The Must Pack Equipment for Camping in Australia
Camping is an ideal way to experience the glorious, sprawling landscape of Australia. Waterfalls, pristine lakes, a magnificent coastline, and some of the world’s most unique flora and fauna – Australia has so much for nature lovers. But its vastness makes it important to have the right equipment and planning in place as you set out to explore.
Australians love the outdoors, and the country has some of the best camping spots anywhere in the world. Some research and planning will help ensure you have the right equipment, make the right purchases and are getting the best out of your camping experience.
The length of your trip, the spots you’re planning to visit, and the number of people in your group will affect your packing list. But there is some essential stuff that should be a part of every adventurer’s kit. So take a look at the five must-pack pieces as you set off on your Australian camping adventure.
A few pictures at the bottom to make you jealous 😉
Where you sleep
There are some nights when you might want to be out in the open but due to a range of bitey things in Australia, you’ll want some kind of protection from the elements. Whether you pick a tent that sleeps one, two, or a larger one for the whole family depends on the size and cosiness of the group. If it’s just you and someone you don’t mind being close to for a night or two, then consider a swag. There are a huge range of swags, but the concept is a portable sleeping unit that rolls up into a bundle so that it’s easy to carry.
If you see yourself going on many more camping adventures, then this should influence just how expensive and sturdy a tent you purchase.
Consider hiring (or buying, if you’re a local) a rooftop sleeper camper. The best-known is the Landcruiser camper, which has the standard 4WD to get you around, then the top pops up to sleep up to five people, no fuss and no pitching tents in the hard outback ground.
For the easiest solution, thing about a 4WD with a bed in the back. This is the simplest option if it’s just one or two people- simply park, and you’re ready for bed. No pitching a tent, no worrying about heavy rain or wind, no security worries.
Whatever you choose as your mode of transport, take at least one spare tire and a changing kit. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, help may be a long time away- and if there’s no cell reception, it’s a long walk.
Choose your bedding
Now that you’ve got your tent sorted, you need to figure out what sort of bedding you need. Your tent will likely come with a groundsheet, over which you will be wanting to spread a sleeping bag. Depending on the time of year you’re planning your camping trip, you can choose a lighter or heavier sleeping bag that will keep you warm. If you love being under the stars and want the option to spend a night or two under the stars, consider adding a hammock to your kit.
If you’re only going for a few nights, a heavy yoga mat/ bedding roll may be all you need. If you are staying for a bit longer, a stretcher or self-inflating mattress is an option. It just depends on how comfortable you want to be.
Pick your cooking equipment
Cooking on an open camp fire is a quintessential part of the camping experience (and try the traditional Australian campfire bread ‘damper’– amazing). However, most of us want another source that is a bit less time consuming and more efficient, not to mention consistent, when we want to rustle up a meal after a day of seeing the sights.
A camping stove is the ideal choice – you can do everything from boil water to actually cook a proper meal. Hardware and camping equipment stores will sell these.
A way to keep your food supplies cool and have them last longer – important when you’re out in the outback and not near fresh supplies, is to invest in a chilly bin/ ice box or a travel refrigerator.
Another worthwhile investment is in a water purifier, whether it is something as simple as a water jug with purifier or something more advanced, not having to lug large quantities of water or fear running out of drinking water will be a relief. You can also invest in a purifier water bottle for personal drinking water.
And finally pick up a few utensils – kettle, basic pans, tongs, and some basic food supplies like canned goods, noodles and some condiments, so you can get cooking on the road! You can store herbs and spices in straws with the ends taped off- small enough to carry all you need for a few meals.
Look after your health
A first aid kit is an absolutely essential piece of the packing puzzle when you’re headed out to the wilderness and going off the beaten path. From simple cooking injuries and burns, scrapes and cuts after a fall, to something more serious like an encounter with a snake or other wild creature, having a first aid kit with all the requisite plasters, balms, ointments.
Sunscreen is a must. Australia along with New Zealand is right underneath the ozone hole and as a result, the sun is fierce, and you will burn easily (non-locals are noticeably surprised!). Grab SPF120+ as anything below SPF50+ is next to useless in the scorching summer. If you bring a SPF15, you will still get burned, make sure to reapply and as the 1980 ad goes: slip, slop and slap!
Buy a book on the local plants and animals. There are over 1000 poisonous plants in Australia, not to mention the snakes, lizards, toads, spiders and other potentially dangerous animals. Kangaroos can inflict serious damage- remember that even the cute and cuddly koalas are wild animals and will act as such. Keep your distance, and if in doubt, check.
Keep the insects away
One of the most annoying parts of camping is insects. The type of insect will depend largely on where you’re going. Take insect repellent, consider some form of face guard to keep the flies away, a mosquito net and a really big stick for the enormous spiders.
Consider investing in Bushmans mosquito repellent. Designed for Aussie bugs and Aussie conditions, it gives up to 15 hours of protection from a range of bugs.
If you love your camping holiday in Aussie, it’s likely that you’ll want to go back – and if you’re thinking about move to Australia permanently – awesome! If you’re coming from across the ditch, ask some moving experts at Ausmove. It’s a huge country, with amazing wildlife and a rugged country that begs to be explored.
These images are based from a camping trip July 2019 not far from Laura, Cape York, Far North Queensland. This is a very remote part of Australia, must come with everything, food included and I recommend filling the car at every possible fuel station as it is long distances between gas stations. Camping can be booked through Queensland National Parks for around $7 per person per day.