6. TIME YOUR ARRIVAL
Sales assistants make setting up camp look so easy, but it takes time to develop a rhythm when you’re out there on your own. Add to the mix fading light, a couple of tired, hungry kids busting for the loo and one that’s gone AWOL – and you’re in for some fun. So, plan for an early arrival at camp and, if you’re in it for a long haul, consider stopping at a hotel along the way.
In a nutshell: Aim for an early arrival
7. FOOD STORAGE
Not all first-time campers are lucky enough to head out with a powered fridge, so if you’re carrying a stocked Esky, understand the ice within it will melt. That’s how it keeps your stuff cool. So ensure all cold storage items are sealed in watertight containers. Also, seal your pantry items (and your rubbish for that matter) in case local wildlife decide to raid your camp.
In a nutshell: Lock up your food, and ensure everything stored in the Esky is kept in watertight containers
8. THINK ABOUT FIRST AID
Distance and isolation complicate campsite accidents so support a good first-aid kit with recent first-aid training. It’s not just for the big stuff either; knowing how to bandage a sprain or treat a gash can keep you and your crew happy at camp longer. Most kits have tweezers, antiseptic and bandages but pack some antihistamines, Imodium, anti-inflammatories and antibacterial handwash as well.
In a nutshell: Pack a good quality first-aid kit and know how to use it
9. STAY WARM
Campfires, thermals, flannels, a beanie and a windproof jacket go hand in hand when it comes to cool-weather camping, giving you the confidence to really enjoy a warm cuppa on those brisk early dawns.
A raised bed, preferably with a mattress, provides far greater warmth than an airbed on the ground, especially when teamed with a raised solid mattress and bed socks. And finally, a well-greased trailer suspension will keep those knowing looks at bay if you plan on warming up with a little adult fun.
In a nutshell: A raised solid mattress, bed socks and thermals will help to keep you warm at camp
10. FINALLY, PACK A GOOD ATTITUDE
It’s important to realise camping is not like being at home. After all, what would be the point? The kids are going to get dirty and you won’t always be comfortable, but if you give yourself half a chance you will be well on the track to a lifetime of laughs and family fun.
And finally, things won’t always go to plan, so don’t be too tough on yourself if your first trip isn’t perfect. Like most things in life, it can take a few stabs at it to really hit your stride.
In a nutshell: The kids will get dirty