The School Holidays are coming!
So you want to camp?
Don’t know where to start?
Camping is the most inexpensive way to travel around Australia. There is plenty of free or very cheap camp spots and it if you do it right, even the set up costs are reasonable.
If you haven’t camped before, it can be daunting, but if you haven’t camped before and you are planning on doing it by yourself ,with the kids, it can be scary as hell!
Here are some tips to give you the courage to go camping with your kids!:
You need a tent (seems obvious doesn’t it!)
Borrow or buy one. When you first start out see if you can borrow a tent from a friend or relative, you might find that camping isn’t for you and you will have wasted your money. Tents vary in price and, yes as they say, you get what you pay for, but when you first start out maybe try that cheap tent, a tent from Aldi got us around Tasmania!
Set the tent up in your backyard.
Check out the tent, make sure you have all the parts, enough pegs, the poles are not bent and there is no rips in the fly. You don’t want to be reading the instructions at the campground, so practise putting it up and if you or the kids haven’t slept in a tent now is the time to do it! Stay out overnight in your backyard!
Camp for the weekend, close to home.
When you venture out of your backyard for the first time, find a place close to home to stay for the weekend, with lots of facilities. If things don’t go as planned, you can always pack up and head home! Check the weather also, don’t go if it is going to rain, dealing with bad weather is not something you want to do on your first camping trip.
You don’t need sleeping bags
If you don’t have sleeping bags already, take quilts, sheets or blankets until you are sure this is the type of travelling you want to do. What you sleep on is up to you, air beds can be purchased cheaply, I suggest you get airpump that runs off your cigarette lighter in your car… hand /foot pumps are a bugger! My kids and I are used to sleeping straight on the ground, although we take a foam mattresses and stretchers for longer trips.
Use camp kitchens/bbqs
Most well equipped campgrounds have camp kitchens and all have bbqs, check on this before you book. When starting out, cook your dinners on these and when you are convinced camping is your thing, get yourself a cheap cooker that runs on butane cartridges. (new designs are out, Bunnings sell for $30)
Take utensils from your kitchen
Use cutlery, plastic plates, saucepans etc from your kitchen. No need to buy specific camping ones, and when your ready to have sets just for camping, scour the op shops. All of my camping cooking supplies have come from an op shop, cutlery is bundled cheaply and if your lucky you might come across some enamel plates and cups.
A hand held torch is fine
No need to get the wiz bang lanterns, a hand held torch will do the trick, although if you can justify it, a head lamp is sooooo handy!
Restrict what you take
Don’t overpack as it will make the whole experience overwhelming, the least amount you have to unpack and pack up the better, you will more then likely doing this by yourself! The little kids don’t have to take lots of toys, we love our bikes OR scooters (not both), a book or two each, pencil wraps, small tub of Lego, UNOs cards and a small soft cuddle toy. Look at what you are packing and see what you could possibly leave behind.
Give these tips a go!
I hope they have given you some inspiration to go camping…Before you know it you will be taking road trips with your kids and seeing this great country of ours!
Do you have any suggestions you would like to add?
I would love to hear them…. please comment below!