I have been wanting to give you a post about our camping tips for a long time now. And here it is!
We have been camping for many years now so have developed lots of little tricks to make life a bit easier. Our champion camping friends have shared their tips with us too and now we have more tips!
When we first started camping, we bought ourselves a big canvas tent:
My criteria for this tent was that I wanted to be able to stand up in it. Not crawling around in there, trying to get changed lying down! This tent was really roomy inside and we could all stand up in there and get changed easily. The downside: it was very heavy and took quite a long time to erect and all four of us had to be involved in putting it up. The poles were heavy and got hot quickly in the sun. Putting it up was a super big job on a 40 degree day!
Camping tips for tenting:
- pack everything in plastic tubs (actually, even in our camper trailer we pack our clothes in plastic tubs). Plastic tubs stack well, keep your clothes and food dry and free from ants and bugs and koalas and wombats (you may think I’m joking but in some parts of Australia these animals can be very curious!).
- when you first get your tent, set it up in the backyard so that you know what to do. Laminate your instructions so that if you need to put it up in the rain, your instructions will be protected. Also, when you have put it up in the back yard, write with permanent marker on the poles a code or description (like “roof” or “awning”). You will thank yourself when you empty the bag of poles out on the ground at your camp site.
- always put your tent away dry. If you are packing up in the rain or if the tent is wet underneath, always lay it out at home to dry completely before you put it away.
- set up your tent over the top of a tarpaulin to stop any moisture coming in underneath and protecting the floor of the tent.
- when your tent is set up, put a big tarpaulin over the top of it and secure with rope and tent pegs. This protects the tent roof from any sap or other things that drop out of the trees you are camping under. It also keeps the tent roof dry if it rains.
- freeze things like bolognese sauce, rice dishes and other meals you made ahead of time in square containers (ice-cream containers work). Then use these containers as ice blocks in your esky. (Frozen milk works too.) They help keep everything cold without wasting space on ice. Then, as they thaw, eat them!
- forego the gas cooktop and take a microwave instead if you are on a powered site. You won’t need a gas bottle and you can zap your thawed out meals quickly and easily. “Bing!” dinner’s ready!
- store your camping gear in your trailer at home so that you are always nearly ready to go! (We bought a builder’s style trailer and it was fantastic for keeping our camping gear in at home and using as a “cupboard” while we camped.)
- take a gazebo for extra living space. We always use shadecloth (folded in half to create a double layer) on the ground (pegged) to help keep the living space clean. It’s easy to sweep each day.
So, after seven years of camping in our tent, we decided to invest in a camper trailer. We haven’t had this for long and only taken it on three short camping trips so far. I will probably come up with a few more camping tips for camper trailer camping as we go.
But here are my camping tips for our camper trailer:
- again, laminate the instructions!
- get a camper trailer with an annex. Use the annex to store plastic tubs, wetsuits, shoes, etc, during your stay. We use black foam mats that slot together as the floor for the annex. We also use a doormat at the entrance to the camper and another one at the entrance to the annex.
- we converted what was meant to be the wardrobe into a pantry by installing shelves like this:
- pack in plastic tubs (they stack really well). Keep your clothes in plastic tubs in the annex so that the camper doesn’t have so much clutter inside. Pack the food in plastic tubs for travelling and then transfer to the pantry upon arrival. This allows me to start packing in advance at home. We travel with the tubs packed in the floor of the camper trailer.
- when it’s brand new and you take off the plastic covering the matresses, cut it carefully and keep it. Use it to cover the matresses when packing up to protect them, especially if it’s a wet day.
- place a lid from a plastic tub under the dish drainer to catch water and make cleaning up the sink area easier.
- try to avoid frying food on the stove inside the camper. Do it outside on a BBQ or gas cooktop. This will prevent cooking smells becoming trapped in your bedding and camper walls.
One important general camping tip:
When you are going to the shower block, take your clean clothes, towel, etc., in a plastic bag. When you get in the shower cubicle, put the plastic bag on the hook behind the door. As you get undressed, put your clothes in the bag. This will keep your clothes clean and dry. It’s also easy to carry everything back to your camp site and you are less likely to leave things behind.
Of course there are lots of things you need to pack. I might post our packing list one of these days.
Camping can be hard work but you get to see some beautiful places. Follow our camping tips and see if they help make your camping trip easier. If you have some camping tips to share, please leave them in the comments below!