Camping in Australia is one of the most pleasant experiences to have, even if you’re in a designated campground or Caravan Park camping zone. We think it’s the best way to forget about the work, unwanted social obligations and all of those mundane chores on the “to-do list”.
Just know that every camping trip has its fair share of chores, and this is where knowing what to pack for camping can be the difference between a hellish getaway, and a relaxing romp.
When deciding what to pack for camping, the two most important things to consider are:
- Where you are staying; and
- What sort of facilities does your camping spot have?
Power, water and ablutions are the basics that determine what sort of infrastructure you need with you. There’s no point carrying a massive generator and 500 liters of fresh water if it’s all there waiting for you.
Of course, having extension cords that allow you to tap into the power and containers to carry the water from the source to your, the campsite will be required, but we will get to this shortly.
Before we get stuck into things, there are a few other factors to consider before deciding what to pack for camping in Australia:
- Comfort – it’s never advisable to make your camping trip so uncomfortable that the best part of the holiday was returning home.
- Safety – it’s worth considering the fact you really do need to get home in one piece…
- Convenience – I don’t know about you, but I get really annoyed when my life could be easier (such as seeing in the dark) if I’d only remembered to pack the spare batteries for the torch! Your convenience includes accessories for your car as well, anything which helps with extra storage space is a burden off your back.
Okay, let’s give you a hand knowing what to pack for camping in Australia to ensure a successful getaway for all involved.
If there’s anything obvious we’ve missed from our list of things that you find handy to have when you’re on your camping trips, be sure to share this with us in the comments section below.
We’re all so lucky today because there’s an amazing variety of mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows, linens, rugs, etc. to choose from to ensure you have the right bedding option for any camping location.
Remember, comfort is the key and a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors sets your body and mind ready to tackle all those fun experiences.
Whether it’s a top-of-the-wozza swag on an elevated bed/mattress, a roof-top camper, or a massive family tent, the quality and design of your shelter are crucial to ensure you’re not exposed to elements that carry the potential to ruin your holiday.
There’s rain, dew, heat, sun and creepy crawlies (if they bother you) that could cause some significant issues unless you have got the appropriate shelter for your surroundings.
3. Tucker & Water (or other drinks)
Yes, we all know that food and water are unlikely to slip peoples’ minds when considering what to pack for camping. But, we’re here to tell you very sincerely… the nicer the food, the better the camping experience.
It’s easy to chow down on tinned meals, but a few little luxuries such as cheese and crackers, olives, dips, your favorite beverages or fresh fruits can make an evening very pleasant before a light dinner.
Also, there’s nothing better than a big cook-up for breakfast prior to commencing your day of bushwalks, fishing or just sitting around soaking up the serenity.
Always pack a bit more than you need, just in case you are traveling somewhere remote (as the risk of breakdown and getting stuck is never too far away). This is very important when it comes to water.
After all – it’s always better to have a little too much, than too little!
If you’re a little stuck on ideas for camp food, check out our Off-Road Tucker series, where we share some ultra-tasty camping recipes.
Even a full moon and a sky packed with stars don’t quite cut it when it comes to adequate camp lighting. Whether you prefer a gas lantern or low wattage LED lighting, the convenience of good lighting cannot be underestimated?.
There are so many routine activities that really do require a reasonable amount of light. Things like doing the evening dishes, setting up your fishing rigs for the next day, reading that the novel that you haven’t touched in months, or playing Jenga with the kids, is simply too arduous without good lighting.
Don’t forget mobile light – head torches, handheld torches… whatever works best for you… simply must be packed for camping (along with adequate spare batteries or charging gear!).
5. Tables and Chairs
We all love to eat from our laps… sometimes. But more often than not, you’ll appreciate adding a table(s) to put your gear on, eat at, play games on and keep food away from the critters on the ground.
Your rear end was made for sitting, and this is so much more comfortable in a good quality chair. There are so many designs out there nowadays, so try some out and get what works best for you. Remember, comfort and practicality don’t often go hand-in-hand, so for the sitting enthusiasts, you may have to be prepared to get more than one chair!
6. Cooking Gear
No not what you think, Breaking Bad fans. We’re talking about eating amazing food prepared out in the open during a camping trip! The only things that make this even better are if it follows a busy day of soaking up the great Australian outdoors.
So, it’s important to ensure you have the right gear, and that it’s stored during travel in a way to avoid breakage and damage. Many campers use heavy-duty crates or plastic boxes.
Ultimately, the essentials list depends on you, but here’s our list of what to pack for camping when it comes to cooking items:
- Gas cooktop (or BBQ briquettes if that’s your preference)
- Pots, pans and other cooking surfaces such as grill or plate
- Cooking utensils including a good knife and bottle opener & corkscrew Cutting boards
- Eating utensils such as plates, cups, knives, and forks, etc
- Washing up gear such as a plastic tub, detergent (biodegradable), sponges and tea towels
- Rubbish disposal items such as heavy-duty bags
7. Clothing and Footwear
Even though you don’t get in the car to start your camping trip completely naked, that doesn’t mean it’s not easy to forget the right amount and type of clothing for the trip. Always consider the weather, and what activities you’re going to be doing (if any at all!).
Don’t forget to pack the right shoes for the activities you will be enjoying and casual stuff for around camp is an absolute must.
Footwear is very important, but we always encourage getting your feet directly connected to the earth at least once during your camping trip.
8. Health and Hygiene
There’s nothing like getting back to nature including letting yourself get a bit smelly and dirty, but don’t overdo it so that you or others in your care get sick.
We highly recommend a top-quality first aid kit or two (one for the car and one for the campsite), plus the normal hygiene items that you would take on most holidays. We’re not staying in hotels, so don’t rely on soap and shampoos growing on trees!
Depending on where you are going, there is always the possibility of mosquitoes or midges, so be prepared with repellents.
As always, good quality sun protection is a necessity – this is the Australian outback after all!
9. The Fun (and Practical) Stuff
You can never have absolutely everything with you each camping trip, but some of the items we like to think to make camping a bit more enjoyable (and practical) are:
- Clothesline and pegs
- Floor mats (especially for dusty sites)
- Extra towels
10. Tools [BONUS ITEM]
There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing you have a problem that could be simply overcome with the right tool (or even a small selection of multi-tools). The tools can be anything to help with your car (tyres, suspensions etc) to your camping needs.
We recommend checking out your local camping store for the right mix of tools that will get you through most situations.
Now that you know what you have to pack if you’re a fellow Sandgroper check out our recent blog post for the best camping spots near Perth.
Everyone has their favorite camping must-haves and we’d love to know what yours are. Please share with us your essential items to pack when camping ⛺.