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The 20 Types of Camping People

Sunday 7th February 2016
By Dave Eddy
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By Dave Eddy
We’ve compiled a list of the 20 most common personalities you’ll find on the campsite.

Which one/ones best describe you and your fellow campers?


The most common and easily identifiable camper of them all; we’re all secretly jealous of the Grey Nomad. They’ve done their time in the workforce, downgraded the family home and now they’re spending the kids’ inheritance circumnavigating the country.

As the name suggests, you can usually pick out a Grey Nomad by the colour of their hair, although some have been spotted attempting to blend in with the ‘regular’ tourists by dying it. In these instances, they may otherwise be identified by their wide-brimmed hats, socks-and-sandals combos and ‘careful’ campervan driving.



If they could swim across a river and sneak into the park to avoid paying fees, they’d probably do it.

These European travellers appear to have arrived in Australia with nothing but an enormous backpack filled with denim shorts, tie dyed shirts and a single rag dipped in oil, the fumes of which they hope to subside on for the duration of their gap year.

If they were lucky enough to snag some farm work, they might just scrape together enough cash to hire a van and take their new mobile home on an all Aussie adventure, leaving an aroma of mee goreng and dreadlocks in their wake.



They might not all share the same parents, but they’re all sharing your campsite.

Maybe they’ve outgrown their 8 bedroom house, maybe the parents actually thought this ‘break’ would be relaxing, who knows? With such a huge selection of comrades for your own kids, you might just be able to sneak some alone time — they won’t notice a couple more additions.

If you’ve booked a site during off-peak season in the hope that it will be quiet and peaceful, beware the extended family. They make every campsite seem bustling and alive, taking up 5 sites between them and forever commandeering the kitchen as their kids commandeer the pool.



Camping together can make or break any couple and you’re not going to want to be present for either outcome.

There are a few different varieties of the couple, so we’ll ignore the cross-breed grey nomads and parents varieties and focus on ‘the couple in the group’. Sometimes it seems like these guys would really prefer to go camping on their own, but going with a group means that they can share (not do) tasks like cooking or cleaning up in order to have more time for neck-nuzzling, knee-sitting and arm-wrapping.

You probably love these guys, they’re your best friends back home, but there must be something in the fresh air out here that intoxicates these two lovebirds, making single onlookers want to tip over their caravan in disgust.



Lord have mercy on this young family, for they know not what they’re in for. Stand by in amusement as they spend the day frantically chasing toddlers around the campsite or changing a million nappies over the course of three days.

The highlight of these parents’ day is the night, when their kids are finally asleep and they can sit outside drinking and playing cards. They’re starved for adult interaction so they’ll be more than happy to invite you over, but be prepared to be shushed if you get too rowdy — heaven forbid you wake the children.



This first time camper brings trail mix and playing cards and forgets everything else. To be fair, nobody told them that they were going to need thongs for the shower or a towel for the beach; but when they ask where they can plug in their portable heater on your unpowered site, your eye starts to twitch.

The noob can be a good source of entertainment, especially when you ask them to start the campfire (make sure you’re not super hungry). Just don’t ask them to help you with the annex unless you’re very patient.



They’re here to connect with the music and with nature, not to sleep.

These guys live for music, but instead of jamming, they prefer to dance to trance for three days straight, possibly making it back to their car at some point to charge their phones. If you’ve brought your young family to a campsite filled with festival heads, maybe find the nearest Big4 instead.



Handy if you get lost and will always have some spare jerky in their pack.

If you’re more of a ‘wing it’ type of camper, you may end up at odds with the outdoorsy type, who revels in planning out everybody’s day and times your lunch breaks by looking at the sun. If you ask, they will tell you how to tie a constrictor knot and point out every source of drinkable water within a 10 km radius.

The outdoorsy type’s ultimate dream is to find themselves stranded overnight in a freezing desert with nothing but a dead camel and a knife to keep them warm.



This fussy foodie won’t eat processed meats, white bread, or anything from a can. Well, that’s awkward because you brought your famous tin can bread and we’re having sausage sangas for lunch!

At home, the fussy foodie is revered, throwing epic dinner parties involving crispy skin quail and white chocolate truffle foam. They have 10k followers on Insta and would kill you if you told anyone about that time they got drunk and ate 3 Quarter Pounders with cheese.

Try to ignore their scoffs as you scoff down some sticky bbq ribs. They’ll usually just end up subsiding on marshmallows and chocolate, unless there’s dirt on it.



The clinking of their garbage bags can be heard after one night. Their eskys are always the biggest and the clinkers are never the first to wake.

These guys crack open the coldies the minute they’ve checked in and are masters at setting up an entire campsite one-handed. The singing usually starts around 10pm and stops when they’ve run out of Meatloaf and Rolling Stones songs and/or fall asleep in their chairs.

Yes, they’ll keep you up all night but fear not, you shall have your revenge. Simply release your children at sunrise for an extra loud and energetic game of hide and seek. If you don’t have children, play yourself.



The words ‘long’ and ‘drop’ will evoke both fear and disgust in the precious.

They are a special breed of glamper, who doesn’t really ‘do’ the outdoors and as such, can be a bit of a pain when it comes to choosing activities. If you ever invite along a picky eater who is also a precious, you will never be allowed to invite anyone ever again (your friends might not even invite you next time).

The only useful thing about bringing along a precious is that you can use their nail polish remover to get a stubborn fire going (don’t actually do that).



All free spirits are illiterate; they can’t read signs like: “UNSTABLE CLIFF FACE” or “CROCODILES HERE, DO NOT SWIM”.

The free spirit is often a backpacker, though not always cheap. They care less about material possessions and more about seizing the day, even if what they want to do seems insanely dangerous.

Whilst they tend to have little regard for their own safety, hip pocket or even dignity, the free spirit can be a cracker of a caravanning companion. Any time you feel like taking a risk or being adventurous, you can bet you’ll have someone who’s willing to tag along.



They’ll never turn down a jam, or the volume. The band will often travel within a larger collective, so you’ll probably spot a photographer or sketch artist in the midst of these bongo-banging, ukulele-strumming acoustic cover-singing creative types.

If you’re lucky, they’ll even sound good and you’ll be treated to a concert every night. Things can turn sour however when the band start drinking and they forget how to play all the other songs but Oasis’ Wonderwall.



Shoos away the curious wallabies you were trying to get a selfie with, in case they bite.

The scaredy cat will often harbour an irrational phobia of birds. So when you’re eating fish & chips on the beach it’s definitely not a funny idea to throw the box of chips at them and film them as they run away screaming in panic from 50 squawking seagulls, then post the video online. Not in the least bit hilarious.



Gets hurt every time. Pack more than bandaids. The klutz is never without a scrape or bruise in everyday life. Take them on a camping trip and they are even more of an accident waiting to happen, but at least those around them will have a front row seat.

Watch as they attempt cartwheels on the beach and knock themselves out with their own foot. Wonder at how they can possibly roll an ankle playing volleyball in the pool. The klutz is undoubtedly a loveable and entertaining companion, just make sure you keep an eye on them around the campfire and only give them blunt sticks to put their marshmallows on.



Did someone say fire? Man make fire. Stare into flames. Grunt at anyone who comes near.

Getting a campfire going is everyone’s first priority after camp is set up, unless there’s a fire ban; in which case, we’ll just use the camp bbq, it’ll be fine. The cave man however, is obsessed.

He will collect the firewood alone, selecting only the premium dry twigs for kindling. Next, he will expertly strike his flint (more like flick his Zippo) to ignite the flame that will save his clan from starvation (except we brought chips).



Somehow has room in their luggage for snacks, a first aid kit, stationary, a torch, a poncho, insect repellant, etc.

The den mother doesn’t necessarily have to be a mother, or even a woman; they just have to care about everybody’s general safety, wellbeing and whether or not they’re having a good time. The den mother will usually take the noob under their wing, keeping them out of harm’s (and everyone else’s) way.



Never wastes a sunrise. Often packs up and leaves before you’ve gone to bed.

Some campers go their whole lives without actually seeing the morning person, since they seem to already be out hiking when you’re breakfasting and they’ve already turned the lights off in their caravan as you’re making dinner.

There are suspicions, but research has yet to confirm a behavioural link between the morning person and the grey nomad.



Leaves food out for the possums so they can try to get close enough to pet them. As such, the wildlife whisperer is often at odds with the scaredy cat.

When camping with the wildlife whisperer, it’s a good idea to always buy more bread than you think you’ll need, because there’s a good chance the ducks will be eating most of it . Just be sure your den mother has packed enough Dettol for every time they want to pat a stray cat, dog, or snake.



First to ask for the WiFi password and views breathtaking scenery through their tablet screen.

If you take a technology addict out of their natural habitat, they may begin to experience withdrawals and hear phantom buzzing noises (which later turn out to be mosquitos). If they are prepared, they’ve brought enough solar chargers to last them the weekend and you’ll be sure to find an entire album of your holiday snaps already shared online when you arrive home.

You’ll thank the technology addict for their GoPro when you’re looking back at underwater photos of those turtles you saw, but perhaps not for all those times they sat at the campfire playing Candy Crush when the rest of you were cooking dinner.

And that’s it! Which type of camper are you?


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