Congratulations on your first camping trip!
Camping is a great way to connect with nature and disconnect from the busy world we get stuck in. Camping can be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone, but it’s also important to be prepared with the right camping gear to make it a less stressful experience.
We've put together some essential items and tips to consider on your first camping trip:
Tent: A tent is your home away from home while camping so it's important to choose a tent that suits your needs and physical abilities. When choosing a tent, make sure it’s big enough to comfortably fit all of your campers and bags. Also consider some of the following when choosing your tent:
- If you'd like to stand up in the tent when you get changed.
- If you need a dark room tent to reduce sunlight.
- Airflow: depending on time of year you camp and where you are located.
- The type of tent you feel capable of setting up. There are multiple options from an instant pop up to the classic rigid pole tent.
Shelter: Marquees are a popular and cheap choice for creating protection from the elements at camp. They are notorious for breaking during bad weather conditions due to not being secured properly.
Sleeping bag: A warm and comfortable sleeping bag is essential for a good night’s sleep. Check out our guide on how to choose the right sleeping bag.
Camping Mattress: A camping mattress adds extra cushioning and insulation to your sleeping setup. It can also help keep you warmer by preventing heat loss to the ground. If you like air mattresses we recommend using them in Summer, as they provide airflow were as in the Winter months the air in the mattress becomes cold and transfers through to you while you sleep.
Camp stove: A camp stove is a convenient way to cook meals while camping. There are many different types of camp stoves to choose from, so consider factors such as fuel type, how many pots you need to use at one time, and portability. Alternatively, if your campsite allows it, bring firewood and a BBQ plate to cook on the fire with a BBQ plate and grill.
- Camp Kitchen Utensils: Bring a camp stove or portable grill for cooking, as well as pots, pans, and utensils for preparing and serving meals. Don’t forget plates, cups, and eating utensils for each camper. Also consider where you will eat your meal. I personally prefer the blow mold tables as they are cheap and sturdy.
Cooler: A cooler is essential for keeping food fresh and drinks cold. Make sure to choose a cooler that is large enough to hold all of your perishable items and has a good seal on the lid. Coolers with a basket included are great for items you need to keep out of melted ice. Rotomold coolers while more expensive do provide better insulation and hold your ice for longer.
- Food Storage: Our dry goods need a place to live as well. Consider some clear plastic tubs for storage. The cheap tubs do tend to break easily so we do recommend choosing tubs that are sturdier and more made from thicker plastic.
- Seating: Consider you physical needs when it comes to your camping chairs. They come in all shapes, sizes, and weights. If you have bad knees or back, consider a camping chair that more so resembles a dining chair where the seat is firm and doesn't sag if you have difficulties getting out of traditional style camp chairs.
Water: Staying hydrated is important while camping, so make sure to bring plenty of water to drink. We also need water for cooking, washing up and showering. If you are stay at a camp site that doesn't provide these facilities, we find jerry cans are perfect for holding your drinking water and water for daily tasks.
Lighting: There are multiple options when it comes to lighting up your campsite. Solar lights, gas run lanterns, torches/lamps, and so forth. When choosing which form of lighting you're going to run consider if you need the ability to recharge it or have spare batteries on hand. A cheap headlamp is also fantastic for late night trips to the loo or needing to fix your camp site during bad weather.
- Shower facilities: Depending on the type of campsite you’re staying at, there may be shower and toilet facilities available. If not, you can bring a portable shower and a camping toilet. A portable shower can be hung from a tree or in your shower ensuite. Personally, I have never had much luck with solar showers and prefer a bucket and a 12v shower pump system. Use your campfire or stove to heat your water. Remember it doesn't need to be boiling, just warm enough to have a shower.
- Camping Toilet: A camping toilet is a portable toilet that can be used in place of a traditional toilet. There are many available on the market, which one to choose does depend on your needs. If you are doing long term travel, be sure to check ahead on your journey for dumping stations you can safely empty your camping cassette at.
First Aid Kit: Accidents can happen while camping, so it’s important to be prepared with a first aid kit. Make sure to include items such as band-aids, gauze, pain medication, and any personal medications you may need. A snake bite kit can also be a valuable first aid kit to have if you are in a remote location. Stings, rashes and scraps are also a common injury with kids on camping trips so consider bringing along your typical home remedies like chamomile lotion, comfrey, or calendula creams. If you don't have a cooler with ice, considering packing two gel ice packs for potential injuries.
Sun Protection: Australia's UV rays are no joke, so make sure to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Some Aloe Vera gel in the cooler is also great for sunburns.
By jotting down what comforts you think you will need while camping and bringing what items are essential for you, you’ll be well-equipped for a successful and enjoyable first camping trip.
Have you got any great camping tips or advice? Leave us a comment below!