CAMPING TIPS & HINTS
Welcome to our page dedicated to a range of camping tips, tricks and hints that might help make your camping experience more enjoyable! There’s several of our favorites and the rest have been contributed by campers (with thanks). Let us know if there’s a special tip you’ve learned that really makes a difference, and we’ll add it to this page. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
A lot of the below will already be normal practice for experienced campers, but it may make the difference between ordinary and extraordinary for first-timers!!
Check off everything as it’s packed for transport. This will really help ensure you have planned what you need and that it’s on board!
- Try out your gear at home if you’ve never camped before. This is a great tip as after a few practices, you’ll know what works and what doesn’t. When the time comes, you’ll be quick and efficient at erecting your tent and setting out your gear.
- Rubber thongs for everyone (share if necessary), as an essential showering tool. There’s nothing worse than trying to get clean if there’s any debris underfoot. At Gordon Country we maintain our shower blocks daily to minimise this issue but in busy times – there can be a lot of foot traffic in the showers.
- Set-up a ground sheet in front of your tent, a la Japanese style and make it a ‘no footwear zone’. And – add a rubber mat to this area and it will effectively eliminate 90% of dirt that gets inside your tent. A clothes basket is handy to keep all the family’s shoes together and can be easily covered in wet weather.
- Hand wipes are handy! Invaluable for cleaning hands, faces and other bits and bobs at any time of the day..
- Tie a tarp down over your tent in colder weather. The added layer acts as an insulator keeping the warmth in and the cold out.
- Carry a few extra ropes and rope runners. 5mm diameter rope in 3 metre lengths is ideal. Rope runners are the ‘locks’ that quickly secure and ‘tie’ off the rope. Extra ropes can be used for a million things from washing lines to holding tarps down.
- Get to the campsite in plenty of time to set up. It’s surprising how much time is needed to get everything in place and organized. Collect your firewood before you do anything else – trying to get this job done before it gets darker.
- In a hurry to get the fire started? Try Doritos, they’re great for kindling – OR, try make-up wipes soaked in wax!!
- Use a large water dispenser and tie on a roll of paper towel for a quick and easy hand washing station.
- Glo sticks in empty plastic water bottles make great night lights inside your tent – especially for the kids!
- Shine a headlight into a large plastic container filled with of water to create a tent full of ambient light.
- Look around carefully for ant nests and insect holes before pitching your tent. Not a great idea to make your home on top of theirs!!
- Take a 9 litre pump-up garden spray bottle. Add a thicker hose and bigger nozzle and fill it with warm water for a pressurized hot shower. 9 litres is a good amount for a decent shower.
- Solar lights normally used in the garden make fantastic night lights and obviously don’t need batteries or gas. 6 or 8 is a good number highlighting a path around your camp at night.
- Use empty plastic drink bottles as ice bricks. Freeze them with water before you leave and drink them as they thaw. If it’s cold, fill them with hot water at night for a simple hot water bottle (socks are good covers for average water bottles).
- Spices stored in empty tic tac containers are packed, stored and easy to use. Eliminate all those bottles when packing.
- Take a shelf from an old oven with you as they make great grills by laying them over the fire. They can then be used as food warmers by setting them up to the side of some coals on some rocks.
- Cut capsicum cross ways into rings and use as egg rings on the BBQ. Great to eat with your eggs as well.
- Tie high-visibility tape to tent ropes and guy lines. It makes them easy to see at night and you’ll avoid tripping.
- Squeeze tubes are really handy when camping. Tomato paste, vegemite, honey and a variety of foods can be purchased in tubes eliminating a lot of glass when packing. Jam and sauce single serve packs you get at cafes are so handy when you just want a small amount for camping.
- Cook eggs mess free — cut an orange in half, eat the pulp, then crack an egg into the orange skin and place it in the embers until the egg turns white. Adds a bit of flavour as well!
- Use shade cloth as a ground sheet as it’s easy to sweep and a good percentage of the dirt falls through. AND there’s the added benefit of being kind to the grass underneath which is great for the environment.
- Turn off gas appliances at the bottle before turning them off anywhere else (if you have a portable bar-b-q).. Any gas left in the line will burn off first and leave the line unpressurized. Much safer.
- Freeze soups and sauces in zip-lock bags – they make great ice bricks and minimise your washing up.
- Add a couple of drops of detergent and a small amount of water to the bottom of badly burnt pans and give them a quick boil on the fire. Makes them much easier to clean.
- A second tent, just a cheapie, can be used as a play room for the kids, a pantry or a store room for clothes etc.
- Pack a block of Solvol soap – the type with the grit embedded in it as it’s great for really dirty hands and is small to pack.
- Take nylon rope and duct tape. Nylon rope comes in handy for tent support and hanging up wet clothes, while duct tape fixes just about everything. Use it to mend everything from torn shoes to broken tent poles.
- Pack at least one torch and spare batteries. Helpful in finding the toilet at night and the kids love torches anyway..
- Very important to take a first aid kit; matches in an air and water tight container; spare batteries for torches.
- Remember all the gear needed to keep the kids occupied as that can make ALL the difference to your camping holiday.
- Pack a bag of various sizes zip ties. They are fantastic for setting up LED lighting strips and all sorts of bits and pieces. (Nic Bruns Contributor)