There’s nothing worse than arriving at your campsite, getting set up and settled in, then coming to the realisation you forgot a key item or purchased poor quality essentials. Trust us, it’s the worst. We have pulled together a list of eight things we think are absolute must haves when you’re camping.
Item 1: A quality tent
This is probably the most important item you want to get right. Having a tent that is of poor quality, or that is not the right size will end up causing a massive headache. There is nothing worse than being wet or cramped into a tent that’s for sure. Be sure to plan ahead and figure out how many people you want in the tent, then when purchasing be sure to get one that fits MORE than the amount stated (4-man tent really only fits 3 people comfortably). We would also recommend splurging a little extra cash to get a tent with better canvas that can withstand weather conditions.
Item 2: Appropriate bedding
Packing the appropriate bedding is so important if you want to have a good night’s sleep. We would recommend to always pack a quality blanket or sleeping bag, even if its summer. Winds can pick up at night making it a bit chilly in the tent, leading to a poor night’s sleep if not prepared (been there, done that). Sheets are also a good option if you need an extra layer, or even a lighter layer. It is always a good idea to pack good quality camping pillows (or regular pillows if space allows) to ensure maximum comfort in your tent.
Item 3: Lighting
Whether you’re staying at a large-scale caravan park or a small outback campground, it’s always a good idea to bring some sort of lighting, as it’s rarely provided by the campground. There are so many different options available to suit what kind of campsite you’re staying at. There are LED strip lights available that can be plugged into your power source, into the car, or into your camping battery box (if you have one). If none of those options suite you, there are also large size torches, camping lanterns, and headtorches available from camping stores and even Bunnings. We definitely recommend having your lighting sorted before embarking on your next camping adventure.
Item 4: Shade!
Having shade at your campsite is so important, especially during peak summer in Australia. Having some sort of shade around your campsite can provide a great place to seek refuge from the scorching Australian sun, whether it be to shield your site in the morning or cover you for your afternoon drink and cheese board, you won’t regret having shade. There are many items available that can provide appropriate shade. This can be an awning that is attached to your roof racks or mounted on the back of your car, it could be a small 3×3 marquee, or even a beach umbrella. Theres something available to suit every type of camper. Not only is having these items good for blocking sun, they’re also great for when it’s raining. Allowing you to move freely from your tent to your seating and table area without getting wet. Relying on natual shade is risky and unpredictable as you can never be certain that there will be trees or buildings around to shield you.
Item 5: Table and Chairs
Trust us, you’re going to want somewhere to chill out and relax that isn’t in your tent! A table and some chairs are essential if you want to be comfortable when camping. Folding tables and chairs are definitely the way to go as they’re much easier to store in your car. Having these items provides you with a place to eat, drink, relax, and socialise. It also saves you the hassle of going to find a communal picnic bench or area to hang out in – unless that’s what you like to do.
Item 6: Quality Esky/fridge
Having a high quality esky or fridge to keep your food cold is a must have here in Australia. The last thing you want is to be buying ice daily because your esky isn’t properly insulated resulting in melted ice. This is particularly important if you’re staying somewhere that doesn’t sell ice. If we’re being honest – Coles insulated bags just aren’t going to cut it.
Item 7: First Aid Kit
Make sure your kit is well stocked, up to date and includes items such as insect repellent, band aids, disinfectant wipes, bandages, scissors and tweezers. If you are camping in snake season, remember a pressure immobilisation bandage is worthwhile having in your kit.
Item 8: A hammer and shovel
These items come in handy when around the campsite. The hammer is great to use to bang in your pegs for your tent or shade items. Having the pegs in the ground encourages stability for the items and prevents them from blowing away in the wind. The shovel is handy for digging firepit holes, moving firewood in the fire, clearing a campsite, or banging unwanted spiders.
Be sure to create a list in the planning phase of your next camping trip and check each thing off once you’ve packed it into the car. This will ensure none of the essentials are forgotte