Being prepared can be the difference between a fun camping adventure and a disaster holiday story. If you’re ready for anything before you head off, then no nasty surprises can ruin your trip and you’ll be able to enjoy the bush/beach/backyard! Check out these camping ideas to get you started:
It’s important to research weather patterns for areas you are unfamiliar with and the best advice can be gained from the park rangers or information centres. Weather can change in an instant so err on the side of caution and pack that extra tarp!
Ready to go:
Have a camping backpack ready to go to make packing for camping easier. Include a cutlery set; dinner plates and bowls, cups and mugs, a flashlight with new batteries, a first aid kit, a couple of packets of waterproof matches and a swiss army knife. After each camping trip wash and clean the contents and repack the bag ready for the next trip.
Second hand gear:
Garage sales and Trade Me are great places for picking up second-hand camping gear.
Test before you go:
Don’t wait until you are in the middle of nowhere before you realize your lantern doesn’t work, you’re missing all the tent pegs or that you have a hole in your airbed. Always thoroughly test your equipment before you leave home.
Wire toasters are available in most camping stores and cost very little. To use one effectively, the wire mesh needs to be underneath near the heat and the toast rack on top. Place it over a low flame, or coals, so the wire just turns red. If flames don’t come through the wire mesh, your bread should toast beautifully.
Stretcher beds are great for kids and save having to blow up numerous air beds. They cost very little and pack away neatly. They also make great beds for sleep overs at home.
Keep a list of what you need to take at home and update it after each camping trip, as it is the kind of activity where experience counts for a lot. If you refer to your list when packing you won’t forget a thing.
Here’s Kidspot’s tried and tested ultimate camping list.
Protecting food and rubbish:
You can hang a ‘food safe’ such as a Hessian bag or large string bag from the branches of a tree to stop animals getting at it. This should also be done with rubbish bags. If you leave them on the ground they will certainly be torn apart by the next morning. Alternatively, store perishable food not kept in the chilly bin in your car overnight.
If you can find a strong branch lying around that has lots of short branches still attached, hang it from a tree to air wet towels. Tie a piece of rope around the top of the branch and dangle it from a tree so the short branches reach upwards.
Collect candle stubs at home to take camping because these make perfect fire starters. Just light and place in the fire under the kindling.
If you are going to fry fish in a pan, line it with aluminium foil first to save washing up while also preventing lingering fishy smells.