Easter camping Ivan style

Will Easter this year once again be one big camping ground for lots of people enjoying the holidays?

Or have the effects of hurricane Ivan given even the most stalwart of campers no taste for the outside sea breezes.

My sisters, who have been a family of campers for as long as I can remember say no way. They said they enough camping during Ivan to last a lifetime.

They said after camping out on corn beef, dry crackers, tin mackerel, sardines, wet mattresses, little or no water, dealing with fussy children, enjoying the starry bright sky from the comfort of a home with out a roof and listening to mosquitoes singing a merry camp fire tune, camping will have to stay for next Easter.

It is true, Ivan did give everyone the feeling of camping out but that should not deter islanders and visitors alike from enjoying what has been a long time Caymanian tradition.

Whether Ivan took all trees and maybe some fish, camping island style is good fun.

There is nothing like planning that great Easter picnic.

This is the time families enjoy catching up on history, yesteryear stories, and now Ivan tales. Sharing the good news of Jesus’ resurrection while dining on succulent fried fish and fritters cooked on dried grape tree bark under the open sky is the best time you will have. Even the dreaded mosquitoes are an added nostalgia to this event.

Now the key to camping out is snatching the best campsite; one that gives clear access and view of the beach. For this you need not look very far. Ivan created lots of extra beaches for you to enjoy. Just pick your favourite one. Ivan even left some tents lying around. If you were one of the lucky ones like me to have received a nice tent from the Red Cross don’t pack it away just yet, now is the time to put it to good use.

No trees to pitch your tents under? Don’t worry you won’t have look out for falling coconuts, Ivan took them too. There is also no need to do a previous day’s raking; Ivan helped there too.

When we really check it out, Ivan helped a lot more than you think when it comes to camping this year. The experience in itself is enough to help you out.

Camp set up

So grab your camping gear and let’s go camping.

Have a camp scout he is the one that will scout out the best camping ground.

When a good site is secured erect your sign. This is usually done on any crude material lying around. When that big day arrives, which is usually the Thursday before Good Friday, pack your hammocks, garbage bags, water, dried food, lots of drinks, fishing lines, cooking oil, bun and cheese and don’t forget the mosquito repellent.

For games you will need a pack of dominoes. There is nothing like slapping a game of dominoes while enjoying fish and merry juice around the campfire.

When you arrive at camp, the first thing to do is set up tents. Children are usually sent out to gather firewood. Decide where you will have the cooking area. This should be in a corner where there is not much breeze. For eating, just find a seat anywhere.

After the tents are up, the cooking /eating area done and the food secure, grab your line and go fishing.

Don’t worry about hanging wet clothes, drape them over the nearest, oops I was going to say grape tree; I forgot Ivan took them too. Well alright, spread on sand until dry; give a good shake and viola! Sand dried wear, or in some cases like my family, just drip and dry.

Now don’t forget you will have plenty of visitors, so take something extra or two to share. Most people do not like to set up camp but lots of people like to visit.

When camping at night don’t be scared if you hear footsteps, in most cases it is just your next door campers patrolling the beach in search of firewood.

When it comes time to packing up, everyone pitches in. Plans for next Easter are usually talked about at this time.

Before leaving camp make sure all garbage is put in bags and placed by the road side for the garbage trucks to pick up. If camping off’ the road, take your garbage to the main road.

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