Gear To Go Camping

Gear To Go Camping

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That’s pretty much the gist of the idea. In reality, you’re going to need a few things to keep you comfortable!

Which camping gear do I need? Well, in this blog post I’m going to strip the essentials of camping back to the minimum. Okay, not the bare minimum, but the minimum that I would recommend for somebody starting out camping. Buying the cheapest gear with the view to possibly upgrade later seems like a good idea right? I would recommend against it. That very gear may lead you to have a terrible time outdoors and we wouldn’t want that!

Let’s get into it eh? First up:

1: Sleeping

My advice is to opt for a tent at first. A tent gives you plenty of space (unlike a swag), can be bought cheaply (unlike a roof top tent), and gives you a good chance of a good nights sleep (unlike a hammock). You might have heard someone mention a ground sheet or footprint for your tent. “What is a tent footprint you ask?”. It’s a sheet of plastic or similar which is placed under your tent to protect the tent floor. A $2 tarp roughly the size of your tent floor will serve the purpose well. I could make the next 5 paragraphs talk about choosing a tent, or I could link you to a fantastic article from Go Camping Australia which is what I will do. Check out their post HERE. 

choosing-a-tent

Unless you are well accustomed to sleeping on hard surfaces, you’re going to need a mattress too. In my opinion it’s hard to go past the humble air mattress to start with. They are cheap and comfortable. There are options to upgrade later into self inflating mattresses or stretcher beds, but lets keep it simple. Grab a sleeping bag while you’re in that section of the camping store too, choose one with a temperature rating close to that of the environment that you’re going camping in, and possibly a bit cooler if you’re one of those people that shivers at the thought of a sea breeze.

 2: Furniture

If you want maximum comfort and relaxation around the campfire (and I’m sure you do!) you’ll want something more than a stump to sit on. Chairs come in a huge range of types and sizes, go and place your butt in a few of them at a camping store to decide what you like. You can go cheap here for the moment, just don’t expect it to last forever.

choosing-camp-chair

You’ll need a table too, and I can’t recommend the folding blow mould tables enough! I picked mine up at Bunnings (a hardware chain store to the non-Australian readers) for about $30. It’s sturdy, folding and cheap. Love it!

folding-blow-mould-table

A folding blow mould table

3: Lighting

Grab a stick, wrap your shirt around the end, soak it in kerosene and light it up. Guaranteed the latest technology out….said nobody since probably 1000 B.C!!

LED is where it’s at these days, and while gas lanterns are awesome; LED is just as good, but easier. You can pick up an LED head lamp for $5, great for personal light; but if you want to see your buddy’s stupid face when you ask if they packed their tent; you’ll want a nice powerful lantern too. LED light output is most often measured in lumens, and if that word lacks any meaning to you; think of it this way: A standard candle puts out about 12.5 lumens. That should help you paint the picture!

LED-campsite-lighting

4: Eating

Don’t rely on having a campfire to cook on, many places sadly don’t even allow them anymore! Purchase or borrow a gas cooker. I use a 3 burner propane powered one, I like to cook gourmet or for many people when I’m camping. I would recommend keeping it simple at first. You can pick up a single burner stove which runs on butane for about $10-20, and the cans are only about $1.50 each. These things are so damn good!

Cooking over a fire is awesome, but don't rely on it

Cooking over a fire is awesome, but don’t rely on it

Utensils are easy, just grab what you’d normally use at home and throw it in a box. Ceramic mugs, bowls and plates are obviously not going to fare too well, so if you’ve got a young child in the family I’d recommend pinching their Frozen or Spiderman plastic cutlery set for the trip. Or just buy some from the supermarket, they’re cheap enough. Then there are certain elements to your trip that will be better served cold, like drinks. Everyone’s got an esky or icebox lying around yeah? That’ll do the trick!

camping-coffee

Now of course, the food itself. Don’t wing it, plan one pot or frying pan meals that are easy to make and lay all the ingredients out on your counter. Now stand back and run through each meal, ensuring all of the ingredients and utensils to make it are present. Remember to pack tea and coffee if you rely on that stuff to boot up in the morning. Pack it into a food box and you’re all set, no worrying about whether you’ll catch enough insects for a good feed that night!

5: Clothing

The key point to take with clothing is to pack for all seasons. You never know exactly what the weather will do! It doesn’t have to be anything special, but don’t pack your fancy duds and good shirt for obvious reasons. Take some good sturdy shoes or boots, and a pair of thongs for when you don’t want your shoes wet. Don’t forget a hat either, and if you don’t mind looking a bit goofy, a fly net reduces insect hindrance dramatically.

choosing-clothing-for-camping

6: The odd bits you may forget (and will regret!)

  • Insect repellent. You’ll have no fun whatsoever if there’s a butt tonne of mozzies around and you’re stuck out there in your short shorts and sleeveless flanno.
  • Matches, the classic forgotten item
  • A bucket, detergent and washing up gear
  • Hammer, axe, shovel and possibly a pocket knife
  • Some spare rope, duct tape and super glue
  • A first aid kit, someone is sure to at least cut a finger at some point!

A final note before you shoot out on your adventure. None of this has to be all new gear! Scour the buy and sell pages for somebody who decided camping wasn’t for them, or outgrew their gear and you could land yourself a bargain!

If you’ve got some experience with camping gear up your sleeve that might just help a camper out, why not share below in the comments? You might just make somebody’s trip 🙂

Alex

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  1. Richo
    October 23, 21:28 Reply
    Good suggestions Alex, appreciate all your videos and posts. I enjoyed your recent collaboration with Ronny Dahl too. I bet a lot more work goes into it than the videos show. For people wanting to start camping, I would make the following suggestion about choosing a tent. Spend some time working out exactly what they want / need, and don't go too cheap. Also go for something that goes up quickly and easily. Like many others I'm sure, we ended up buying 4 tents before settling on our current one that has now seen a lot of use. Make sure it has a rain fly too, getting water in the Tent makes for an unfun night...
    • Alex Garner
      October 25, 18:58 Reply
      Nice suggestions Richo! Thanks for the comment, from me and everyone else who reads it :) and glad you're enjoying Intents Offroad.
  2. bigezi
    October 27, 07:03 Reply
    Hi Alex I agree, camping is all about comfort and convenience and you don't have to spend big bucks to achieve that. One thing I always take with me is a piece of pine board; used as a cutting board it also doubles as a stable table. Nothing worse than sitting in a comfy camp chair trying to balance a meal on a plate in your lap; especially if your a first time camper and your using paper plates. Me I loath washing up and will often eat a meal straight out of the pan; then clean it with a BBQ wipe ( Marvellous things those) and the board stops you from burning your leg. Wont be the first time I've used the same board to stabilise a jack in soft sand either. More than one use for everything right. Keep up the good work buddy love what your doing for 4 wheel driving in WA, Steve H
    • Alex Garner
      October 27, 08:33 Reply
      Nothing better than a piece of gear with multiple uses, especially when it's as cheap and simple as a piece of pine board! Nice idea, and true about meal simplicity too, i mention cooking one pan meals, even better if you can eat it straight from the pan! Thanks Steve!

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