Camping is one of our favourite things to do, period. It wasn’t always though, and that’s because it took a long time to learn how to do it well, and what gear to take. We’ve probably spent more than 400 nights under canvas, and have many more planned in the future.
In this post, we pass on what we’ve found to make camping amazing in the hope that you’ll be able to do it too. If you come back from a camping trip having not enjoyed it, there’s lots of things you can do to turn it around.
Running water on tap
There’s nothing better than being able to access running water on tap. It can be as simple as a jerry can with a tap on it, or a 12V water pump taking water from an underbody water tank. However you can set it up, get it done. Being able to flick a tap on to fill your pot with water, wash your hands or feet or just fill a drink bottle up is hugely appreciated.
We run a 12V water pump on our Reconn R2, and on the Dmax usually just allow the under tray water tank to gravity feed water out. There is a pump in situ, but it often loses prime and the gravity feed works just as well.
A comfortable bed
I still recall the days of camping where I was using cheap inflatable mattresses that we’d had in the family for years. I progressed eventually to a cheap swag mattress, then a more expensive one, then the Blackwolf Mega Deluxe (which are easily as comfortable as your bed at home) and finally our camper trailer mattresses.
A good mattress (self inflating is the way to go) will make or break your camping trip, but it goes above and beyond this. You need a comfortable pillow, sleeping bag or bedding. You can call me soft; I don’t really mind, but there is nothing like ditching the sleeping bag and using a proper sheet and doona setup on a queen size mattress!
Pre cooked meals
If you have kids, one of the best ways to make your camping more enjoyable is to take a heap of pre-cooked, or semi cooked meals. We use our cryovac machine a lot, and will take sauces, marinated meats, pre-cooked stews and soups, and when the day is busy we just pull one of them out.
Knowing that when its all crazy that you can pull food out and have something ready in 10 minutes with almost no effort is a game changer.
A good fire
Some of our best camping memories are kicking back around a nice fire with friends and family, playing games or having a yarn. It doesn’t have to be a big fire, but on a cold night its needed if you are staying up much past dark.
We really enjoy our cooking on a fire today, and spend a fair bit of time trying different meals. When you have a group of people all cooking on the fire its a lot of fun.
Camping isn’t for everyone, and that’s just fine. You should pick your company, and go with those that you get on with. The difference between going with those you enjoy the company of and those that you don’t is chalk and cheese, and it will literally make or break your trip.
We have a close group of friends we often go with, along with our families, and for the most part we all get on really well.
Spur of the moment trips
On of the things we’ve learned recently is that unplanned, spur of the moment trips are often some of the best. Late on a Thursday or Friday when you message a friend to ask if they want to head away, and load the camper trailer up and head off into the sunset. There’s some incredible camping close to Perth, and if you put a bit of time in finding them you’ll reap the reward.
The best country in the world
I don’t think there are too many better places to live in the world than Australia. I’m proud to call it home, and to have had the privilege of growing up here. The people, the beaches, the wildlife and scenery, 4WD tracks and camp sites are next level, and we thoroughly enjoy exploring each chunk of Australia, one bit at a time.
If you’ve never driven more than a few hours from your home, its time to organise something. You’ll find places that will blow your mind, and you’ll get the travel Australia bug in no time.
A sense of adventure
If you are prepared to get out of your comfort zone a little, its amazing the amount of extra fun you can have. Exploring tracks that might end anywhere, kayaking, jumping off rocks (carefully), hiking and a willingness to rough it a bit can make for some of the best adventures in the world.
A camping setup that does what you need it to
There are thousands of different camping setups out there today. The right one for you is the one that does what you need it to. Some people are happy with a swag and a fridge/cooker in the back of their Utes, and others want a full blown caravan. It doesn’t really matter what you travel in, as long as it does what you personally need it to.
Often this takes several months of refinement, but you’ll eventually end up with a setup that makes you smile each time you use it.
Amazing camping locations
Last, and probably most important is the location that you choose to camp. We are spoilt for choice in Australia, and with more and more private properties coming onto the camping scene your options are endless.
Whether its a private farm, or a beach front camp site with no one for miles, or next to a pristine lake that only a handful of people have been to you’ll find it in Australia. If you put the effort in, you’ll be rewarded with locations that will take your camping to the next level.
Wrapping it up
We love camping, and feel there’s something for everyone. If you’ve had a bad camping experience and have been put off, maybe its time to give it another crack. With the right gear, attitude and expectations you’ll have an amazing time, and be craving more in no time!
How do you make camping amazing?
You’ve absolutely nailed it. I worked out 10 years ago if you really want to enjoy camping, your sleeping arrangements are key. I pack our feather doona and our own pillows etc. You cannot enjoy anything without decent sleep, the only other item, as I become older is a portable loo. We’ve fine tuned out setup to the basics due to weight and fuel and reducing our foot print. Good sleep, cold grog and a comforting fire, who needs anything else. Great article, thanks Tanya.
Good to hear you’ve got it sorted too. We also enjoy our portable toilet. It sounds like you’ve got a great setup, probably from lots of experience.
Sometimes that’s the best way to learn; your body soon tells you when you’ve had enough of doing something in a way that could be better!
All the best