Friday, October 12, 2018

The Wonderful World Of Handy Camping Gadgets and Goodies

Living Off the Grid

As a child I lived in a four room shack in a small village, along with my parents and four brothers.

There was a river at the bottom of the block and a large National Park a short walk from the top, making this almost a dream home.

Cooking and Heating

our cooking and heating was by a wood burning stove that also heated all of the water needed for washing-up, the 'bath' and hot drinks.

While having this appliance in the all purpose kitchen-dining-living room was a godsend in mid-winter,  it was a real shocker during the long summers. Poor Mum.

The stove was fueled by the fallen branches of the surrounding gum trees.and to make our toast we had to fashion a toasting fork from an old coat-hanger or stick and toast before an open fire-box.

I still shudder when I hear the burnt bits being scraped off.

Lighting and Refrigeration

Our lighting and refrigeration were kerosene and it made things like homework almost impossible after dark and there were so many exciting things to do in the available daylight that homework generally lost out.

The Washing

The copper was hand filled with water, by bucket and the fire made underneath to boil the water.

When the clothes had boiled long enough they were pulled out with a big copper-stick and remaining marks scrubbed with a brush or wash-board.

Following this the clothes were run through a mangle (wringer) to get rid of the water before being hung on the clothes line.

When the clothes were dried they were taken back into the hot all purpose kitchen-dining-living room to be ironed.
Flat iron and handle
 A couple of flat irons were heated on the stove top, a blanket placed on the kitchen table and a bowl filled with water to wet the tea-towel for steaming.

The handle was attached to one of the flat irons and the ironing began.
When the iron got too cold, it was placed back on the stove - its handled removed and placed on the second iron as the ironing continued.

Bath Time

An enormous galvanised 'bath-tub' was placed in the middle of the kitchen-dining-living room and filled from a multitude of pots of hot water from the stove top.

One after another, the entire family shared this tub - protecting their modesty as best they could - as the battery powered wireless entertained the troops.

Thankfully we were hardly out of the river through the day.

 So why am I telling you all this?

 As romantic as all that sounds I am in constant awe of my late mother for being able to do it, with little or no help from anyone, and even when Bush-Camping today there are far easier methods of achieving the same, or better, results.

The memories of this time, both good and bad, are burnt into my memory and I have been comparing them lately to the issues of camping Off the Grid and as a result of these thoughts, I decided to start exploring the various options available.

The Wonderful World Of Handy Camping Gadgets and Goodies

Each month I will locate nine or more Handy Camping Gadgets and Goodies and publish them on a new page of my website - Tasmanian Travel Guide - for you to check out.

NOTE: I get a small amount of money if you purchase something from this page. It's not going to be a lot, but it might just help cover some of my costs


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