You’ve got a ute? Great, you’ve got a home.
You just don’t have a toilet.
Wait, you’ve got a shovel? There we go folks, you have a toilet.
If you ever find yourself sitting on the couch early on a Saturday morning, with no plans ahead for the next 48 hours, don’t rule camping out.
Consider this. You’re having a lazy Saturday morning, but you’ve already ducked up to the shops to buy a carton of eggs, some sourdough bread, milk, and pizza bases for dinner in the evening.
You’ve just spent around $20 on food. The same amount you would spend on groceries for a weekend away camping.
If you find somewhere to go camping within two hours from home, pop about $50 petrol on top of that, and there you have it. The cost for a cheap-o weekend away – assuming you’ve selected a camp spot that won’t cost you a cent.
For us at home in Sydney, to throw our camping gear and swag into the back of the ute, and head up the coast to Blacksmiths Beach, is just as simple, not to mention cheaper, than a night out at the movies.
Even if you start the journey along the freeway, and spot some storm clouds rolling toward you, don’t shy away. We frequently venture out on weekends that have awful weather predictions, and almost every time we’ve been spoilt with splendid weather, and nobody around.
What We Look For In a Spot to Camp
First time camping? Here are a few of our top criteria for a spot to roll out the swag:
- Adequate shrubery that will allow for private toilet breaks. If you spend more time digging than doing your business, you’re doing it right. Don’t leave it there for all to see.
- If you’re camping on the beach, find a spot with dunes that’ll block the morning and evening wind.
- A soft, flat area to roll the swag, or pop the tent up.
- Traces of a campfire – that way you know someone has already camped there before, and you aren’t ruining a patch of grass that shouldn’t be burned. On top of that, always check that where you’re camping is campfire permitted. If it isn’t, wear warm clothes and bring cooking apparatus.
A Campers Guide to Budget Groceries
When we stop off at Swansea Woolies to fetch our groceries, we rarely spend over $50.
You can easily drop that price down to $20 if you search the fridge and pantry for goods to take with you.
Here’s a list of what we frequently purchase, which usually comes to $44:
- Barbecued chicken.
- Pre-made potato salad.
- 2 x avocado.
- 1 x loaf of bread.
- 2 x Double Espresso Dare Iced Coffees.
- 2 x mango.
- Wildcard: Cheese, cabanossi, beef jerky, or crackers.
We always avoid paying for firewood at the local servo, as Mark usually brings off-cuts of wood from his work site – one of the benefits having a chippy as a boyfriend.
In the evening, instead of sitting back and watching Netflix, you’ll get to lay back in the swag, watching the starts twinkling above, and listening to the waves crashing on the shore. That beats TV remotes and air-conditioning.
In the morning, all you’ll have to do is peel back the canvas on the swag, and watch the sun rise over the horizon. You won’t even need to set an alarm. That big firey bugger will light up your swag as soon as day-light hits.