In need of some genius advice before your first camping trip? We’ve got a lifetime of knowledge and want to share our top tips for a top notch overnighter in the bush, on the beach, or side of the road.
What to Pack
- Portable Single Burner (we bought ours from Kmart)
- Extra gas canisters
- Plates, bowls, mugs
- Cooking utensils: Tongs, spatula
- Chux (the best when it comes to cleaning up)
- Camp oven
- Swag (or a tent)
- Portable fold-up table
- Bed linen: pillows, bed sheet, thick blanket for colder nights
- Swimmers (you never know when you’ll come across a glorious swimming hole)
- Spare underpants
- Portable fan (holy crap this came in handy when we were camping on Fraser Island in the 30+ degree heat)
- Shovel (this is your toilet)
- Toilet paper
- Camping chairs
- Firewood (take however much you will need for however many nights)
- GARBAGE BAGS
- Matches and fire lighters
- Insect repellent
- Closed shoes for hiking
- Camp shower (we use one of these)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Tyre gauge (to see how much air you are letting out of the tyres when you’re driving on the beach or going off road)
- Keep a large 60L plastic tub (grab one from Kmart) in the garage with all of your cooking essentials. Ours contains: cutlery, plates, bowls, cups, mugs, frying pan, wooden spoon, spatula, tongs, chux cloths, hand towels and paper towel
- Keep your old doonas, pillows/pillow covers and bed sheets for camping
- Keep your single burner, cooking utensil tub, camping bed linen and other camping essentials in one area of the garage. Makes last minute camping trips easy!
- Go grocery shopping the night before you leave. If you’re a keen camp chef (like us) put together a menu for your dinners, make a list of ingredients and stick to it
- Get yourself a fridge if you do a lot of off-roading. We just got a 65L Waeco Fridge Freezer and it has made life so much easier on the beach and in the bush! We also use the 86L Cool-Ice to keep drinks and other nibblies cold.
- If you have a chainsaw and love getting your own fire-wood, head out into the woods a week prior to the big trip, and chop up some of your own wood. This is super time consuming, but it makes for a good day trip.
- If you’re camping on the beach, the sand can get pretty cold on your feet at night. I got a cheapo pair of ugg boots from Kmart and wear them in the evenings to keep my feet warm.
- I keep a camping toiletries bag loaded and ready to go in my wardrobe. Inside I’ve got these essentials: toothbrush, small toothpaste, hand towel, hand sanitiser, tiny bottle of shampoo, conditioner and body wash. Again, this makes last minute trips easy because I can grab the bag and go.
Things to Consider
Will there be any reception?
Depending on how far off the beaten track you’re venturing, there’s a high chance you will have no reception. If you’ve got dangerous activities planned (quad biking, dirt bike riding, rock climbing, heavy-duty hiking) you should consider getting yourself an Epirb.
An EPIRB is an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, used to alert search and safety in the case of an emergency. Mark brings one in the car everywhere we go – just in case!
Will there be toilets?
And more importantly, what type? If you’re not one for digging a hole and doing your business in it, you might want to check and see if there are any amenities near the site. If there isn’t, pack a shovel and some toilet paper.
How much fuel will we need?
This one’s for all the four wheel drivers out there that love going off the grid where the petrol stations don’t exist. If you’re driving deep into the mountains, or doing a lot of beach cruising and you know that you’ll need more than a full tank, get yourself a fuel jerry can and fill it up with what you’ll need.
Will there be running water?
If there is no running water, make sure you bring a large jerry can, and fill it with water. We usually bring a 30L with us, and always have it filled to the top.
Check the Weather Before You Go
This goes without saying, but it’s the last thing on my mind after a long week at work. Always make sure you check for local weather warnings, because strong winds can make for a pretty (shitty) interesting trip, and in the summer time storms can roll in unexpectedly – especially if you’re up the north end of Australia.
We visit camping sites of all types, no matter how wild. These things to consider shouldn’t be a reason to not go. Some of our best destinations have had no toilets, no running water and no reception.
*Most of our camping spots are only accessible by 4×4. If you don’t have a 4×4. Go get one.