Born in a Tent: How camping makes us Australian
Bill Garner

Paperback | Oct 2013 | NewSouth | 9781742233345 | 288pp | 230x176mm | GEN | AUD$39.99, NZD$47.99

Breathtakingly original, this book shows that the history of Australia can be told through a history of camping.

Bill Garner reminds us that Australia was settled as a campsite – the nation was born in a tent. But while Europeans brought tents, they did not bring camping. Australia had been a camping place for millennia. And so it continued to be. For more than a hundred years, settlers – women as well as men – colonised the country by living under canvas. It changed them into a new sort of native Australian. It gave them a feel for the place, a wry can-do attitude, and a lasting taste for equality. And it led to a sense of belonging.

Born in a Tent takes the story from the campfire to the gas bottle, from a tarp slung on saplings to polymer tents and aluminium poles. It reveals how deeply our camping holidays connect us to the land, to the past, and to one another.