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Comfortable Camping

The things we take camping has greatly increased as technology and manufacturing processes have improved and the some of the what used to be expensive camping items have now become more affordable.
Here are some of little things that can make your camping trip a little more comfortable and keeping fresh the next time you head out.


Roof Top Tents (soft tops and or hard tops) (RTT)
There is no doubt that these are a brilliant creation. Only taking 1 to 2 minutes to set up and load your bedding in. But have you taken the time to take the steps to make your camping prep and the end of trip clean up a little easier??


The Roof Top Tent Anti-Condensation Mat -  This is a brilliant Idea. When sleeping in in the roof top tents, condensation builds up on the bottom side of the roof and under the mattress. The Roof Top Tent Anti-Condensation Mat helps eliminate the condensation buildup under the mattress by allowing the underside of the mattress to breath. The light weight anti-condensation mat slips between the factory mattress and alloy base, helping minimise the possibility of a wet mattress caused by condensation build-up. Constructed from a single piece woven PP, the durable mat remains in the roof top tent when packed down. Use the matt in combination with other measures to maximise airflow and reduce the likelihood of condensation in your roof top tent. Lets face it. No one wants to check their gear for a trip, only find mould growing in the roof top tent because it wasn’t opened up to dry out.

 

Mattress Toppers - Mattress Toppers are a hands down great addition to any RTT. Giving you that extra layer of comfort, they are inexpensive, they can be left in your RTT when you pack up. Why not head down to your local Kmart and take a look and give one a go. You will be glad you did.

 

Blankets/Doonas/Sleeping Bags - No one like to wake up shivering in the middle of the night only to realize that you have to try and put extra layers on because you didn’t bring enough blankets. Make the bed in your RTT before leaving home (keep your pillows out though otherwise they will flatten). This saves valuable time when arriving to camp, allowing your to send more time relaxing.

Pillows -  Can’t go past a good night sleep when out camping. The pillow is always one of the first things that I have sorted and packed ready to go. There is something about having a good pillow and a great night sleep that makes it all worthwhile and allowing you to wake up well rested.

 

 

 

 

Keeping Clean

We have all gone out at some point camping and it has got to the point where you can either smell someone else or yourself. I want to introduce you to a few things that will help keep you from getting on the nose.

 

Camp showers - Camp Showers have come a long way over the years. The range of showers have increase in the last few years with innovation taking hold and some great new ideas hitting the market. Some of the types of showers on the market and a couple of the popular options are:


Gas Hot Water Showers- Gas Hot Water Showers offer you instant hot water with variable temp control. These are a great option and don’t take up alot of room and allowing you to have the creature comforts of home. By having onboard water or water from a stream, you will have access to a hot shower wherever or whenever you like, These units require a pump to provide the water flow and LPG gas to be connected in order to function.

 

Rechargeable Lithium Powered shower - The good quality ones have a rechargeable 2200 mAh lithium-ion battery and pump all in an enclosed housing on the bottom of the unit. The best thing about these is you can submerse the pump into a bucket/stream and and with the push of a button you will have a flow of 2L/pm for about 1 hour from a single charge. If you warm the water up it will be a whole lot more enjoyable.

 

Solar showers - Solar showers have been around for a long time. They are a simple set up that relies on the heat of the sun to warm the water that you are wanting to shower with, so they are not a popular option throughout winter. They are usually made from a Heavy duty PVC and include a On and off tap. They are  only good for 1-2 people for a quick shower.

 

Rechargeable Lithium Powered Hot water Shower - Rechargeable Lithium Powered Hot water Shower lets you experience the luxury of a steaming hot shower-anywhere, anytime. Packed full of clever features. Digital temperature control panel, inbuilt gas regulator, on board rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery and a multi-function shower head, these units usually have built in rechargeable Lithium- Ion battery and a replaceable propane gas cartridges.

 

Hygene

Soap - Small soap blocks or a little trick I like to use is, take a peeler and shave some single use strips off a bigger soap block and throw them into a snaplock bag. This beats carrying the big soap bar around.

 

Baby wipes - They are a great thing. They take up next to no room and can clean all that dirt and grime off for a quick freshen up.

 

 


Water - Last but the most important of them all. You should always take plenty of water. Whether it be for drinking or showering. It is something that no camper should leave home without.


Lighting

Sure there is a certain atmosphere that a gas lantern can put out. And we can all agree that nothing can replace the feeling of sitting around a campfire. BUT, we wouldn’t recommend taking them into your tent, swag, RTT, camper or canopy!!
This is where the technology has come into play in the last 10 years.


LED lighting - Gone are the days of having to take a tonne of spare AA, AAA, C and D cell batteries camping. LED lighting uses very little power and produces a much brighter light. Not only that, but by using an amber/yellow light when sitting around eating dinner, it will help keep the bugs from snacking with, or on you. There are so many different options with LED lighting these days with Head torches, mag style lights, small hand helds, strip lights, lantern style. Portable and fixed just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to types. These have all been priced in the very affordable range for the everyday camper to take advantage of.
 

Shelter
The shelter we take camping comes in many different shapes and styles. All very popular nonetheless. We all like to be comfortable and dry when camping and it is important to have something there that will do just that.

Swags - Swags are one of the most popular options around when it comes to going out for a night or 2. Easy to set up and quite comfortable and come in a range of styles and sizes.

 

Roof Top Tent (RTT) - Roof Top Tents in recent years have become very affordable from a range of suppliers, don’t be fooled through as the quality usually matches the price. These personally are one of my favourites. They are easy to set up, keep you up high to catch the evening breeze’s, allow you to wake up to some of the most spectacular views because your above most of the other campers. If your camping in the Northern end of Australia, these are highly recommended also. They will stop curious crocks from crawling into your swag for a cuddle and will stop buffalo from wandering in and accidentally standing on you. These can easily be mounted to the top of your vehicle, on a canopy or your utes tub. With a little bit of creativeness with your setup (mattress topper, 12 volt power, led lighting and a shoe holder at the top of the ladder) these soon become a very comfortable camping option.

Tent - With the availability and pricing of the Swags, Roof Top Tents, Awnings, Awning Tents, Canopies etc becoming more affordable to the everyday Joe. This has caused tents to become not as popular as they once were. 10+ years ago, the majority of people that camped, camped in tents or swags. Now there is such an array of products that are easier, cheaper and less likely to leak in wet weather that people are starting to explore. Tents still have their perks and their uses. Some of the down sides to a tent are, time to set up, hot through summer, not very secure, timely to pack up and does not keep you up off the ground unless a stretcher is used which may puncture the floor.

Tarp - Coming from the bush, there was a lot of nights I spent laying on my swag lust under a tarp or just using a sleeping bag on the ground and a tarp over the top. Tarps (when set up right) work a treat from that surprise rain shower in the middle of the night and keeping you dry. Sometimes the K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Silly) rule is best.

 

Vehicle Awnings - Vehicle awnings have become increasingly popular in the last 5 years with the market being flooded with manufacturers. With a heap of different styles now available including; straight pull out, 180 degree and 270 degree awnings. All of which take on different names from the different manufacturers. The majority available on the market also have optional add ons like enclosed rooms, walls, zip in mozzie nets, lighting attachments etc. These can be great addition to sleep the kids in if you have something like a roof top tent or simply to throw a bed/swag in to keep dry and out of the weather.


Vehicle Canopy - Vehicle canopies are more popular than ever with a wide variety now available on the market. This includes cheap imported right through to custom made high end Aussie made. Prices for these will vary from $2000 right up to $30,000 +. Canopies, when set up right can allow you to attach legs and let you leave the canopy at camp if your needing to use the vehicle. This saves having to pack up camp just to drive the kids to the beach or go shopping, depending on where you are camping.  Canopies can be fit out to include all your cooking gear, 12 volt equipment, fridge/s, storage draws, solar panels and a whole lot more. Your imagination and creativeness is the limit. Canopies will not only keep all your camping essentials dry and organised, but they also allow you to practically live completely off grid with all the creature comforts of home….Including power. But in saying this, it is entirely depending on how the individual sets the canopy up to suit them.

Camper Trailer - Coming in many different makes, models,shapes and sizes, Hard floor, soft floor, on road and off road, with kitchen, without kitchen. All these can be quite confusing but at the same time offer a lot of versatility to suit just about everyone. The extras like showers, sinks side rooms and 12v extras etc have made these a key player in the lifestyle of camping/off roading and overlanding.

Keeping The Beer and Food Cold

Esky/Ice Box - These are still a great low cost thing to have and certainly have their place. They work great for throwing all the drinks in and covering in ice, putting your daily catch in on ice or just a simple solution if you don’t wish to purchase a fridge. However, they do have their downsides. The having all your food items and the packaging becoming soggy as the ice melts. Hunting for the eggs after the carton has disintegrated or finding that your cheese has been sitting in water from the melted ice at the bottom. This is where a fridge will come into a world of its own.

 

12v Fridge/Freezer - Fridge/freezers are as mentioned above, a unbelievable option. Not only you don’t have the issues that you have mentioned above with the esky/icebox’s, but they are temperature controllable. A lot of fridge freezers these days also have baskets that allow you to take a complete section out to get the items you need instead of leaving the fridge open while doing so. There are models on the market that have 2 compartments that allow you to run a fridge and a freezer at the same time. Or you can run both as a fridge or both as a freezer. Running both as a fridge for example allows you to have one section with all the drinks in it and the other to keep all the food in. This I find works great for keeping the temperatures in check by only opening and closing one side instead of the food section. BUT, you do need the right system to keep your 12v fridge running. A basic system will include an Auxiliary battery, vehicle charging system (DCDC or VSR) and preferably a solar panel also. With the right setup it will keep you food and drinks cold for the entire time you're out camping.

 

Power To Keep You Going

 

12 Volt - A well designed 12 volt system will allow you to charge your battery whilst driving to your destination, but will also allow you to run all your accessories from it. When camping in the same place for a day or week or longer, a solar panel is recommended. This sometimes gets a bit confusing and we would advise speaking to someone with experience to ensure you get the right setup from the start.

 

Solar - The addition of a solar panel to your 12 volt system is no doubt one of the best additions that can be made to your camping setup. Not only will the right solar panel keep your batteries charged and allow you to enjoy the little things like traveling and staying in remote locations, it will also keep your 12v fridge/freezer running and/or your LED lights on of a night. It can also allow you to stay in one place for a lot longer.

 

Generator - Whilst a generator can provide power to the bigger items like Air Conditioning units, ovens, tv’s, coffee machines, CPAP machines and microwaves just to name a few items people take camping. These can be loud and sometimes quite annoying to other campers. They do provide the extra power needed, BUT, no one wants to be out camping and sitting there listening to a generator chugging away in the background. Remember to think about camping etiquette.

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