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Camping 101: The Good, The Ugly, The Tips And The Tricks

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If there is something to be said about your typical Aussie’s, it’s that they love Bunnings snags, AFL and camping. There is just something about getting out into nature and spending quality time with others despite being a bit dirty from the lack of ideal hygiene.

The Good

camping tips

We have asked a few people about their camping experiences, and here is their highlight reel:

  • The beauty of nature: Waking up to the sunrise, breathing in fresh air, trail walks, kookaburras calling, no city lights to fade out the stars, what more could you want?
  • Marshmallows: Need we say more?
  • Campfire: The smell of woodfire smoke baking into your clothes, late night deep-and-meaningful chats, the wind blowing the smoke into your face to the point of involuntary tears (it’s a love/hate thing) – also, refer back to marshmallows!
  • Being with like-minded people: Whether they are related to you by blood or whether you hand-picked them to join you on your adventure, these are the people you are making memories with.
  • Drinking: Self-explanatory, really!
  • Fishing: The water, the peacefulness of patiently waiting and not being in a rush, getting a catch. Swoon.
  • Skiing: No one said you have to restrict your camping trips to warm weather only!
  • Carefree attitude: So what if you haven’t showered in four days?
  • Adventure: Hiking? Waterfall hunting? Being in the middle of Woop Woop? The definition of adventure is yours for the determining.
  • It’s cheaper than a hotel holiday: As long as you don’t mind dirt under your nails and sleeping on the ground, it sells itself!

The Bad

camping tips

Of course camping is an imperfect art, so we did identify a few (sometimes preventable and fixable) struggles. To name a few:

  • Camp food: If you aren’t a good chef and you are resorting to eating baked beans from a can for a week straight, our hearts go out to you.
  • Sleeping in the same tent as people who snore: It doesn’t matter who the culprit in question is, when it is 3 AM and they have kept you from sleeping a wink, it seems like a good idea to drag them by the tonsils and throw them into the nearest body of water.
  • Weather: This is Australia we are talking about, this means it can be hot during the day and cold at night. It means unpredictable rain and humidity-induced sweat. All absolutely glamorous (not).
  • Having to get out of your sleeping bag when it’s cold: It’s like trying to get the will to get out of your warm bed in the morning, but worse, since we could be dealing having to get out of your sleeping bag only to be shaken up by a 3°C wind!
  • Showers (or lack thereof): Your options include but are not limited to lakes, rivers, grotty shared showers at campsites, or nada.
  • Bugs: Aeroguard automatically becomes your best friend. Pesky flies and mozzies – we are looking at you!
  • Having to go home at the end of a great trip: We hear you – it’s a tough thing to do after a fantastic time away from reality.

 

The Tips And Tricks

camping tips

Looking back on a camping trip, you will usually smile and say that it was awesome despite the ugly parts. Mind you, in the moment, those ugly factors can sometimes kill the mood, so we have some advice for you:

For camp food:

  • Check out some easy camp food recipes.
  • Plan your meals. Think about what ingredients you need, how you need to cook it, what you can prepare at home before you go and if you need to refrigerate anything.
  • Cook a meal at home and reheat it when you get to the campsite to save you from having to start from scratch on the first day.
  • Think about how you are going to store your food and save space – using ziplock bags, pre-mixing dry ingredients, marinating and cutting up foods in advance and storing up small sample foods (like spreads) will all be helpful.

For snoring:

  • Roll the snoring person onto their side.
  • Ear plugs are your companion here.

For weather:

  • For cold weather, aside from big jackets, gloves, boots, thick socks and warm clothes which will help you out, hand warmers also work a trick! Keeping them in your pockets or inside your gloves is great, and you could also place one on the back of your neck.
  • For wet weather, the usual rain jackets, umbrellas and boots help, but the real key is dry socks. Make sure you have plenty of backups, because waterproof clothes can only take you so far when you have wet feet.
  • For hot weather, once again, appropriate clothes such as shorts, t-shirts, bathers, etc. are all good, but also take into consideration what your clothes are made of – light colored polyester and nylon will reflect off of the sun, and help with managing sweat. As we all know, Aussie sun is harsh, so make sure you have hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, etc. in mind as well.
  • This one is super important in all weather: stay hydrated.

Having to get out of your sleeping bag when it’s cold:

  • Before you sleep, push the clothes you will be wearing the next day inside the bottom of your sleeping bag. That way, when you put your clothes on in the morning, they won’t feel freezing cold.
  • Sleep with absolute minimal clothing on. If you sleep with a lot of clothes on, they will adjust to your body temperature so by the time you get up you will feel the cold just as much as if you weren’t wearing so much. Instead, adding layers once you wake up will make you feel warmer much faster.

For hygiene/showering:

  • Carry hand sanitiser, and for soap, make sure it is biodegradable.
  • Use disposable baby wipes for bird bathing (basically patch cleaning), or soap and a washcloth.

For bugs:

  • Zip up the screens and doors on your tent, whether during the day or at night.
  • We already talked about insect repellent briefly, but to elaborate, make sure it is waterproof. It needs to be more powerful than water and sweat if you want it to work.
  • Whilst hygiene is important, try and opt for neutral or unscented products, because bugs will be drawn to your smell.
  • Mosquitoes thrive in moist settings, such as near water and after rain or storms. If your campsite is near a swamp, this is going to be especially hard to combat. If you are super anti-bugs, stick to high and dry campsites.

For having to go home at the end of a great trip:

  • Make sure you take photos where you can so you can relive the trip through your memories.
  • Have the next camping trip already planned so you have something new to look forward to!

 

Here’s An Idea

camping tips

Here at Ark Tarps, our tarpaulins and XF-Film products are unique and multi-use, so we would like to inform you about a few nifty uses for tarps when it comes to camping:

  • Acting as a groundsheet
  • Being a cover for your car/ute/trailer/boat, etc.
  • Protecting other equipment
  • Becoming a makeshift shelter (for cooking, protection during food breaks, emergencies, for pets, etc.)
  • Creating a Slip ‘n’ Slide activity for kids
  • Blocking wind
  • Keeping wood dry
  • Protection from the sun
  • Creating walls
  • Tarp camping

 

For all camping needs, our recommendation for you would be opt for a heavy-duty tarp, mainly for the sake of durability. Our heavy-duty tarps are 100% waterproof, U.V resistant and have a very high tear strength, making them your best friend for your future camping experiences.

 

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