So you want to get away for a couple of days? A week? Maybe a month? No matter how long you want to go, you still basically need the same amount of gear – tent, bedding, clothing and cooking equipment. The only thing that will change is the amount of food and drink you’ll need. So take a whole month! You have to pack all that stuff anyway!
1. Don’t go camping on the weekend, on public holidays or on school holidays.
Familiarise yourself with the calendar and you will have the ultimate pick of the best camping sites for you and your friends or family. You will have the added benefit of extra space around you for that peace and quiet if you want it or the freedom to turn up your music without upsetting other campers.
2. Light source.
When you aren’t at home with the instant benefit of flicking on a light switch when it gets dark, it can be easy to forget that depending on the time of year, the daylight can suddenly end. So be prepared. Bring torches and batteries and spare batteries. Candles if you like too. Bring matches to light your campfire. The campfire provides a beautiful light in the dark and what is known to many Aussies as the Bush Telly. Cooking on a campfire is one of the most enjoyable parts of camping but just in case there is a total fire ban day or you turn up to a place where campfires are prohibited, make sure you bring a simple click-start stove with you. Many of these don’t require a match. That way you won’t go hungry and you also have another light source.
3. Comfortable bedding is key.
There are many really comfy camp mattresses available on the market. Bring your favourite doona and pillow. Provided you aren’t hiking up a mountain and needing the lightest bedding possible, then forget about a claustrophobic sleeping bag. I hate being cold, so I also bring a hot water bottle with me. Boil the billy and Bob’s your uncle. Why sleep on a thin, uncomfortable mattress just because you’re camping. They are probably the reason that there are people in the world who hate camping. So get comfy!
4. Take some time out to really appreciate the environment that you are in.
Breathe some big deep breaths. Enjoy the clean air. Look up into the night sky and see for yourself how many stars are in the solar system. Who needs a five-star hotel when you can have a million-star campsite? Use all of your senses. Smell the Aussie bush or the sea or the desert, wherever you happen to be. Hug a tree. Get your hands dirty and taste those delicious campfire marshmallows. Be grateful that we have so many beautiful places in this country that we can travel to and camp in.
5. Tip number five stops planning!
Get out there and do it. Have fun!