Camp like a champ: Eight practical tips when you're starting out
New to camping and not sure where to start. Here's eight top tips to get you excited about your next camping adventure.
1. Research your campground
Check what facilities are available before you go.
If there are showers, BBQ's, a camp kitchen and/or laundry facilities you may be able to pack a few less things. It's always good to have a stash of gold coins in your kit as BBQ's, shower and laundry facilities can sometimes be coin operated.
Make sure to also check out if there are shade options and access to clean and safe drinking water.
Knowing what's there will help you decide what to pack and what to leave at home.
2. Check the weather
It’s always a good idea to check the weather before you go. It's best to pack for changing weather condition; sun hats, sun safe clothing, wet weather gear and something warm will never go astray. A good tip is to prepare for the worst weather conditions, but expect the best. Also, do your best to pack smart. Generally you'll only need one of each – you don’t need three.
Another important tip is to check for fire bans and other local weather warnings before you leave. No point packing a firepit or firewood if you can't use it. And you definitely don't want to get caught in a storm unprepared.
3. Let someone know your plan
If you're road tripping or travelling off the beaten track, its always a good idea to tell friends and family where you're going and roughly how long you’ll be.
Plans often change, especially when you discover a new campsite or amazing destination and you just have to stay a while longer, so make sure you check in during your stay.
4. Go during the week
If your schedule allows, a mid-week camping trip will really help you escape.
Campsites often get packed during peak holiday periods, weekends and long weekends - let's face it everyone wants an escape.
If you're hoping for a relaxing getaway, try a mid-week camping trip to help you get away from it all.
5. Pack good coffee (or tea)
Just because you're camping, it doesn't mean you can't have good coffee (or tea) to kick-start the day.
Bring a french press, a pour-over setup, go for the fancy instant stuff, or even bring an electric coffee machine if you've got access to power or solar. Many camp kitchens will even have a kettle or hot water boiler so you haven't got to wait. It will be worth it to you to have that good fuel first thing in the morning.
The other option of course is to shop local and support a local cafe or shop if there's one nearby your campsite.
6. Bring games and activities
The great thing about camping is there can be quite a bit of downtime in between swimming, hiking or bike riding there's time to relax, reconnect and maybe even get competitive.
Board games, card games and games like bocce, boules, quoits, finska and skittles are enough to bring out the competitor in all of us.
Even a simple ball to kick or throw is enough to get you enjoying time away from it all.
7. Meal prep... if you've got the time
There's nothing worse than realising you forgot to pack a key ingredient.
A winning tip for a stress free camping trip is to pre-prepare some of your meals. Or, at the very least, plan ahead some meals that are easy to cook on the BBQ or camp kitchen.
A hot tip is to package and label meals or ingredients so you're not hunting through the esky losing valuable cold air.
We've got some great camping recipes. Just look for 'camping recipe' in our blog.
8. Leave only footprints
Perhaps the most important tip is to leave everything as you found it.
Out of respect for those who stay after you, and to protect our amazing outdoors and wildlife, be sure to dispose of all your rubbish correctly (either in the bins provided or take it with you). If campfires are permitted, use water to make sure your fire is completely out.
Finally, do a walk around to make sure you've packed up all your own gear. There's nothing more frustrating than a missing pole when you next go to set up your tent.
Feeling ready to go camping? Be bold and get exploring our amazing country.