So you want to go camping? 14

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!

We have 3 tents at the moment that were priced from $40 - $350

We have 3 tents at the moment that were priced from $40 – $350

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!

Setting up the tent in the backyard is great practice for the real thing.

Setting up the tent in the backyard is great practice for the real thing

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.

Testing out our tent at Toowoon bay.

Testing out our tent at Toowoon bay.

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.

The kids got new sleeping bags for last Easter "Winter" style from Aldi, they are so warm!

The kids got new sleeping bags for last Easter “Winter” style from Aldi, they are so warm!

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)

Older style that needs replacing with the new "approved" model

Older style that needs replacing with the new “approved” model

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.

All our cooking supplies are second hand.

All our cooking supplies are second hand.

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!

We love our head lamps, had these ones for 5 years.

We love our head lamps, had these ones for 5 years.

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.

This is what the little kids take, whether it's for a weekend or weeks.

This is what the little kids take, whether it’s for a weekend or weeks.

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!

Safe Travels!



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14 thoughts on “So you want to go camping?

  • Deborah

    Great tips but I’d need a portable toilet cos I hate the idea of having to go outside or to a public loo in the middle of the night!

    A girlfriend of mine goes ‘camping’ with her three kids and hubby but they’re really keen and have some sort of massive tent that has airconditioning and have all of the mod cons.

    I can see that it’d be fun for kids though my folks weren’t into it either. They weren’t 4-star hotel stayers but my mum used to hate us going to Fraser Island (where we stayed in a relative’s huts) because the handwashing was a nightmare!

    • Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Deborah! Camping is one of those activities that you either like or not, we dont mind “roughing” it a bit, so having no toilet or aircon doesn’t bother us! I suppose as long as you are getting out there and experiencing everything life has to offer it doesn’t matter how you do it! Safe Travels!

  • Joanne Tracey

    When we lived in Merriwa (country NSW) we used to go with my Mum- Dad would stay at home & look after the dogs. We’d have 2 man tents and sleeping bags and a toilet roll on a spade. I remember one time we just put a groundsheet down and spread our sleeping bags out on top of it. These days my idea of camping is the annual weekend in Eucumbene where we sleep inside and cook outside- but I still love the idea of it…and there’s nothing like the outdoors and the stars.

    • Post author

      Sounds like some amazing memories with your mum!, sleeping under the stars would have been beautiful! I had a little laugh as I visualised the toilet paper and spade!

  • Denyse

    Oh gosh, you are so well prepared for adventures. It is not my thing to camp (maybe it was the girl guide camp where we got flooded out 54 years ago!) but I admire those who love it .

    • Post author

      Thanks for you comment, Denyse!You either love to cam or not! I got flooded out during a girl guide camp once too, ended up sleeping in the toilet block!

  • Alicia O'Brien

    I don’t mind camping if the weather is good. The last two times we went it was stinking hot and then rained the whole time! It was an adventure!
    Our last one (when it rained) I had brand new emergency games packed in the boot (shopkins Trouble) and a matching card game. They were a godsend.
    Cannot stress enough, to know how your tent goes together. Makes life so much easier. Still manage to have an argument with the hubby about it though. (He’s not very good at reading instructions an has a terrible memory lol) 😉

    • Post author

      Emergency games are a godsend!!!! especially for bad weather!, I also love your tip for knowing how your tent goes together, nothing worse then battling the poles etc!