We’re travelling Australia in a caravan and sometimes the best locations, campsites can’t really be accessed. Often the best spots will need camping gear, but what do you need to go camping?
Whether you are at home planning that amazing camping trip, in a caravan travelling around or perhaps just got your eyes set on a weekend getaway, we’ve got you covered with what you really need to go camping.
Accommodation or Shelter
You’re going to want to have cover from Australia’s harsh elements. Bitter colds, scorching heat, winds, rain and snow can all impact that perfect camping getaway.
Accommodation can take many forms, from a tarp or awning, a swag, a tent or something else that is portable. We have two tents, Oztrail Skygazer XV4’s which accommodate the kids in one tent and us in the other.
A blanket or doona, sheets or a sleeping bag will do the trick. Some swags have the lot built in. Depending on where and when you are camping different bedding or sleeping gear will be required. We have a sleeping bag for each of us, and our sleeping bags zip together to make a large queen size when we need to cuddle up!
Keeping out of the dust, dirt, sand, mud or water is important, and a flooring solution is great to have in your kit bag. We have a small C-Gear mat that is great for all of the above. Some people use tarps, recycled matts, fake grass or foam click together flooring.
This can be a log, some tea tree strung together with twine or something more exotic. We travel with two full size chairs, plus three stools for the boys (they rarely sit down anyway!). We have a lightweight table that comes out when any other flat surfaces aren’t available.
The hub of any campsite, the camp kitchen is where all the magic (and sometimes disasters!) happen. You will need a selection of cookware, containers, plates, bowls and cutlery. Extra points for the odd camp oven or jaffle iron.
Water is the source of all life and you will want some clean stuff to drink. Often access to washing up water like a creek, stream or lake might be possible, otherwise you will need some extra for cleaning the dishes. You might also need to have a shower on those longer stays. Carry enough clean water to drink, and/or know the best locations to source or fill up on extra water when needed.
You can camp without power, sure. But having some sure is nice and handy. We power our fridge, charge devices and lights as needed. We have a solar panel permanently on the roof of the car, plus a portable blanket for an extra boost or to sneak out in the sun when needed with an Anderson plug extension lead. We have a 110 amp hour lithium auxiliary battery in the back, managed by a DCDC charger. All up this powers our fridge, lighting and devices as needed.
Campfires are always the best, but not really practical in a tent (or during fire ban seasons)! You will need some form of lighting in and around the camp kitchen, tents and vehicle from time to time. Maybe near the odd bush toilet if needed.
There are all kinds of options available, get what works for you. LED is best when it comes to power, and there are plenty of solar powered/charged options out there too. We’ve seen plenty of campsites with fairy lights and garden lights which also set a great mood light.
We have a complete Ryobi setup we usually use when camping, but on our lap of Australia we’ve kept it pretty ‘light’. Pun thoroughly intended.
It might be a tub in the car, a food draw, an esky or a fridge. It could be a combination. For us it certainly is! With a growing family of 5 we have to carry a fair amount of food with us at all times. Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner are all planned and catered for on any trip. Our record is 2 weeks’ worth of food on board at any time, on the way up to Cape York!
That’s the basics! Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments if you think there is something else that you REALLY need when camping.
We think with the above you will be set for a great camping adventure. At the end of the day, you only need what makes you comfortable and keeps you protected from the elements. We’ve camped plenty of times with just a tarp and a sleeping bag when hiking, and also had all of the bells and whistles over an Easter or Christmas camping weekend.
We partnered with Oztrail with our Camping Gear and Setup.