There are a lot of things that are considered essential on the road. In reality, however, much of the gear people tend to pack are ‘wants’ rather than ‘needs’.
These items are among the things you shouldn’t leave home without…
You can’t rely on camping grounds to have barbecues and, if they do, you can’t rely on them being clean, to work properly or even to work long enough or get hot enough to cook your
food. The compact Baby Q Weber is highly recommended as not only does it work well as a conventional barbecue, it can also be used as an oven. Cook roasts, scones and even cakes!
2. GROUND MAT
A ground mat for outside the caravan door and under the awning is worth its weigh in gold. A good camping mat will allow sand and dirt to sift through to the ground beneath while
preventing those same substances from coming up through it. A small piece of artificial grass for short (overnight) stays can be useful, too, as these are cheap, easy to hose off and light.
The all-important way to capture your memories, the good times, the funny times and the downright frustrating times. A camera — even the one on your phone — will help you to do
4. VAN LEVELLERS
Not every camp ground is level, and there is nothing worse than sleeping in a van with a lean — you are either rolling out your side of the bed, or pushing your bed partner off their
side of the bed. Lying on the top bunk and trying to stay in your bed while also trying to sleep is not fun, either.
5. CAMP OVEN
Though they are quite heavy, there is nothing quite like a stew or damper cooked in a camp oven. There is almost no end to the recipes you can cook in a camp oven, and sitting around
the fire while the meal cooks is a great way to bring the family together.
6. A GOOD CAMP CHAIR
There is nothing worse than sitting in a camp chair and feeling like it will fall over. So try out a range of chairs before committing. Ask other campers what their favourite camp chair is
— it’s certain that they will be more than happy to let you try it out.
No matter what sort of camping you are doing, there is always the need for hot water. A billy, an electric jug and a whistling gas kettle are all suitable. Oh, and while talking about tea and coffee, don’t forget to actually pack the tea and the coffee — that can be a real downer when you are camped miles from the shops.
8. FIRST AID KIT
First aid kits are important, and whether it is shop-bought or self-assembled, it is something that every camper needs to carry. From simple Band-Aids, to bandages and saline solution,
they will all come in handy at some stage in your travels. Have you seen the bandages for snake bites? They have rectangles that turn into squares when the correct compression is reached. Carry one in the car and in a back pack when hiking at all times.
Yes, you’ll need a tool kit. You don’t need the extensive tool kit that you have in the garage at home, but you do need the things that will get out of trouble on the road.
10. A SENSE OF HUMOUR
This is one of the most important things to bring, and if you don’t have one it might be best to stay at home. You see, whether you are travelling full time, for a few weeks or just for the
weekend, it’s guaranteed that something will go wrong. It can be frustrating, annoying, and sometimes even a little dangerous. But if you can’t laugh at it and find the humour in the situation, you will go home cranky and regretting the experience. After all, these experiences teach us a lot about ourselves, and we learn that we can survive, we can problem-solve and we can have a great time out there discovering Australia and being with friends and family.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Max Taylor has been caravanning since he was a kid and was the editor of some of Australia’s most well-known RV publications for almost 10 years.