If you’re interested in the alluring world of microadventures (cheap, simple, local escapes that cram the spirit of a big adventure into an amazing weekend away) then you should be aware that camping is at its fiery core.
Below are 54 hard-earned nuggets of camping wizardry that have come from years of experimentation by experts as well as wet-behind-the-ears campers.
Read, digest and see you in the wild!
Cover image by Jack Brookes (@jackjbrookes)
To earn the true right to camp, incorporate an activity to get there (bike/surf/paddle) #microadventure
Pack a decent First Aid Kit, and think about buying or hiring a PLB.
Bugs are more annoying than ppl hu typ lyk dis. Pack your bug spray and check for red-ant nests before pitching your tent.
Prepare for the worst, expect the best.
Buy the best quality gear your hard-earned dollar allows. You’re going to love this, you’re going to do it again, and you’ll be furious with yourself when you head back to the camp shop to upgrade all your gear.
If you can, go with someone who has done it before. You can show them up next time.
The trick is to start small and build up with your micro’s. Kick it off with a hike and camp combo. You’ll be speedflying into camp before too long.
Get yo’ coffee on and become a Bush Barista.
Zip lock bags will quite literally save your bacon (and a heap of other items).
Your tent is your new second home. It’s nice to have a lovely holiday retreat, so beg, steal or borrow the best you can.
Write a list before you go so you don’t forget the essentials.
Rain is pretty crap. But it’s not an adventure-ender. Be prepared for it and you’ll be fine.
Get a sleeping bag that’s cosier than the penthouse suite at the Hilton.
Try before you buy is a good option. The team at Camp Now will sort you out good and proper.
Bring a map and compass. Might seem old school these days, but it will also save your bacon.
Keep your maps dry or they disintegrate – laminate or use a map holder
You may look slightly special, but test driving your new gear in the garden or living room is actually a really smart move. Don’t use someone else’s living room.
Insulate yourself from the ground using a self-inflating mattress.
Wear your hiking shoes in before a big walk. This avoids big, juicy blisters.
The camp feast is the most rewarding dinner you’ll ever have. Make it count.
Be prepared, be present and switch off… #digitaldetox
LEAVE NO TRACE. Where you camp should be left exactly how you found it.
Bring an extra pair of thick socks.
Bring fire starting equipment but don’t depend on fires.
Please, whatever you do do not forget your head torch.
Save your plastic bags from the shop, they’ll double up as bins, ponchos, mat and wet clothing decontamination capsules.
Fold away some tin foil. Trust us.
Pack a few sheets of toilet paper. Trust us!
Use a dry bag for your sleeping stuff, sleeping bag and clothes. Even if everything else gets drenched, you’ll be happy as Larry when you sleep.
Let your friends know where you’re going before you leave, just in case you go MIA, and download the Emergency+ App right now!
Share gear amongst your fellow campers, you don’t need one of everything (e.g. mozzie repellant or stove).
Sleep with your feet downhill.
Don’t leave your rubbish somewhere accessible for possums or dropbears… Don’t be THAT GUY.
Always ensure you spend some time looking up at the stars.
Campsite selection is key – try to avoid the crowds and find your own slice of Eden.
Don’t be a fool, pack your cagoule (aka. a raincoat).
NEVER leave your fire unattended.
Pack a beanie.
On the way home make a list of what you used/didn’t use. Refine your packing list for next time whilst it’s still fresh in mind.
Pack warm clothes.
Pack duct tape.
Looks and hygiene will go out of the window. Be dirty, Be smelly, Be free.
Take away any rubbish that you’ve found on the trails or at the campground. You’ll become delightfully addicted to landcare.
Setting up in the dark is challenging. Always aim to get to camp when there is still light.
Bring your Leatherman multi-tool – useful for everything from opening cans to gutting fish (to cook using #28).
Always pack for cooler weather regardless of how warm it is and learn how else you can keep warm.
Pick a campsite with good drainage (preferably on a slight slope).
Only put a tarp under your tent if it is cut to the exact footprint of the tent, otherwise when it rains, water will collect and drain into your home.
Plan on simple meals at first (pre-made frozen meals are a winner), then get fancier.
Pack lots of water and learn how to purify water in the bush (which will save you from lugging litres of water around).
Most importantly, have a ridiculously fun time.
Now it’s time to get out there…