The pastime of camping is one that many Australians will relate to. Escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life, in order to restore the mind and body. Living in the best country on earth has its advantages, with camping opportunities littered from coast to coast. Whether your idea of camping is a relaxing and lazy solo outing in the bush, or a fast paced, adrenaline filled fishing adventure with your mates.
Are you ready for your camping trip?
Good preparation will ensure you and the family have the best time on your next adventure. I recommend following the 5P’s when it comes to getting ready for a camping trip "Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance". A saying that can be used in most of life’s difficult situations. I have experienced this first hand when I forgot to pack the swags on a 3 day fishing trip. Preparing a list of what you will need before you start the packing process ensures nothing is forgotten, “imagine arriving at your destination in the middle of nowhere, to find you have no toilet paper” the BCF’ing Experts checklist is a comprehensive rundown of what you will need. Covering shelters, bedding, furniture and toiletries plus an array of other products that may come in handy.
What are some fun activities to do while camping?
Getting reacquainted with nature and spending some quality time with the family can be a lot of fun, but unless you have a variety of camping activities planned, boredom can set in and is quite contagious among younger players. Lucky there are so many options when it comes to things to do while camping. Firstly, most campgrounds are equip with all kinds of amenities, in which guests can take full advantage of. Playground equipment, swimming pools and tennis courts are just some of the more common things to do. In some cases they will even provide someone to run organised activities. Another thing many campgrounds provide is a body of water, whether a beach, estuary or lake where you can spend your time swimming, snorkelling and fishing. (If you will be fishing it is important you acquire the appropriate licence for the area and be aware of legal size and bag limits of fish species. Card games, board games, Soccer and Footy, the list is long and only limited by your imagination.
What are the camping essentials?
Having an appropriate tent is a must when camping. Not only does it provide you shelter from the elements such as rain and wind, but also acts as a barrier from pesky insects and allows dry internal storage space. Available in many shapes and configurations to suit the required number of people in your party. When short on space hiking tents and smaller dome tents make a perfect option.
- Sleeping Bag
Staying both comfortable and warm when camping is very important. It ensures you and the family have a good night sleep, even in the harshest of conditions. A quality sleeping bag from brands such as Black Wolf or Roman are a great option, they are compact, inexpensive and available in a range of sizes and temperature ratings. (Being aware of the average night time temperatures experienced at your camping location will help you to select a sleeping bag to suit).
- First Aid Kit
Being prepared with a comprehensive first aid kit will give you peace of mind that in the event of an accident you are able to handle the situation. Even the smallest of cuts and scratches left unattended can become infected, which is why having a first aid kit close at hand is a smart idea.
It is important you maintain your fluids when exploring the great outdoors. Drinking 2-3 litres per day is recommended to avoid dehydration. Try to stock yourself with enough water for your trip. Water containers are useful but the bulky size can make them awkward for hikers, investing in a hydration pack keeps your hands free and with the convenient mouth piece, you can drink on the go
- Wet Weather Gear
In the event of showers or storms it is recommended to have some form of wet weather gear. This will keep you dry and warm, while also preventing sickness due to hypothermia. This is one item I do not skimp on, the difference between cheaper options to quality products can be the difference between staying dry and shivering all day.
- Fire Starter
Some form of starting a fire whether matches, flint or a cigarette lighter is a must when camping. Memories of good times sitting by the campfire with friends and family is something very special that will stay with you forever. Ensure you pack your own kindling in the form of newspaper and dry bark, this helps to avoid the difficulty of finding dry kindling on your travels.
- Toilet Paper
(I probably should have had this as number 2) Hygiene is extremely important and although most camping grounds will have an amenities block with toilet and showers, toilet paper always comes in handy. If you’re further off the beaten track it can be a god send.
- Head Lamp
Some form of lighting is beneficial for working around the campsite, especially at night. With their very convenient hands free design and extremely bright beam, headlamps have risen in popularity to become the first choice lighting option.
Having some form of cooler or fridge is the perfect addition to any camping kit. It provides an easy and hygienic method of keeping food and drinks cool, in a safe and secure location. Dometic coolers are a great option, with their clever labyrinth seal capable of keeping ice frozen for up to 10 days.
- Camping Chair
A bit of luxury while roughing it in the bush is never a bad thing. A camping chair provides a comfortable and elevated location to sit, out of the dirt and moisture. Available in lightweight and compact designs when space is an issue.