In the great outdoors, where everything is already divinely arranged, picking your camping spot based on the elements can actually help you achieve your ultimate camping Zen.
‘Feng shui?’ you might ask. ‘Isn’t that just Japanese for tidying up?’ Well, the answer would be yes. The concept that originated from organising one’s home in relation to the elements is now a Bohemian skimble-skamble that can involve anything from straightening a rug to moving your sofa three centimetres closer to the window because it ‘feels right’.
However, in the great outdoors, where everything is already divinely arranged, picking your camping spot based on the elements can actually help you acheive your ultimate camping Zen.
1. Where is the sun?
Knowing where the sun rises and sets can make quite a difference when it comes to practicality and comfort. Morning sun will dry tents and canvas and afternoon shade will shield you from the hot sun. Also, being bathed in an early glow as you emerge from your caravan in your silk gown and caricatured stokies is a bonus.
2. Where is the wind?
When choosing a caravan spot, consider general wind direction. Finding an upwind spot where there’s a slight breeze will keep you cool and keep away insects (especially mosquitos) as most travel with the wind and not against it. A spot with too much wind isn’t good, unless you like dodging tent poles.
3. Where is the water (the ablutions)?
Don’t pick a spot too close to the bathroom, unless you like hosting improptu chat-ups with campers clad in nothing but their towels. Similarly, you don’t want to have to walk too far while clenching – it’s uncomfortable and looks odd. Pick a spot about 20 metres from the ablutions and you should be alright.
4. Where are the trees?
It might look pretty and make for great photos, but try to avoid parking your caravan under a tree. Falling branches could damage the vehicle if it’s struck by lightning or if there are intense winds. It could also result in unwanted guests from the branches above.
5. Where are my neighbours?
This is an important question based on a universal ratio: the relationship between how close you are to a coolbox and how far away you want to be from your neighbours. As a rule of thumb, if you didn’t bring any beer, you need to find close neighbours and make friends (see our article on page xx for tips on how to camp in groups). If you did bring beer, you can decide if you would like to share it with your neighbours or if you’d be more comfortable keeping it all to yourself. Karma, feng shui’s Indian cousin, encourages the former.
So next time you’re looking for that ideal spot, take the time to ask yourself these questions and you might find your ‘outer peace’ quicker than you think. After all, isn’t that why you’re out there in the first place? Ohmmm.