When your friends say to you “let’s go camping” there are a few things you should know.
Before we head out, I’d like you to give consideration to a few simple, but important, things.
- Firstly – are you going by yourself, yourselves or with FRIENDS?
- Secondly – do you have the NECESSARY equipment?
- Lastly – do you KNOW where you’re going?
- You will see from the above that I have highlighted some key words here. As this website is deliberately focused on introducing people to camping and travel, I’d like to now draw your attention to these words.
Friends – who camp
I have heard many people say “we haven’t been camping much, but our friends have said that they will have everything we’ll need”. Well, this is somewhat true – but quite often there will be something they don’t have that you need. If you don’t have it, it may make your camping experience a misery and perhaps strain the relationship with your friends. Think about what you need and what will make your camping experience the best there ever was. Remember too that your friend’s ‘poly tarp’ groundsheet may not be your idea of a queen size feather-down four-poster bed.
Note: Having been married now for 29 years (and being a bit of a survivalist), I feel obliged to pass on some words of wisdom to those reading this. Your lovely significant other / friend may not tell you that they’re not happy until it’s way too late. THINK (another highlighted word) about what you are undertaking, where you are going and what the amenities are like – eg hot showers, dry floors, keeping warm, good food, no house chores, coffee etc etc. Get this right and you’ll be the best Cro-Magnon camper there ever was.
Necessary camping equipment
Breaking this one down, there are two aspects to this too. Is what you’re taking necessary and do you have what is necessary?
A basic rule of thumb is that what you take should have at least two uses (three as you get better at it). For example:-
- if you take a plastic box and a chair, can you sit comfortably on the box?
- what can you use the box for?
- Can you put your stove on the box
- can you use it for washing up etc.
- If the box isn’t strong enough to sit on, can you get a stronger one?
If you are starting out on your camping travels, think about what you have; and don’t dwell on what you don’t have or what is stopping you from getting Out&About. If you don’t have a tent, mattress or sleeping bag/s etc, then look at on-site cabins or ‘glamping’ as an option.
If you don’t have a stove or pots and pans and/or washing up gear, then maybe look for somewhere where there is an equipped Camp Kitchen – caravan parks. If you don’t have an esky or a fridge, then find a campsite where you can buy food or buy it nearby – or find a pub (don’t be ashamed). If you don’t have a kettle for the fire, do you have a thermos or a kettle you can plug in somewhere?
Plan your meals too – sometimes a can of baked beans is all you need. But, be sure to read my cautionary note above. Opening a can of baked beans with your teeth is not a good idea.
Know where you are camping
Knowing where you’re going very much influences all of the above. Do your research…
- is there a swimming hole or a beach (think swimming gear and changing facilities)
- is there walking (think shoes, water, fitness)
- is there power (think cooking and battery charging)
- is there shade (think sun and heat)
- can you take your dog (think food, leash, kennels and booking)
- will you get sick (think medicines)
- there are other considerations which you will learn along the way
You’ll see that I haven’t even mentioned kids yet. That’s another story for another time – but, all of the above still applies and more so.
Most importantly – Get Out&About!