Camping in Australia is very different to camping in North America and if you want to become a better camper you may want to take some notes from Australian campers. Camping down-under is a very popular past-time, and Australia offers many perfect locations to enjoy nature, the landscape and seclusion. These 10 tips will teach what its like camping in Australia and improve your next camping trip.
Plan for the Unexpected
In Australia you will often find you are the only people for many miles and basic services can be few and far between. This requires you to be better prepared and to plan ahead for anything which may come your way. Extra supplies such as food, water, gas and a first-aid kit can be really important even for a short camping trip. You never know what could happen, you might have driven to your camp site but if your vehicle breaks down you could be stuck.
Aussies have a whole category of food dedicated to camping and the outdoors called "Bush Tucker". Bush Tucker is a general term used to describe any food that is simple and hardy which is consumed while you are outdoors or in the "bush". Probably the most popular bush tucker is Damper, because it only requires a few basic ingredients. Damper is a very basic form of bread made with mainly flour and milk and cooked on the coals of a campfire. A great recipe for Damper can be found here and you cant have Damper without the Aussie favorite Vegemite! Packed with vitamin B Vegemite is great for curing a camping hangover. No Aussie camping trip would be complete without a camping hangover! Aussies love their beer so make sure you pack a case of beer before your next trip!
Bring a BBQ
Everyone loves cooking on a campfire but the easy and simplicity of a BBQ makes it a great amenity for any camping trip. Aussies love a "Barby" and you'll be sure to find a few "Snags" on the BBQ, but you might be surprised that you are unlikely to find a "Shrimp" on the barby in Australia! On your next camping trip you will appreciate easy cooking on the BBQ, just don't forget the utensils!
Of course no Australian camping trip would be complete without the great Aussie Swag. A swag is similar to a bivy or bedroll in the USA. Aussies love using a Swag because its heavy duty, simple and comfortable; and these benefits make it an extremely reliable piece of gear to have. Australia has a wide variety of environments and the Swag can perform in all of them. Whether it's the freezing cold alpine regions where you need to stay warm and dry or the warm dry desert the swag will keep you comfortable. The relatively small volume and heavy canvas helps trap your body warmth on those freezing cold nights and alternatively on the warm sticky nights you can open the swag up to give you ventilation and a cool breeze. You will still be protected from all the creepy crawlies by the fly screen mesh. There are many benefits of camping with a swag tent. Make sure you check out our Pioneer Swag which has been designed and tested in the Australian Outback.
Sleep Under the Stars
Australia has some great places to view the stars at night, far away from city light pollution. On a clear night it's truly amazing to watch the stars and you'll be surprised what you will actually see! A swag offers a great way to camp and watch the stars because the top flap opens up all the way, so you can peel back the canvas layer, lie down in your swag and watch the stars as you drift off to sleep. You will still be protected by the fly screen mesh layer, so you don't need to worry about waking up covered in bites.
A 4x4 Vehicle
A 4x4 vehicle can really open up a world of opportunities on a camping trip and in Australia a 4x4 is a must for any camping trip. A 4x4 vehicle can take you places no other form of transport can, and generally you can fit all the gear you need for a great camping experience.
Lose the Phone
In many parts of Australia you cannot get mobile phone reception and this is a great way to disconnect from society and leave your stress behind. On your next camping trip, try turning off the phone and enjoy nature and the people you are with. I'm sure you can survive a couple of days without email or Facebook, and I'm sure you will enjoy yourself a lot more! Remember, it's always a good idea to inform someone of your camping plans for safety even if you expect to have mobile reception where you are going.
Bring Your Own Firewood
In Australia campers will generally bring their own firewood for a number of reasons but mainly its because firewood can be scarce in some areas of Australia, but also because old wood provides shelter for many small Australian animals. Its also a good idea to bring your own wood because then you know you will have a good source of dry wood which can be hard to find in some locations. So next time you go camping, think about bringing your own wood rather than destroying part of the local environment.
A Good Quality Esky
Nobody likes warm beer so a good quality "Esky" which is the Australian term for a cooler, is a must. A good quality cooler can keep your drinks cold and your food fresh for many days. A good tip is to check your cooler every morning and pour off any water, this will make your ice last much longer!
Aussies look out for their mates and make sure no man is left behind, an Aussie will always bring extra beers for the mate who "forgot" or the new friends they meet! Pack a few extra "cold ones" (Aussie slang for Beers) and you'll be sure to keep everyone happy!
With these camping tips taken from our Aussie friends, your next camping trip can be a lot more enjoyable! Let us know what your favorite camping tips are, we would love to hear from you!
Now get outside, explore and enjoy!