22. March 2014 · 1 comment · Categories: Travel · Tags: ,
Camping by Wilsons Promontory

Camping by Wilsons Promontory

In December / January we went on a long camping trip, with lots of moving between places. Lots of Aussies seem to camp in the same spot for a week or two and bring the kitchen sink with them – I’m not joking – we did see a portable table with a built in sink, plumbed and everything! Anyway, I thought I’d write a bit about some (car based) camping tips which I find helpful. Of course if you’re in the UK you can ignore this for another few months!

1. Starting at the beginning, pack the right stuff. As well as the obvious stuff like a stove, lighter, gas, sleeping bag, tent, mat and a torch, there are some other bits and pieces I tend to take which just make camping life better:

  • Tongs for the inevitable BBQ and a spatula
  • Our mini frying pan
  • A scourer, washing up liquid and tea towel as you don’t always get these and I hate greasy stuff
  • I have both a summer and winter sleeping bag and often take both if the weather might vary as I hate being cold! I still use my down bag even in Oz as I like being toastie
  • Bug spray
  • A canvas bag to use for taking my clothes in to the shower. This also comes in really handy for transport things about like food for your lunch or dinner from the car to the picnic spot
  • A stuff bag thing – I forget its proper name, but like a semi- dry bag with a roll top. I stuff all my dirty clothes in this to keep them separate from my clean ones. I hate having to rummage for ages in my bag to find stuff. I know it’s too organised, but it makes me happier!
  • Some 2 litre water bottles to freeze and put in the esky to save buying ice

2. Bring some luxury items (if you have space). My number one luxury item for camping is a full size real pillow, followed by a chair. The pillow is so much better for sleeping, and considering you sleep for (hopefully) 8 hours a night it’s definitely worth it! This trip I’ve also thought it would be worth investing in a small folding table, just to save cooking on the floor when there’s nowhere else to sit and we can play board games on it too!

3. Pack the car efficiently! I put all the camping bits and pieces like the pans, stove and cutlery in a big box so they are all together. Admittedly it’s often hard to find things and all the things you want are always at the bottom, but it’s a step in the right direction. Work out the best way to pack the car, and try and replicate it when you move campsites. That way you’ll always know where stuff is. I put pillows on the back seat in case I want a cheeky nap during the drive!

4. Get a decent tent! If you’re going to be camping a lot it’s well worth investing in something which isn’t a dome or pop up tent! They might be cheap but I’m afraid they just won’t cut it in any dodgy weather. Even if they don’t actually fall down they’ll wobble about all over the place, noisily, possibly even bashing you on the head! I love our tent although sadly it now has a dead pole which I hope we can fix. It’s semi-geodesic which means it basically stands up on its own even without any pegs, apart from the porch (hence the semi part).

5. Get a tent erection routine. We are pros at putting our tent up now. We have done it so much we know our jobs and get on with it pretty quickly without even talking about it! If you’re new to your tent, just make sure you communicate about who should be doing which job and remember it’s meant to be fun!

6. Organise the inside of your tent too. I know I’m over organised, but I have a system going on for the inside of the tent too. I like to know where stuff is and have a few things I keep my my head in the night which I’m likely to need including my book, water bottle, torch and watch. (Not you’re phone – you’re meant to be camping and away from it all so turn it off!) I also generally keep my shoes inside now, at the foot end. Even places where there aren’t nasty spiders about possums tent to like running away with shoes apparently! Remember to camp with your head up hill!

7. Plan for bad weather or burning! Make sure you take some waterproofs, and sun cream if the weathers that way inclined.

8. Take games! No camping trip is complete without some games, even if it’s just a basic pack of cards. Either games or a good book are an excellent way to pass the evening once it gets dark.

I reckon most people are just put off by traumatic childhood experiences with leaky tents from Duke of Edinburgh and sleeping bags from Argos designed to be used inside in summer – it doesn’t have to be like that so get out and give camping a go!

Remember, with the right attitude and preparation, camping can definitely be fun. I almost always sleep really well in the tent and enjoy the whole outdoorsness of it – especially when you have kangaroos and wombats to entertain you too!

When’s your next trip?!

1 Comment

  1. Great tips! I’m going away with my wife for my birthday in April and some of these will definitely be helpful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *