Packing to travel around Australia can be quite a drawn out process for some, and inevitably you’ll ask yourself do I really need this, or should I leave it at home? I did this hundreds of times on the lead up to our trip, and we decided to leave plenty of things at home, and take others.
If you are good at it, you’ll only take what is going to be used, but its surprising what you end up taking that gets little to no use. For us, we did fairly well, but there were still a number of things we brought that were really of no use at all.
We were told by so many people that awning walls don’t get used, and we’d experienced that for ourselves. However, with a hybrid camper that has very limited space inside, and knowing we would get rubbish weather, it was a difficult choice for us.
In the end, I realised I could fit them in on top of our water tanks (under the floor) without it taking up any usable space, and we’d be able to grab them out if we really needed them.
This was smart, except that on the occasions where we might have bothered to put them up, I couldn’t summon the energy to remove everything from our storage area, lift the lid and grab them out, before putting it all back in!
We did take the awning itself, which lived in the front tunnel boot and got used a number of times. We grabbed it out if the weather was going to be sunny and warm, or raining for more than one night stays.
EDIT – we finally used them after 5 months on the road, when we pulled up at an amazing camp site and knew it was going to rain for most of the next day. I set them up and we had a dry, roomy and warm place to relax for the bulk of the day. We could have done without them, but it would have been a pain.
We’ve used them a handful of times, and given we don’t lose anything except weight to have them with us, they’re probably a worthy contributor.
Dual gas bayonet
Our hybrid camper has an in built gas stove, which can be used by plugging a short gas hose into the gas bayonet fitting outside the camper. The trouble though, is when you want to use the weber you either have to disconnect the burners, or go without.
I purchased a single to double gas bayonet to allow us to use both the weber and gas stove at the same time, and we used it a few times. However, since going to the Induction cooktop we have hardly used the gas stove, and that means we don’t need the double adaptor (which is surprisingly big and heavy!).
EDIT – Again, we’ve used this a couple of times since our Renogy Inverter failed in the Dmax. If the battery levels were too low on the camper we’d be using the gas burners, and you can’t use the weber at the same time without the dual bayonet fitting.
Flat Weber plate
We bought a number of accessories with our Weber, and one of those was a flat, half plate. The idea was that this would allow us to cook bacon and eggs on one side of the weber without it running through.
The truth though, is that its much easier to do the bacon and eggs in a frying pan, and as such, we’ve never pulled this out for the whole trip. Its super heavy, and whilst it hardly takes up any room its something we should have left behind.
I actually gifted this to a charity on our way through a town in South Australia, and don’t really regret doing so.
Too many clothes
The one thing people who’ve travelled Australia will tell you is to take less clothes. Despite knowing this, we probably still took too many. Some of that was due to the fact that washing on the road is harder for us, and it hasn’t really caused us too many dramas but we certainly could have left some behind.
On the flip side, South Australia’s weather has been so unpredictable that we’ve been grateful to have a few pairs of jumpers and pants!
I’m really considering getting rid of our Darche Fire Pit. Now, that’s not because its no good, or we’ve had issues with it, but it just seems so unnecessary. This thing is hugely heavy, and we’ve not used it once to date.
What’s even more illogical is that the fire season takes out almost half of the year when you might use it, and so that means its only of use for half a year. Of that half a year, how many places do you go to that require you to have a fire off the ground, where a fire pit isn’t supplied?
There’s hardly any, and we reckon this will have to go. In nearly 12 months on the road, its been used maybe 3 times, and that’s not enough to warrant its weight and size, in our opinion.
Extra pairs of shoes
I certainly brought too many shoes. Considering I find myself wearing thongs most of the time anyway, we could have easily left a few behind! I actually threw a pair away in Cairns, and will probably wear the other pair when we fly home later this year, so we get rid of more.
On our shorter (under 3 months) trips we used our vacuum sealer hugely, to reduce the packaging size of meat, and to really load our freezer up with pre-prepared food, and meat. We took the vacuum sealer with us on our lap of Australia thinking that we’d use if in the same way, and for fish.
The truth is that we generally can’t be bothered unpacking meat anymore and vacuum sealing it back up again, and the space saving is not required with a dedicated 82L Freezer.
We’ve also not caught enough fish for it to really be worth while doing, so for now it sits in our unused tub
Hand held stick mixer
With our 3000W Inverter and Lithium Battery system installed in the camper trailer, Sarah was keen to bring some appliances from home that might be useful. She brought a stick mixer with a number of attachments, which is good for making soups, chopping vegetables up and other bits and pieces, and we’ve not used it once.
We thought we’d do milkshakes, and smoothies on the road with it, and we’ve never bothered.
EDIT – again, this has been used once after 5 months on the road, to finish a pumpkin soup.
A long time ago I was looking for a solution to lay in bed, up against something, and as our hybrid has a soft sock at the top its not possible, but I stumbled across these backrests that are designed for the elderly, and we paid about $100 for it.
We have used it a bit, for the inconvenience of storing it, and moving it at the end of the night when you are done with it (as it can’t sit in the camper easily due to lack of room), we decided to get rid of it, and left it at a donation box in one of the towns we drove through.
We took 3 head torches, and a couple of torches, and I’ve only used them once or twice, when we’ve gone into a cave. The lighting around camp is well and truly good enough, and if we need anything we just use the torch on our phone.
We had a bucket load of fishing gear at home, and I culled it considerably before we left, but we still brought too much. I have about 5 fishing rods, 3 or 4 reels and two decent sized boxes with lures and general tackle in it.
We like fishing, but the effort required with two young kids, and the fact that fishing near crocodile infested waters is sketchy as in the northern parts of Australia has meant we haven’t used it nearly as much as we thought we would.
These days I’m just as happy to fly the drone, or grab a camera, or spend time with the kids. That said, a good feed of fish is hard to beat!
10L of engine oil
I grabbed a 10L drum of oil before we left on our Lap of Australia, thinking I’d probably use it to change the oil myself, but it has been nearly a year, and its been untouched. I was worried it might eventually puncture with the corrugations, and it was making the access to my pelican case a nightmare.
I actually got Isuzu in Townsville to use most of it in a service, so at least the weight is gone. If we need oil, we’re never more than a few thousand kilometres away from the shops and I can plan it. I don’t see the point of carrying that much weight and space around with us anymore.
What did you take on your lap of Australia that you didn’t need?