Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

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Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby sim1oz » Sun 19 Apr, 2015 10:05 pm

I thought I would write up a bit of a ‘trip report’ on the BA Forum glamping (or car camping, depending on your definition) weekend at Mt Franklin. :P

LOCATION
First of all the location…
Mt Franklin Reserve is located in Hepburn Regional Park just north of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. It is a lovely camping ground set in the crater of an extinct volcano which has been planted out with exotic confers and deciduous trees with plenty of grassed areas to camp on. You drive into the crater through the breach in the cone cause by a long ago eruption.

AMENITIES
There are drop toilets with attached rainwater tanks for hand washing and the obligatory message about the water not being fit to drink unless treated. There were numerous picnic tables and fire places with swivel hotplates scattered around the campsite. The soil is not very deep in places so it can be hard to get your tent pegs in deep enough before they hit rock.

For photos of the camp grounds see:
http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/hepburn-r.p/things-to-do/mt-franklin-reserve

WALKS
A walking track winds up the inside the crater to the ‘summit’ ending near a gravel circle area which is the end of the service road for the multiple mobile phone antennas. Yes, everyone seemed to have very good phone reception! Following the service road around the rim of the crater eventually leads back down to the camping area. The entire walk is signed as 20 minutes and I can vouch for the fact that it took 40 minutes with children (including a 2-year old) so it is really more of a stroll.
Nearby there many walk options along the Tipperary Walking Track and Goldfields Track (which forms part of the Great Dividing Trail).

For more details on walks see:
http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/313802/Park-note-Hepburn-RP-and-Mt-Franklin-Reserve.pdf
http://www.goldfieldstrack.com.au/
http://gdt.org.au/

OUR GLAMPING WEEKEND
Moondog and Cecile (also known as Beloved) arrived on Thursday to set things up. Sim1oz arrived early Friday afternoon with children, and family friend and child. Michael dropped off two dozen freshly laid eggs on his work travels. Soon Cecile’s daughter arrived her children. DavidM was next to arrive and set up camp. Snowzone and partner joined us for a few hours including dinner around the expanded fire place incorporating some of Moondog’s fire stoves and fire pits brought from home. Several people brought bags of wood to keep bodies and food warm which was good considering the cold weather over the weekend. Saturday we were joined by ErichFromm and his 2yo son. Franco and his wife joined us for a few hours in the afternoon, and icefest arrived not long after Franco left. (I hope I didn’t forget anyone in that list!)

Given the cold weather we did spend a lot of time sitting around the fire talking and keeping warm. There was lots of food shared round, including cakes, fresh bread from the bakery and Moondog’s kitchen, freshly made potato and sweet potato chips, chocolate, and plenty of wine and port. On Saturday Moondog made two big pots of soup, the promised lamb shank and barley broth as well as a vegetable soup for the vegetarians among us. Delicious and warming!

Whilst it seems people’s definitions of glamping seems to differ, there were many luxurious items brought along that would not normally make it into a pack. Moondog decked out his multiple shelters in fairylights, ErichFromm strung up some glowing balloons along rope tied between trees, and sim1oz brought glow-in-the-dark necklaces which we placed on the kids to keep track of them and eventually placed on tents so that people stopped tripping on guylines. It did become a bit of an obstacle course by Saturday night!

Some people brought big car camping tents which allowed for some extra luxurious bedding – I slept on my futon mattress with our home pillows and doona. It was cozy and warm despite the cold temperatures. It was also convenient bringing full-size camp chairs which allowed me to toast my toes nicely by the fire. As one who does not normally light fires whilst doing packwalks, I must admit I enjoyed the warmth and social side of the campfire.

GEAR GEEKS 8)
The weekend provided a good opportunity for people to see and play with gear. Knives, packs and shelters seemed to be the most frequent display. DavidM showed us his Feuerhand kerosene lamp which shone all night acting as a beacon to help those returning from the toilet. We set up some shelters in one corner, ErichFromm’s hammock, Franco’s Notch and Stratspire 2, and sim1oz’s Hogback. Icefest impressed us all with his superlightweight cuben shelter and pack.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This is really just an overview of the many wonderful people we met and conversations we had. I enjoyed finally putting faces to names and find some potential new walking partners.

I invite everyone else who came along to share their reflections and photos. :D

Also, it seemed that people were keen to do this again, so stay tuned for a spring glamping trip….
Carpe diem!
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby neilmny » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 6:17 am

Great to hear it was a success. With the rain tumbling down heavily all around the state, we were hoping the weather wasn't too unkind up there.
Any pictures folks?............................The Hogback is a wopper!
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Empty » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 7:20 am

Good one Simone

Glad you survived the cold. :D :D
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby sim1oz » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 7:44 am

While it did rain and off, I never really felt that it impinged on our fun. Most of the time it was more of a light shower and we continued sitting round the campfire, with the heavier rain at night when we were all tucked into our shelters. Saturday was bright and sunny - everything dried off and people went for walks or just relaxed. Also, the cold (mostly) didn't bother me as we dressed appropriately and were able to warm up next to the fire.

Pictures are coming once I find the connection cable for my camera :D
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 8:16 am

Possum proof food bins are an imperative for the next visit. I made far too much soup, or we had too few people. As it was cold overnite I wasn't worried about food spoilage so when we got home I brought the soup up to boil and it will keep in the freezer until we have a family gathering here. I spent too much money on the soup ( we were hoping for that magic 30 or 40 people) but in the long run that will even itself out
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Cecile » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 8:23 am

The campsite.jpg
Campsite, from the top of the hill


Initially, I must say that I had a laugh at the "beloved" thing. I never even considered it for a handle/nickname.

This is my very first serious camping trip since my daughter was HER daughter's age (or thereabouts.) That was in a large caravan park with an amenities block and hot water. Camping with Moondog is deadly serious business! I didn't mind the outdoors, the camp kitchen, even getting filthy. I did however have a real problem with the camp stretcher that collapsed underneath me, and I am seriously challenged by the fact that I can not wear a beanie. (For the amusement of those not there, I have big, and I mean big boofy hair which got boofier as the weekend went on, and the beanie kept sliding slowly up until it popped off and sat like a little tent on top of my head.)

I learned so much, too, especially about cold weather clothing (yes Ted, you are so right about this.) Layer, upon layer, upon layer, like a Sara Lee danish. Cotton lycra does not work as a base layer, although as an overlayer on top of a pair of fleecy track pants it's amazing. "I'm cold!" I say. He says, "Cecile, put on a hat." In the absence of a beanie, a balaclava will work (hey Ted, why didn't you bring yours out of hiding until the last morning??) I was toasty warm in my $30 second hand sleeping bag, but the weight of it, plus the poorly designed zipper means that if we do more of these get-aways I will need to find a different bag. In the short term, I believe I have scored a silk bag liner that will help.

I like order, and was very happy with the kitchen setup although we need another table. Ted also likes having "his" kitchen in good working order. Next time perhaps I'll be a little less disengaged, spend a little more time participating in the packing and organising. He basically just tosses everything he can think of into bags, and we ended up with six containers of sugar but not enough tea towels, only one fork and no hand sanitiser. A plastic tablecloth would be handy. Stuff like that.

Oh, and we need a LOT more fairy lights.

I have a bunch of photos, (selected randomly because I have to go to work) and I'm sure there will be more.

IMG_0346.JPG
Night time visitors meant nothing, and I mean nothing that had food in or around it was safe. Things that go bump in the night! They were so unafraid of us that Ted took time to stroke one before he shoo'd it off the picnic table.
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Attachments
IMG_0319.JPG
Kitchen tent.
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IMG_0323.JPG
This fellow and his family were frequent visitors. They had little or no fear of the humans who invaded his home.
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Snowzone » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 9:49 am

Always great to put faces to names. Its interesting the picture you build in your head of people from the forum and then you actually meet them and see if they're like the picture you've built or somebody entirely different. Usually the later, it can be quite amusing.

Thanks MD and 'Beloved' as well as Simone and others for the delightful few hours we could spend with you all. We spent a very enjoyable weekend in the Lerderderg with much better weather than expected. Had the gorge completely to ourselves and did not meet a single person on the tracks all weekend.

It will be lovely to have another get-together again in the future and maybe the odd walk with others in the meantime.
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby stry » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 11:06 am

Hand sanitizer Cecile ??

You'll never keep your immune system fit healthy if you deprive it of exercise :D OK -maybe not a bad idea if cooking for others. :D
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby ErichFromm » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 11:56 am

Great write-up Simone....

Was really great to meet all of you. I'm afraid I didn't get to talk to you all as much as I would've liked. Even with Lilly's help Ethan was a lot of effort to manage, being sick and more than a little clingy. But there is always next time! Already thinking of ways to keep the little guy warm for next trip, he's got bad circulation like his dad so was pretty miserable toward the end. Was fine once we got in the car.

Again a big thanks to Lilly. Ethan and I were looking at the photos later and he smiled everytime one of her pictures came up. Would be very easy to forget she is so young based on the way she speaks - she's like a really short 22 year old :)

A great location too: very pretty, not too far from Melbourne, and with that great space in the middle that is ideal for setting up display tables and tents. Count me in for the next event, hope to make it a recurring thing.

And a big thanks to Mr Moondog for all the effort with the soup and fire etc. Very nice and made a big difference.

I'll be uploading a few photos later.
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby ErichFromm » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 12:03 pm

Snowzone wrote:Its interesting the picture you build in your head of people from the forum and then you actually meet them and see if they're like the picture you've built or somebody entirely different.


Yes - definitely. For some reason I thought Icefest was middle aged or above, so was quite a shock when he turned out to be even younger than me :)
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 1:52 pm

As Cecile says; she didn't die from exposure but to do again she will want a little more security and comfort to sleep.
I think we may need a proper bed big enough for the two of us; I'm going to ask for advice and recommendations in the Equipment forum
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby sim1oz » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 8:28 pm

Some more photos...of kids having fun :lol: Many thanks to ErichFromm for bringing the bubbles, and Jenn for these photos.

Mt Franklin bubble blowing.jpg
Blowing bubbles (Jenn's photo)


Mt Franklin bubble tree.jpg
The Bubble Tree (Jenn's photo)


Mt Franklin roasting marshmallows.jpg
Kids roasting marshmallows - with Moondog's big pots of soup cooking in the foreground (Jenn's photo)
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby icefest » Mon 20 Apr, 2015 9:25 pm

ErichFromm wrote: For some reason I thought Icefest was middle aged or above, so was quite a shock when he turned out to be even younger than me :)


Imagine my shock at discovering that's what I sound like...
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful.
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby sim1oz » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 12:26 am

@icefest, take it as compliment that you have accomplished so much already... and you have plenty of time for lots more exploring :D
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby icefest » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 5:28 am

I'm not angry nor annoyed; it just makes me smile everytime I think of it.

Other thoughts:
Md's soup was amazing; I could've dated it until bursting (and I usually don't even like lamb).

Being the late arrival I felt like you guys had known each other for years - incredible.
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby sim1oz » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 6:55 am

I think by the time you had arrived people had been there for 6-24 hours. Time distorts in lovely ways when you are 'out bush' :) By then we had shared stories about our past walks and future walk plans, and checked out each other's gear. You settled in pretty quickly when you arrived, and you definitely set the standard for lightweight gear among the group :lol:

I meant to ask how you fared in the rain overnight? I was most intrigued by your shelter as I've heard of them but never seen one before. Would you still recommend a cuben tarp? Was it just the mesh inner that you would change to silnylon? Is the main issue condensation, or something else?
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Moondog55 » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 7:38 am

"Show and Tell" was very disorganised wasn't it?
I emailed Tez at Paddys and let him know that there was no need to provide a gift certificate as only two PaddyMade items made it to the gathering
Cecile says we have to get a big dome for the next one so we can sit around out of the rain ( her hair goes feral in the rain) and I'll fix the cooking tent to work more efficiently for the next gathering.
I had a great time just being there
Ve are too soon old und too late schmart
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby ErichFromm » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 8:21 am

sim1oz wrote:@icefest, take it as compliment that you have accomplished so much already... and you have plenty of time for lots more exploring :D


Yes - more of a compliment. Read it as "Knowledgeable beyond his years"... :)
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby ErichFromm » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 8:25 am

Yes - I think a big community shelter is a good idea. I actually have a huge sunshade thing I set up for big gatherings (usually music festivals), and add a silnylon tarp on top during rain. I didn't bring this time as I was on my own - but next time I will.

Just remember - this was only the first, so lots of room for improvement for the next one. I'll bring a table next time to display our other equipment, knives, torches, cook sets etc. Already looking forward to the next gathering :)
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Arnold » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 8:52 pm

Evening all,
As has already been said, it was great to meet some of the regulars, even though I'm a newb. I enjoyed talking to you all, and it was great to see the kids running around in their onesies and enjoying being outdoors :D
I'm expecting that our paths will cross again, whether at the next get together, or on a hike with a few of you.
Thanks Simone for getting this thread started.
Cheers,
Arnold (aka ...)
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Cecile » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 9:59 pm

Arnold wrote:Arnold (aka ...)


Are you going to put Ted and me out of our misery?
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Cecile » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 10:12 pm

Moondog55 wrote: her hair goes feral in the rain


See what he means?

Me laughing.jpg
Feral hair!


If only he had brought out his ancient Damart balaclava before the last morning!

DSCN0333.JPG
I need that hood
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Arnold » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 11:04 pm

Are you going to put Ted and me out of our misery?


Nope, I have returned to the anonymity of the Internet. Perhaps at the next get together 8)
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby sim1oz » Tue 21 Apr, 2015 11:42 pm

I'm thinking a big hot tent (as discussed with Franco) for our next chilly glamping trip and we can have an open gazebo/sunshade (thanks ErichFromm) for warmer weather. Are we starting to hit a consensus on how close we are to the glamping zone yet? :lol:

More fairy lights are on order. MD, did yours arrive?

Noted we need better organisation for gear display. Perhaps we will set a special day/time for that before or after a scrumptious lunch feast? That leaves the rest of the time for wandering and exploring and adventures. I've got more folding tables for small gear which I can bring next time, but I think the shelter zone worked well. That hammock was zzzzzzzzzzz brilliant.
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Moondog55 » Wed 22 Apr, 2015 7:40 am

That raincoat is almost as old as I am J&H Cane Toad from the late 1980s and it's a Patagonia balaclava Cecile
My small fairy lights did arrive
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby ErichFromm » Mon 27 Apr, 2015 8:20 pm

A bit late, but better than never....
Attachments
DSC03025.jpg
kids and beloved
DSC03032.jpg
Sim1oz after a hammock nap
DSC03026.jpg
stratospire 2 (Franco)
Mt Franklin1.jpg
Lily and Ethan
mt franklin 3.jpg
A few tents
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby Moondog55 » Fri 01 May, 2015 11:18 am

Kudos to Sim's kids for the wonderful baby sitting service.
I had a great time as did my Boss in spite of her dislike of the cold and damp
Same place in Spring next year??
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby David M » Mon 25 May, 2015 9:55 pm

I have just, belatedly, uploaded a few pictures of the glamping weekend to YouTube. I had a great time. Thanks to everyone that organised it and participated. https://youtu.be/cMK-_ccRlC0
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Re: Mt Franklin glamping trip - reflections

Postby David M » Mon 25 May, 2015 10:56 pm

I have now also added a video about Moondog and his vegetable soup. https://youtu.be/-o3vCVSPOdc "Bushwalk.com Glamping weekend Mt Franklin, VIC, Australia, 17-19 Apr 2015"
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