Taking off into the bush on a camping trip is a traditional Aussie adventure that allows you to reconnect with nature, enjoy the great outdoors, and create lasting memories with your family and friends. To ensure a successful camping experience, having the right camping equipment and knowing a few handy camping tips is a good idea. You can even help other campers make the most of their camping experience, too.
This article provides a comprehensive list of must-have camping gear and shares valuable tips and hacks for your first camping trip. Whether you’re a first-time camper, car camping or an experienced outdoor enthusiast, these tips will help you make the most of your camping trips and create unforgettable memories.
Take the right camping gear
Your sleeping equipment
A Good Quality Tent
- Invest in a reliable, waterproof tent that suits your camping style.
- Consider factors such as size, durability, and ease of setup.
- Whatever you do, try out your gear before you leave, especially if you just purchased it online or at a camping store.
There’s nothing worse than turning up with a tiny tent you thought would be huge!
Sleeping Bags and Inflatable Sleeping Pad
Choose a good sleeping bag suitable for weather conditions and an inflatable pad to enhance comfort and ensure a good night’s sleep. In winter, taking a hot water bottle on your camping trips can also be a good idea to keep extra warm at night.
Foldable camp chairs provide a cozy seating area for relaxing around the campfire. You can even bring out your sleeping bag and wrap it over your lap!
Camp or Picnic Tables
Having a clean, stable workspace to cook on is essential when you spend a lot of time camping.
Cooking, Cleaning and Washing Dishes
Camp Stove, Gas Bottle and Cooking Utensils
A portable camp stove and cooking utensils are essential for preparing camping meals. Opt for lightweight and compact options.
Camping Fire Pits
A portable or flat-pack fire pit are a great way to safely light an open fire for warmth and cooking. Many camp grounds, including free camping spots, require your fires to be contained, so a fire pit is a significant investment.
Sealable Plastic Box
Perfect for storing all your food, a plastic box ( the type you find at the local cheap shop) is a great idea when spending time outdoors. Protecting your ingredients from the wet weather and any native animals that might try and help themselves to a midnight snack!
Fire Lighters or Fire Gel
Often looked down upon, especially by experienced backcountry camping specialists, a couple of fire lighters or a few drops of fire lighting gel can make life easy, especially in wet weather camping when your wood and tinder might be damp.
Quick & Easy Dinner Options
Pack some really quick and easy foods in case a storm blows in and you can’t use your typical camp kitchen setup. Things like 2-minute noodles, hot dogs and tins of soup are quick, easy and delicious to eat. As a bonus, these types of packaged foods allow you to not wash dishes, which is always a good idea =)
First Aid Kit
Pack a well-stocked kit that includes essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and necessary personal medications on any camping trip.
Head torch, headlamp and lantern batteries
Ensure you have sufficient lighting with a headlamp and lantern. Remember to pack extra batteries, as a torch is invaluable for nighttime.
Not often included in camping gear, a pair of gloves is perfect for moving hotplates, fire pits and hot logs in and around the fire.
You can never pack enough toilet paper when camping. It’s also handy for wiping down spills if you forget the paper towels.
How to plan for the weather conditions
Here in Australia, we are lucky to get a large portion of the year where it’s quite suitable for camping. It can get pretty chilly in the depths of winter, but with the right sleeping bag and a warm camp fire, it can be a great idea to get out in the cooler months. Whether tent camping in a designated campsite or free camping in a national park, these camping tips for surviving the Aussie climate might make your trip more enjoyable.
Camping in Wet Weather
If you are anything like me, it’s typical that as soon as you pull out the camper trailer or tent, the weather report turns south, and rain is almost guaranteed. Camping and rain go hand in hand, so following these quick camping tips can help to make it as comfortable as possible when the heavens open up!
How to setup a tent in the rain
Total Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Pick your spot with care
Firstly, make sure you pick a spot to put your campsite on high ground, to avoid running water flowing into your tent and soaking everything. Look carefully for any potential ruts in the ground that may act as little rivers in a serious downpour.
Choose a tent with a decent rain fly
It’s important to make sure that your tent comes with a high-quality rain fly and seam-sealed construction to protect against heavy rain. Most modern tents are constructed well, but there are some that are better than others.
Put down a tarp or groundsheet
Lay a tarp or groundsheet under your tent for added waterproofing.
Bring spares of everything
Pack extra tarps and ropes to create a sheltered area for your camp stove and cooking area.
- Weatherproof Tent
- Rain Fly
- Tent Pegs
- Tent Ropes
Camping in Hot Weather
The scorching Aussie summer is a great time to go camping, but you must keep calm and hydrated while enjoying the great outdoors. First and foremost, selecting a campsite with enough shade is crucial. Look for areas with natural tree cover, or consider bringing a portable shade structure to shield yourself from the sun.
- Staying hydrated is a must, so bring enough water for everyone on the trip. Planning your activities during the more excellent parts of the day allows you to avoid the peak heat.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and using a reusable water bottle.
- Use sunscreen and wear hats and lightweight, breathable clothing to protect yourself from the sun.
- Seek shade under trees or bring a portable shade structure like a gazebo.
- Keep your camping food cold using ice packs or freezing water bottles in your esky.
Camping in Cold Weather
Even though our climate is relatively mild all year round, camping in cold weather still requires careful preparation to ensure you are warm, comfortable, and safe. Having a properly-rated sleeping bag is critical. Always check that the temperature rating goes down low enough for the country you are camping in.
- Layer your clothing to stay warm and adjust according to temperature changes.
- Use a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag to keep warm at night, especially when tent camping.
- Insulate your tent using a rain fly, a tent footprint, or extra blankets on the floor to stop the cold from coming up from the ground.
- Practice cooking warming meals and hot drinks to keep yourself cozy.
Camping Hacks and Tricks
As one of the most popular Aussie pastimes, camping and the outdoors are a lot of fun. Getting out in the bush and enjoying time around a fire pit with your mates is a tradition in this country. Here’s a quick list of hacks and tricks that can make it just that bit more comfortable and enjoyable.
- Use ziplock bags to organise and protect small items, like toiletries or matches.
- Take empty plastic soft drink bottles to use as makeshift lanterns by placing a headlamp inside. Handy!
- Pack multipurpose items, such as a bandana that can serve as a towel, headwear, or even a pot holder.
- Create additional storage space by hanging a shoe organiser in your tent to organise small items like wallets, phones and incidentals.
- Freeze water in jugs or bottles to use as ice packs; as they melt, you’ll have drinking water.
- Follow fire restrictions and respect any fire bans in place.
- Use designated fire pits or bring a portable fire pit that adheres to local regulations.
- Never leave your campfire unattended; ensure it is fully extinguished before leaving.
- Be mindful of fellow campers and keep noise levels considerate, especially during quiet hours.
- Practice Leave No Trace principles by cleaning up and leaving the campsite as you found it.
Camping offers an excellent opportunity to reconnect with nature, spend quality time outdoors with your mates and create incredible memories. You can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and unforgettable camping adventure by having some good camping gear and a suitable sleeping bag and using these camping tips. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or embarking on your first camping trip, remember to respect nature, leave no trace and embrace the joy of outdoor living. Happy camping!