Car Camping

CAR CAMPING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

Car camping is an accessible way to test the water and see if camping is for you. Driving up to your campsite means you aren’t lugging heavy camping gear through the bush and you have a dry, comfortable and private space on hand at all times to store gear, dry yourself off or get some quiet shut eye.

I have been trying to persuade a mate to take up camping for years, but he was always reluctant to go. I think he had some image in his head of being miles from civilisation with nothing to do, no running water and just his kids for company. But I persuaded him to take his car and head to a favourite campsite of mine for the weekend, knowing full well once he had tried it and seen it wasn’t how he imagined, he would be up for some trips with the blokes later. He came back beaming. He loved it. The whole family had plenty to do all weekend and he enjoyed sleeping in a tent and cooking his food with all the family.

If you are looking to get your family involved in camping, I would recommend taking them car camping first. Here are some tips guaranteed to make your first car camping experience a success.

KEEP IT CHEAP

There are heaps of camping gear on the market, but you really don’t need it to enjoy yourself. Start cheap. Grab a waterproof tent that is fit for purpose and go. You don’t need expensive gear to make good memories. You can invest in decent gear later, but first you need to decide if camping is for you (or rather your family need to decide if camping is for them).

PACK LIBERALLY

If it’s your first camping trip, you don’t need to pack light. Bring your creature comforts with you. You aren’t walking for miles through dense forest to get to your campsite. You can drive up to it, so load up the car and make your first experience a comfortable one. Overpack rather than under pack on your first few trips.

EXPECT RAIN

Make sure you have comfortable rain gear and have some ideas of activities you can do in the rain (board games are a great way to pass a rainy afternoon in a campground club house). If it’s your first-time camping, it would be a shame to let the rain ruin the trip. Be prepared, that way bad weather won’t bother you at all.

BRING INSECT REPELLENT

Spray, burners, and candles, bring them all. The little critters get everywhere and you don’t want to be chewed up.

CAMP YOUR OWN WAY

The camping stereotype involves no electronics and cooking your food over an open fire. Just enjoy your first trip. If that means bringing a portable DVD player, then bring it and watch movies at night in your tent. If that means ordering a Domino’s Pizza to the camp site, go for it. Don’t worry about being a little unconventional.

Once you have the camping bug, you’ll never want to go back to hotels again.

 


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Oli Ward
oli@dinga.com.au

Oli has camped and hiked his way around Australia and most of Europe. He also loves writing about his experiences and sharing his knowledge.