Camping cost: $1536.73 Sites: 40 Average: $38.42

peteg's blog - travels - 2010 07 22 WoodsReserve

Freezing my nads off in Tidbinbilla.

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Well that was a dumb idea. I had reason to be in Canberra on Thursday, so I planned to get there on Wednesday and camp the night at the Woods Reserve Recreation Area. If I had thought it through better I would have camped Thursday night and saved myself the late drive back to Sydney.

Anyway, I drove down through Tuggeranong, arriving around 8pm. The camping ground is quite civilised: hot showers, plenty of room, though most sites are some distance from where you can park your car. I set up the old Macpac Nautilus in the headlights of the car, and froze my hands off while doing so. The ambient air wasn't too bad but the ground was already frosty.

The tent hasn't let me down before, but it isn't up to this kind of winter camping; according the BOM it got down to about -3 degrees in Tuggeranong around 3:30am. My sleeping bag is purportedly good down to -6 degrees, but that proved to be another furphy. I didn't sleep too well, largely because I wasn't used to breathing cold air, a problem I solved around 4am by burying my head in the bag. The shower was pleasant in the morning, though the three minutes on, two minutes off duty cycle meant I had to shiver while waiting for that extra minute to wash the shampoo off. It was too cold to shave. Oh well.

The frost in the morning was pretty intense. Both sides of the tent's fly were dusted in ice. Fortunately the ground was still soft, so getting the pegs out was easy, and even luckier the car started without a fuss. On the drive out I spotted this roo just a short distance from the campsite. I think it is the biggest Eastern Grey I've seen in the wild.

Later I found the cold had pretty much killed the MacBook's battery, but it does seem to still hold a charge.