As you may already know, I, an absolute beginner, went camping at Innes National Park, in Marion Bay, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. I can now proudly say that I survived camping in the Australian outback! Okay, I'm not sure if a national park really counts but in my book, it does. So glad I did my research though and got smart tips from Go Camping Australia. And now I've come up with my own list of 12 Things To Bring When Camping for Absolute Beginners:
|Innes National Park|
- A Tent - We purchased our first tent for only $75 - it was a pop-up tent that fits up to 4 people for an easy set-up for lazy beginners like us. Perhaps in the future if camping becomes a hobby, we'll invest in a better quality tent. But for now, this was useful for sleeping, for hanging out, for shelter, and for convenience when changing.
- A Mattress - whether it's a sleeping bag, foam mattress, or air bed, you'll want to keep your back comfortable when you sleep. Our friends managed to sleep in their car with an air bed set up at the back. Not the most comfortable though.
- A First Aid Kit - Because you never know when you will need it.
- Portable Gas Stove - During fire season, only gas fires are allowed. For beginners like us, a single burner stove that functions on butane was perfect. We bought ours for only $29.99 at www.catchoftheday.com.au.
- Basic Kitchen Items - including 1 frying pan, 1 cooking pot, a knife, oil, and easy to cook food. We then chose to bring disposable plates and cutlery to save us from washing more items.
- A Plastic Wash Basin - doubles for storage and for washing.
- Foldable table and chairs - because where else are you going to
put your stove and your food? Of course you can opt for a picnic mat and
sit on the floor instead but boy were our foldable chairs from Kathmandu and OzTrail comfortable.
Foldable Chairs (Left: OzTrail, Right: Kathmandu)
- Plastic bag/bin liner - Leave the camp just as you found it. Take all your trash with you. At night, store it in your car or else the wild animals would be attracted to it.
- Weather Appropriate Clothing - my hat was my bff that shielded my face from the sun's harsh rays and somehow kept me warmer when it started to cool down. We were also armed with comfortable clothing or sportswear for all that walking. We also brought hiking shoes, a jacket, and a fleece layer for the night time.
Hiking Shoes from Kathmandu
- Plenty of Water - this includes drinking water and water for washing up.
- LED lights - bring a good quality torch/flashlight, bring a mini lantern or whatever- make sure you have good lighting to keep your campsite bright and your things visible. Those pretty stars won't keep you from stumbling in the absolute darkness. In the photo below, we put the LED light on top of water containers and it somehow gave us even better lighting.
- Phone/Camera - now there's a good chance you won't have phone service at all in a camping area, we certainly didn't but our friends did (I guess you can blame the phone service provider here). But it was just lovely to disconnect from stress, and connect with nature. But still, you have to capture all those memories!
What else would you suggest that a beginner bring for camping?