Summer's nominally almost here, and it's time to start thinking about your leisure activities while you go camping.
When compiling this list Sport Review newsletter considered the following strategic objectives - a) it could be quite hot, and you'll probably be quite full, so you need an activity that requires very low energy expenditure, b) hydration and keeping cool is crucial, so you need to be able to play holding a beverage and c) it should be fun and require some skill. But not *too* much. Here's what you should be doing this summer:
10. Darts - Potentially dangerous outside, HOPELESS in a tent.
9. Mucking around with the kids' remote control xmas toys - these things never last, so you might as well get some fun out of them. Besides, if it's broken, you don't have to fit it in the car for the journey home.
8. Croquet - It's The Law that every NZ house must have a croquet set buried under ten tons of crap in the garage. Apparently it's fantastic, but the rules are very very complicated. You might take your set camping, but you won't play it.
7. Swingball - If anyone has played a swingball rally for longer than 15 seconds without wrapping the cord around a racket, pole or yourself, write in to Sport Review newsletter and I will send you $5.
6. Rugby - Generally recommended you go for 'leisurely throwing the ball around', not 'full tackle.' And steer clear of the BBQ.
5. Dragging kids around on a boogie board behind a bike - good for about ten minutes. Lots of fun, but someone will get hurt and you will be in trouble. Strongly recommend you stay on the grass.
4. Orienteering - Thinly veiled trojan horse for sending the kids on a wild goose chase while adults eat all the chips.
3. Frisbee - Criminally underrated. Not much running around, inexpensive equipment that doesn't take up masses of room in the boot, and a good chance to look co-ordinated. Massive potential for collecting other camp ground members or small children, which is either a hazard or bonus, depending.
2. Cricket - Campground athletes reach peak performance after 2.5 beers, so you're going to have an extremely high standard of play. Just make sure everyone gets a fair go, no-one's here to see you guts out a double ton. Connoisseurs will deploy the 'bat down' variation, where tents, bikes, camp tables and all the other shit you've brought with you present an intellectually challenging obstacle course to work your way around.
1. Petanque - Can you play it with a beer? Check. Not much movement required? Check. Can you play aggressively and do your opponent over? Check. This game ticks a lot of boxes, with the added bonus that the stakes are very low, so you can simply walk away when dinner's ready / you get bored.
Thanks for reading - Richard