My second born is off to camp this week. Voluntarily. It’s a youth movement camp, 5 hours out of town. Tuesday until Sunday. The weather forecast is for 1 degree nights. He is 8 and stubborn. He doesn’t take a jacket with him when it’s cold. Getting him to brush his teeth and shower daily requires the sort of negotiation skills more appropriate to, say, Camp David. I have been told by more experienced camp mums that in the issue of hygiene I am going to have to get my Idina Menzel on and let it go. Let it gooooooo. Let. It. Go.

But the cold is something else altogether. And whilst I can’t physically make him layer up (in my own house let alone 5 hours away), I can send him with the ability to stay warm, if not the will.

Enter the camping store. Not my regular domain. I don’t do camp. Well I DO do camp-camp…..Glitter! Sequins! Musicals! Pink!! But camping camp? Not even not so much….not at all. Tents (shudder). Toilets blocks (SHUDDER). Polar fleece (The horror. THE HORROR).

I hadn’t been in a camping shop since 2002 when Working Boy and I needed to get some travel towels and sleeping bag liners before we went on our PKWT (pre-kids world trip). I somehow came out with a polar fleece jacket. I am still not sure how this happened. But let me tell you, no matter how warm it is, walking the streets of Barcelona and Paris, I felt like a right idiot wearing clothing that should only be found outside of metropolitan cities (and even then it’s questionable). Unlike ski-wear, there is no such thing as camp-chic. I upgraded to a coat from Zara, and sold that polar fleece on eBay on our return.

But I digress. Kathmandu is having a great sale so off I went. (Actually it wasn’t so easy – there was a tired baby and two unenthusiastic children to drag along, as well as one enthusiastic child who didn’t want to be tempered by the lack of enthusiasm shown by his siblings).

ANYWAY. I am completely out of my depth in camping shops. Everything is ugly. The staff speak in terms of practicality. I don’t speak that language. The most practical I get is not wearing a fur gilet when my child has a cold. Or wearing my Hunters over my suede boots when it’s wet outside. I don’t know what the benefits of polar fleece over wool are (or wool over polar fleece – who the hell knows – or whether that is even cause for comparison) and I don’t want to. Everyone in the shop is rugged and outdoorsy. I like the beach as much as anyone (sometimes even more) but Westfield Bondi Junction is my mothership.

Money can’t buy you love, but it can buy you warmth. Despite my misgivings, we came home with this beanie


and scarf, gloves and a plain coloured thermal top with change from a $50 note. Two days later I ventured into K-mart and got him ugg boots for $4. Four dollars. They may well get trashed or lost or both at camp. And I won’t care.

So that’s it all. The shopping is done. The suitcase is almost packed. With hygiene and warmth sorted, that just leaves me with only 10000 other things to worry about. I don’t know much about the stock market but if you could buy shares in kosher cab sav, my tip would be to buy up before Tuesday.

XOXO Shopping Girl