We recently set off on our first camping trip. We had to cut it short as we were set to move house just afterwards. But we plan on returning in november bigger and better.
Here is a brief rundown of our gear.
A roof over our heads.
Having decided on the type of camping we wanted to do, i.e drive in and camp as opposed to hiking in and camping, we got ourselves a tent that was both easy to put up and take down. You can learn more about different tent types from Snowys.
Coleman – Instant Up Gold 4P Tent
We opted for glamping style beds other than struggling on the lumpy ground.
The drive in drive out style.
A good nights sleep.
Spinifex Deluxe Folding Bed Green
You can use the bed with a sheet over the top or with a sleeping bag it is up to you. Keeps you off the ground and helps you have a great night sleep. Be careful though it is only rated to 100kg.
If you are getting a sleeping bag, make sure you choose one for the conditions, i.e. are you trekking? Get a lightweight sleeping bag; How cold is it where you are going? etc.
But what about the light?
Well, this one we took a bit longer to get used to.
We had a hard time puzzling this one out on account of Andrews love of torches. We originally bought a small rechargeable dome light, then a fan with a light in it.
However, we soon realised our mistake. We were not going to have access to electricity for about 10 days. Whilst we can recharge stuff in the car, we would have to be driving around for hours to recharge all of our gadgets (cameras, phones, lights etc).
We opted for the Dorcy Deluxe Focusing LED Lantern.
This lantern features a relatively small LED bulb yet is powered by 4 chunky D sized batteries. What this adds up to is a runtime of an impressive 240hrs. If the batteries ever go flat, then just go to any supermarket or service station and pick up another pack. Another cool feature of this product is that at the flick of a switch, it transforms from a lantern to a torch! Not bad for 23 bucks!
The one downside we found on our trip was we needed more light. We would recommend a few head torches as well. This light was good but you really need more light when cooking.
Let’s get cooking.
While cooking on an open fire does appeal, the reality is a lot of places especially national parks have fire bans so we opted for a small portable stove.
We decided on getting a butane canister stove over a propane gas bottle stove. This is because we just could not fit a gas bottle (along with all the other stuff), into our little hatchback.
A word of warning though. Butane stoves should never have pots or fry pans overhanging the gas canister. This can heat up the canister enough for it to rupture. This could really ruin your day!
A nice spot to sit.
There are heaps of fancy chairs on the market no doubt some more durable than others. Given our tight budget, we bought a pair of $6 chairs from Kmart.
What about a table?
We ummed and ahhed about whether we needed a table. We only have a small car and the one concession was if we were to buy a table it needed to be compact.
Then we found this little beauty, it folds up into a compact case and is an ideal height for preparing food or using as a 2 person dining table.
For longer trips like our one we surmised it was probably a good idea to have a shower set up of some kind.
An interesting idea.
Introducing the solar shower, fill the tough PVC bag with water and leave it in the sun somewhere and Bob’s your uncle you have a nice hot shower. What we did not factor in was that it would be too heavy to hang from our shower tent. It also takes a lot of planning to make sure it gets enought heat. It might be worth investing in a shower that comes with its own stand.
Privacy an issue?
There is also the option of, an ensuite tent, which packs away compactly in a circular bag. We actually bought ours from Aldi for $20 bucks. But you can buy them from other outdoor stores.
Like this OZtrail Privacy Ensuite from Tentworld.
Keeping it cool.
The last essential item on the list is an ESKY or cool box as they are also known. Now an ESKY will only keep your food cool and fresh for a little while, so if you plan an extended trip and you want to keep food cold for longer you might eventually invest in a mini camping fridge. For the most part, we plan on shopping regularly and having foods that are less perishable, like a can of STAG chili. Because we were limited for space we opted for a small esky.
25 L only.
Keeping it hydrated.
For remote areas with limited access to fresh water, it is normally advised you take a jerry can if possible or at the very least something to filter the water you are using.
This 10 Litre refillable Water Jerry Can from BCF is a steal and $15.99.
Other miscellaneous items we took along;
1. Rope as a clothes line.
2. Pegs (to hang our wet clothes out with)
3. A few collapsible buckets (for washing clothes/plates etc)
4. Fan ( you will need this in hot weather, we got a fan with a light in the middle)
5. A pot and a pan for cooking
6. Chopping board, knife and cutlery
7. Bowls, plates, and mugs.
9. Clothes and swimmers (obviously)
10. Towels. Beach towels and tea towels. 11. Washing liquids.
Now all that remained was playing a game if car tetris.