If you wish to unwind and get away from the Internet, stress, and the clamour of daily life and be able to breathe in and embrace nature, camping is one of your best options. As camping sites and caravan grounds continue to increase in Australia in order to accommodate caravans, campervans, and motorhomes, camping is becoming one of the cheapest options for people who are looking for a way to unwind. In this regard, if you are a habitual traveler, owning a caravan may be a good investment for you, as it will enable you to easily move around the country for long periods of time.
A trip like this is not limited to nature-lovers and adventurers. A few days spent outdoors—whether you’re pitching a tent or staying in a van—and being away from your usual zone and traditional vacation can endow you with many things you do not usually experience. Camping can be rewarding and enriching for the mind, heart, and soul: gazing at a canopy of stars; daylight that is filtered by trees; unfamiliar sounds that resonate—a cracking branch, the wind through the leaves, the currents of a river, the waves against the coast. As you consider your options and assess the budget constraints for your next trip, it will also be good to first orient yourself with the basics of camping. Here are some factors to help you make your camping checklist:
Camping Guideline #1: Know and read up on your campsite
If you’re a first-time camper, you should know that Australia has a vast range of campgrounds: national park camping sites, holiday parks or commercial campgrounds, walk-in campsites, and free camping sites. A list of campsites and their respective fees are accessible online. There are also useful mobile apps that make It easy to locate campgrounds.
Camping Guideline #2: Take note of camping restrictions
The allowed duration of your stay varies. There are free camping sites that allow a whole month’s stay whilst some do not allow overnight camping. There are also campsites that offer cheaper rates and deals once you sign up for membership or book ahead of time.
Besides knowing where to go and for how much, there are other questions you might want to ask yourself: Is the campsite safe for kids? What activities are available for your group or your family? Do they have showers and toilets? Do they allow campfire? What season do you prefer to go camping? Is it crowded? And though camping should keep you away from the Internet, you might want to know if the site has mobile reception.
Camping Guideline #3: Draft a list of camping needs
Although camping requires that you pack a number of things, do not forget to pack light and be well-prepared in case of harsh conditions and mechanical failures. Depending on the season and whether you are hiking or caravan camping, here are some of the camping essentials you might want to consider:
- Sturdy and comfortable walking shoes or boots
- A med kit/first aid kit
- A backpack for camping gear and equipment
- A sleeping bag and sleeping gear
- A water-resistant tent
- A camping pot and camping stove
- A tumbler that can hold at least a litre of water
- Lightweight plates and other eating utensils
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- A lighter
- Insect repellent
Camping Guideline #4: Double check your camping gear and equipment
Take time to pack your stuff. One of the mistakes you’d want to avoid is bringing the wrong set of gears or bringing unusable equipment. Try it out at home more than once just to see if it works. This is also true even if you just bought the item.
Camping Guideline #5: Keep your safety in mind
It is so easy to forget observance of the safety measures when they’re new to you and you’re having a good time. It is not enough that you know where you’re going when you’re camping; you should also know whether there are toxic plants, pests, and wild animals in the area, and what you should do in the event that you encounter them.
Camping Guideline #6: Plan a reasonable budget and read up on the pros and cons of the various camping options
There are low-cost camping sites where the fees range from $20 to $60 per day. The camping fees for national parks, in particular, range from $10 to $15 per day. While a tent can cost as low as $30, you may also want to consider whether you should rent a vehicle or invest in one. Costs depend on the vehicle type:
|Vehicle type||Average price (new)||Average price (used)||Rent per night|
If you are planning to go on a long road trip, for say two months, renting these vehicles would range from $2,100 to $9,000, but since they may have been used and rented out previously, you run the risk of facing multiple mechanical breakdowns along the way. Other issues you may want to look into are fuel, towing, storage, and parking. Once you have decided on where and how you are travelling, the next thing you should consider is your allowance for food. You can either buy and eat during stop-overs or pack and cook your own meals.
Camping Guideline #7: Research on the updated legislation concerning caravan camping and caravan ownership
Besides wanting to avoid fines and penalties, you should remember that different states have different legal requirements, registration costs and requirements, and road and traffic rules for owning a campervan. The fines imposed also vary. Here are some important points to take note of when purchasing campervans and caravans: an international driving license may be beneficial to you; the rego of the vehicle must be ensured and renewed; the required duration of transfer of ownership depends on the state; and the requirement of Certificate of Roadworthiness likewise depends on the state.
Camping Guideline #8: Clean up your station and dispose of garbage
Two reasons why you should keep your area clean: first, you do not want to attract animals and insects; and second, it saves the environment. Be sure to leave the site as clean as when you arrived.
Camping Guideline #9: Practice patience and conservatism
Camping can test your patience. You can never be prepared enough. There may be moments during your trip when you would feel daunted by a number of inconveniences, unforeseen costs, and unusual delays. Just bear in mind that learning takes place in the process.
Camping Guideline #10: Remember the purpose of your trip
Whether you’re travelling alone or with a group, there is always some truth in the belief that you’ll find yourself when you are closer to nature. Once the trip is over, you’ll have memories to look back on and stories to share. As such, make the most of the experience and focus on the positives.
Think Ahead: Plan Early and Efficiently
We all have our reasons for taking trips. Whether you wish to enjoy it by yourself or with family and friends, it helps to have an organized list of your needs. A good source of camping essentials is available online: Outbax supplies quality camping gears and equipment and offers great deals. Whether you’re a first-timer or a frequent camper, this online shop can give you an idea on what you need.