you see them approaching any local wildlife – you don’t want them going full Bear Grylls.
A camping trip is nothing without a good fire. It brings warmth, it brings community and yep, it even brings entertainment (I love it when the smoke follows the same person around all night). But with great fire, comes great responsibility. And normally that (willingly) falls to one person – the pyro. These campers live and breathe flames. They know the perfect method to starting the burn, are experts on foliage fuel and can often be found sitting mutely, staring into its fiery belly. Make sure you are a polite camp buddy and compliment the pyro on their efforts, it’ll be appreciated.
The Creature Comfort
We all know one of these campers. The ‘bring not one, but two, duck feather pillows’ kind of camper. Drive-up campsites are a necessity for these guys as there is no way they’re about to hike into a site with their deluxe, double inflatable mattress. In the morning they’ll rise from their palatial tent, impeccably manicured and very well preened. How do they get their hair looking so good? The answer is a solar powered hair dryer, folks. While it may seem like I’m describing a diva, the Creature Comfort characters are (testament to them) very generous with their 50+ sunscreen and always first to pull out a nail file if need be. And that’s actually more common than you think.