Camping can be very enriching not only for lovers of nature and adventure but also for individuals who want to try a new experience. It is also a wise and inexpensive way to de-stress and spend time away from your daily grind. Australia has developed quite a number of camping grounds and continues to develop more. Some sites let you in for free whilst others ask you to pay a meagre amount.
Camping seems challenging at first, if you are unfamiliar with the essentials. Nevertheless, preparing for, packing, and choosing the necessary things for camping can still be difficult and overwhelming for inexperienced campers. It may vary depending on where, when, and how you plan to camp. There are, however, camping gears and accessories which are very useful regardless of whether you are pitching a tent or riding a van, backpacking or car-camping, going alone or with a group, travelling for just a day or for an entire month. The research and patience you put into planning your trip is totally worth it. Looking at pictures of campfires and star-studded skies is never as good at seeing the real thing. Organising well saves you from the unnecessary hassles and inconveniences campers usually encounter.
Camping 101 for Beginners: Make Your Camping Checklist
Needs may vary from one camper to another. Drafting a basic camping gear list may be helpful not only for beginners but also for habitual campers. Having a list of the necessary things for camping can make life easier if you camp every now and then. Whilst packing light is the rule of thumb, you might want to make sure you have everything you need and that everything you bring is useful to your trip. It’s also a good practice to double-check all your items before packing them to avoid mechanical failures along the way. One can never be too prepared for harsh conditions and worst-case scenarios. This initial camping list can help you start your own list or modify the one you already have.
1. Camping tents and swags for your sleeping quarters
Familiarising yourself with the location of your intended campsite will be helpful in choosing the right size for your tent. Some camping grounds impose restrictions on the size of tents. Aside from these restrictions, you will also have to consider the number of your friends will tag along.
There are many suppliers of tents, and it might be difficult to choose among them. Be sure to choose a tent that is lightweight, waterproof, and UV resistant. If you are working around a tight budget and you want to own one, checking online for sturdy and cheap tents is really a good idea. It might be the first time you’re hearing of this term, but a camping swag is good if you are either going alone or with a partner. You might be wondering what the difference is between a camping swag and a tent. While both have a similar purpose, they differ mainly in appearance, material, size, and instruction for setup and pack-up. A large camping swag measures around seven feet long and three feet wide. A large camping tent can measure up to 20 feet long and 10 feet wide, which fits up to 12 people. A camping swag is usually made of canvas, which provides more warmth than a tent. Tents are usually made of polyester fabric. The upside of camping swags is that they already come with foam mattresses. This saves you the trouble of bringing sleeping bags and beddings.
2. Camping beds, mattresses, and sleeping bags
Like every camping gear, camping beds vary in weight and size. There are lightweight self-inflating camping mattresses made of polyurethane foam, which you can buy for as low as $59. The advantages of bringing these mattresses are that they do not consume too much space; they are easy to carry as they usually weigh only seven kilograms; and they are efficient and
convenient to set up. Some people assume that because it is lightweight, it won’t be comfortable or thick enough to sleep on. This type of mat can be as thick as four inches. If you plan to sleep on a grassy area, a four-inch thick mattress is not uncomfortable at all. Self-inflating mats come in single sizes and double sizes, too. If you want thicker mattresses, you may want to consider inflatable airbeds. Although these may weigh up to 290 kilograms, they can be as thick as eight inches and as wide as five feet. They also have built-in electric pumps for efficient operation and easy inflation. When getting inflatable mattresses, inflation time varies as well. Self-inflating camping mattresses usually take a minute to set up whilst inflatable camping mattresses take five minutes. Sleeping bags vary in providing warmth. To know how comfortable and warm a sleeping bag is, it’s best to research on the bag shape, insulation type, and temperature rating. The bag shape is relevant not only for storage purposes, but also for keeping you warm. Sleeping bags are easy to carry, as they only weigh 700 grams to two kilograms. They can fit up to two adults.
3. Useful tools for power and electricity
For sure, some campers bring equipment that run on batteries. Some love to take and store pictures and videos of their trips. If you are camping for more than week, a power bank will probably not last that long. Portable folding solar panels and Duracell camping batteries are good sources of power. You can get 36 AA batteries for as low as $34 and 36 AAA batteries for $29. These batteries have a shelf life up to ten years. If you camp a lot, purchasing several packs would be more practical and would cost less. It gets a bit tricky when selecting and purchasing the right solar panels. Solar power jargon can be overwhelming for first-timers. Solar panels vary in size, weight, manner of setting up, material, the maximum power (watts) they provide, the maximum volts, and the maximum amps. Solar panels are ideal for charging your LED camping lights, portable refrigerators, mobile phones, cameras, tablets, power banks, and other rechargeable devices all at the same time. If you are riding a camper van or a camper trailer, roof-mounting your solar panels can be pretty efficient. As you travel during daytime, you can recharge your devices. The ideal solar panel would be one that absorbs sunlight efficiently. Mono-crystalline material can be a bit pricey, but very efficient. A 200-watt mono-crystalline solar panel can be purchased at around $250, whilst a 120-watt one costs around $150. You’ll need to do some calculation in this area. If the weather is rainy or cloudy, bringing a solar panel might be useless. You must be able to calculate the amount of hours you can expose the panels to sunlight. Also, checking the correct power usage of your devices must be done prior to purchasing these solar panels. These solar panels must be compatible with all the devices you plan to recharge during your trip. You don’t want a damaged battery midway the camping trip. Bear in mind that your devices have their power draw and details on their labels. If you know the model type of your device and you can’t seem to locate the power draw, you can easily search online for details. You will find terms like wattage, voltage, and amperes as you read more about solar panels. The most basic and easiest way to understand the relationship between the three is to remember that your watts are calculated by multiplying volts with amps. Watts are the amount of power being produced by the source, in this case, your solar panel. Volts are the pressure of electricity coming from the source. Amp is the amount of electricity that actually flows. The flow of electricity will highly depend on the amount of sunlight your panels are exposed to. Consider the weight of these camping gears. Some solar panels weigh as light as 12 kilograms, whilst others weigh as heavy as 20 kilograms.
4. Shower equipment and gears for staying clean whilst outdoors
If you are staying out for weeks in remote places with no facilities, it might be difficult to find a place where you can wash up and shower. Manufacturers of camping gears have developed portable camping showers and camping shower tents.
Some portable camping showers are solar-heated and can store up to 20 litres of water. One shower approximately consumes 10 to 20 litres. You can buy two for as low as $24. The good thing about this product is that it is compact and foldable, and it only weighs 500 grams. Another thing about portable camping showers is that whilst you’re on your way, you can always stop over and refill the container. This product is not limited to personal hygiene. You can also use it for other purposes like washing tumblers, plates, and other utensils. For frequent campers who camp out for weeks several times a year, camping shower tents may be a good purchase. Both single-sized and double-sized shower camping tents are available for this type of product. However, a single-sized tent can already fit up to two adults. This product costs from $75 to $120. The upside of shower tents is that you get your privacy and you don’t have to wait for a cubicle to be vacant. These tents are also used as changing rooms and toilet rooms.
5. Coolers and portable refrigerators
This is very important if you are bringing food and drinks. Some campers can go on for days just eating salad, vegetables, crackers, and spread. Others prefer cooking their meals whilst camping. If you don’t have time to buy cooked food at stop-overs, storing your food is an option—especially if stores will be inaccessible and far from your campsite. Bring easy-to-cook and staple recipes with you. Do not forget to compute rations if you will be out for weeks.
6. Solar camping lights and flashlights
Although some campers enjoy bonfires and depend on other light sources like stars and the moon, you should still bring your own portable light source. There are tent lights, flashlights, head torches, lanterns, and spotlights. You’ll need one to navigate your way back to your tent at night or when you need to find your items and gears in the dark. Whilst walking in the dark may be easy for some campers, it’s a safety measure to light your way as you walk in remote areas. You don’t want to be a casualty whilst camping.
7. Bags and backpacks
Having a sturdy backpack is a must if you’ll be gone for a long time. One of the worst incidents a camper can face is a ripped and torn bag. Nobody wants losing their gears. Make sure you read how much weight your backpack can handle. A common mistake travellers make is over-packing. Consider not only the size of your bag, but also its bulkiness and capacity. Although it seems everything can fit inside your backpack, it does not necessarily mean it can handle that much weight. Knowing how many days you’ll be camping is also important. A 30- to 50-litre bag should be enough for three days. If you’re staying out for a week, you might need one that can carry 70 litres. Another thing to consider is the backpack’s features and pockets. Some backpacks have compartments for sleeping bags, whilst others don’t. Some have large pockets, whilst others have more but small ones. These features come with different purposes. You should first determine the items and gears you plan to bring before purchasing a backpack. If you’re walking a long way, be sure to choose a backpack that fits your waist and torso just right. Choosing the wrong size for your torso can harm your back.
8. Waste Disposal Tools
Some people forget that waste disposal should be a priority. As a camper, it is your duty to leave the site like you were never there. There are camping grounds which have trash bins. There are others in remote areas which do not have any. In the latter case, take your trash with you. Don’t leave plastics behind to prevent animals from consuming them. Collapsible pop-up trash cans are sold for less than $10.
Australia’s best supplier for camping needs
Whether it’s your first time to go camping or not, a good source of cool camping gears is available online. Outbax ships products for free and offers some discounts. These gears also come with a 12-month warranty. Its website is very user-friendly and provides all the specs a camper needs. Visit Outbax now!