If you are a big fan of camping, then anytime is always a good time to do it. However, it is more exciting if you go camping during spring time. After all, this is the season where the hills and mountains are much cooler, yet still dry enough to set up your tents. It is also the time of the year when the forest is alive with a myriad of flora and fauna to keep things interesting.
If spring is just around the corner, you might be planning to head onto an exciting camping or hiking trip with your family or friends. In this case, you might want to prepare a few things that would make your trip a lasting memory. Before you go ahead and pack your things, you should keep in mind some basic guidelines when camping in the spring.
Things to Remember When Spring Camping
1. Even in spring, the weather can be extremely unpredictable.
Just like most countries in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia enjoys a four-season climate. Spring usually comes around September and lasts until November. Yet, this doesn’t mean the Aussie climate is that easy to predict. Australia also experiences wet and dry seasons. In the northerly parts of the country (i.e. Queensland), the wet or monsoon season coincides with summer (December to February) and can last until the start of autumn (March). The same goes for different regions, with the wet season spoiling the plan of unsuspecting campers. The best way to survive camping in the rain is to be prepared. Always check the weather forecast before you set out to camp to avoid any inconvenience. In addition, make sure that all your gear and equipment are waterproof (or at least water resistant). Also, if you still haven’t bought a camping tent or mattress, make sure to invest in a material that has enough insulation to keep you dry and warm.
2. Wear and bring appropriate clothing.
Just because spring offers a cooler climate than summer does not mean you should forego bringing a waterproof jacket or boots to your expedition. Remember that with the weather’s unpredictability, you really don’t want to end your camping adventure by catching a cold. Wearing layers of clothing minimises the risk of hypothermia. Besides, it is easier to wear layers of clothing and remove a layer or two if it becomes warm, instead of being caught unprepared on a rainy day.
3. Bring a portable weather radio.
Spring camping means you have to be prepared for all types of weather. There is no guarantee that you will be able to get away totally unscathed. It would be smart to bring a portable weather radio with you during your trip. Don’t fret if you don’t have one at home. There are plenty of affordable brands and models in the market. You don’t even have to worry about batteries, as there are some good-quality solar-powered radios that you can choose from. Now that you are aware what awaits you at your campsite during spring, here are some foolproof plans to make your trip even more amazing.
4. Choose an awesome camping site.
Australia abounds with awesome camping sites. You will probably end up getting confused on which one to choose. The truth is that you can camp almost anywhere as long as you can set up your camping gear properly. If you are a first-time camper, it would be such a waste to simply go with the flow and just grab any package that a campsite offers. The bottom line is you need to be clear on what you expect to find in a campsite. Do you like to be with nature or are you the type who enjoys community-feels in a campsite? Do you prefer a lot of greeneries or would you want to wake up to the smell of sea breeze? All these things, even the most minor details, should be taken into consideration when planning your itinerary for the trip.
5. Don’t splurge on camping fees.
The great thing about Australia is that there are literally dozens of fantastic and picturesque national forests scattered throughout the country. One does not have to think much about camping fees. Public lands such as state parks and national forests offer reduced campsite fees during the holidays. It is all just a matter of timing. There are also a few holiday parks and commercial campgrounds that offer cheap camping rates. If you are really working on a tight budget, you might want to look at some of the free campsites. To check the camping rates especially around holidays, you need to visit the campsites’ websites for more details.
6. If you have kids, you need to schedule things properly.
This seems to be the most obvious thing. After all, camping is most fun when you're doing it with your loved ones. Kids, most especially, like camping as it gives them a sense of thrill and adventure, not to mention that it tickles their natural curiosity. However, your camping schedule would most likely revolve around the school holidays. In this sense, areas in the southern states are more fortunate because their school holidays usually coincide with spring or autumn. Those who live in the Northern Territory are not that lucky, as their school holidays usually happen in the middle of monsoon season. Whilst camping in the rain has its quirks, it can certainly put a hamper on everyone’s moods, particularly that of your child. If it is not possible to go camping during the school holidays because of the weather, you might want to consider travelling to southern states for camping. The area generally offers a cooler (and drier) climate.
7. Create a master checklist.
Writing a checklist seems the antithesis of “fun”. Still, it is a necessary activity to ensure that everything goes smoothly in the duration of your camping. After all, it won’t be fun if you forget a basic thing like a barbecue grill when everyone is excited on the prospect of mouth-watering dinner as soon as you arrive at the campsite. You might also blame yourself if you fail to bring some dry firewood after incessantly conjuring images of warm, toasty nights during the planning stage of your camping. Creating a master list of all things you are supposed to bring will prevent such a scenario. Ensuring that you have everything you need would also guarantee that everyone enjoys the camping trip without any worry.
8. Always bring extra fuel for cooking.
The most common mistake first-time campers make is to assume that cooking in the wilderness is the same as having a cookout in your own backyard. You need to consider that the weather might be a bit chillier outdoors, which means that usual cooking time might take a bit longer. There is also a chance that you will be cooking something (like soup) on a stove to help keep everybody warm throughout the day. As cooking time is extended, it would also mean that your fuel consumption would be faster, hence the need for extra fuel. Even when you bring a good stock of firewood, rainy and humid days would render it almost useless. In fact, the weather might take a turn for the worse and you might end up resorting to eating easy-open canned goods, instead of cooking with a portable gas stove.
9. Bring carbs and proteins – lots of it.
Just think of it as a free pass to cheat on your diet (if you are currently undergoing one). As camping and hiking require more energy than what you usually burn, it is logical to load up on carbs and proteins to fuel you up in your trip. There’s no need to feel guilty about eating such heavy meals as you will burn more calories at campsite. You might also want to eat snacks before going to sleep. Although this might sound unproductive, sleeping after a snack would help your body retain some body heat to survive the cold nights. Eating barbecue is one of the best things you should do while camping and enjoying the great outdoors.
10. Don’t forget to bring some ‘recreation’ accessories.
Most likely, the main reason you’d want to go camping with anyone is to strengthen your family bonds. Camping lets you do certain activities that you don’t (or cannot) do at home. For starters, spending your days on a campsite gives you enough space to set up a nice game of soccer or cricket. It is one way to keep everyone busy and have fun at the same time.
More Fun Activities
With the right equipment, you can even set up a mini-golf game for everyone’s pleasure. In a lot of ways, camping offers a lot of more fun activities than your average amusement park or hotel visit.
Remember to always hang a tarp.
Some might consider bringing a tarp an additional burden. After all, these things are not exactly light, no matter how you look at it. Depending on the material and size, a tarp can give an extra shelter, a bit of shade from the harsh sun, and an extra protection against wind and rain, just in case. To hang a taro successfully, you must remember to choose a camp ground with trees that could serve as foundations for the tarp. As you might imagine, camping is indeed more fun if you can stay dry and warm even if sudden bouts of rain occur.
Respect the wild.
Too often, people forget that they are only ‘visitors’ and it’s the campsites that serve as our hosts. Some people believe that they can actually do whatever they want, without any respect to the environment. Unfortunately, this increases the possibility of unwanted accidents, which could involve some innocent wild animals. Never underestimate what a wildlife species can do to survive. If you encounter a particularly enraged animal, you might want to find a way to immediately and quietly walk away to avoid confrontation and being hurt. Always observe the “leave no trace” camping practices to ensure that you won’t disturb the campsite’s wild inhabitants.
Always prepare and bring a survival kit.
There are a few basic ways in which you can minimise potential risks while camping. The bare minimum essentials of a survival kit include first-aid supplies, compass, pocket knife, waterproof matches, Vaseline-soaked cotton, and water purification tablets. You would also need to bring some extra food and a GPS device just in case you end up getting lost or stranded for whatever reason. Whilst the probability of using a survival kit at campsite is low, having one within your reach would definitely ease your mind and allow you to focus on having fun with your family or friends. With serious planning and preparation, you should be able to enjoy spring camping as much as a seasoned camper does. In a worst-case scenario, having extra money to bail you out in times of trouble can also help you salvage an otherwise disastrous night in the wild.
Proper Gear and Equipment
If you are looking for new equipment and gear (or simply want to replace your old ones), then you should check out Outbax. We offer a wide range of high-quality outdoor and camping products that you can bring in to your next great adventure. We also provide a 60-day money back guarantee on all products in the unlikely case you change your mind about the purchase. Aside from the quality, we also offer fast and automated delivery service that would bring your purchased product straight to your doorstep. We can even schedule a pickup at your local depot if it is more convenient for you. At Outbax, quality, customer’s convenience, and satisfaction are our topmost priorities. Contact us today and start planning your next camping trip!