Help with camp setup

Submitted: Monday, May 17, 2021 at 09:54
ThreadID: 141769 Views:1457 Replies:12 FollowUps:6
He guys, happy cold Monday!
We are a month away from our Simpson Crossing all going well & would like to hear ideas/experiences from you regarding camp set up.

My wife, myself, my 11 year old girl & 9 year old boy. We are camp savvy & have done plenty over the years. We have accumulated plenty of "stuff" too so we have a couple options.

Going for about 2 weeks.

While we have camped & travelled plenty, we've never ALL done the overnight stay & move on thing. That's been just me. When we all go together, we stay put for time.

This time around, we'll be setting up/packing down almost daily, occasionally staying in a pub along the way.

We are limiting drive times to 4 - 5 hrs per day.

We have swags & stretchers, but also have an RV 5. Now the tent is a quick set up option & we'd use self inflating mattresses & doonas. It will be cold!

The swag/stretchers would be similar - self inflating mattresses to keep pack down small.

Kids can't help to much with the tent, but they can set up the stretchers & swags.

Stretchers are very comfortable as opposed to just the mattress on the tent floor.

Just looking for some other pros/cons for either. Space is similar given the RV5 size + bedding.

I'm certain in the end it will be awesome, whichever we decide, just trying to cover most things.

Thanks in advance
Back Reply Expand Un-Read 1 Moderator

Reply By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 10:03

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 10:03
First of all leave your camp stretchers home for a couple of reason, bulky space and warmth when in the desert.

The reason why I say this is you will get a colder sleep, rather than your swag on the ground, as cold air will be drawn from under the stretcher and you will have no protection and insulation rather than if you have your swags straight on the ground. You must have very good sleeping bags, as it will be very cold at night and you do not want cheap K Mart and Big W brands, or else you will freeze.

Yes take the tent of overnight stays on the way to the desert and once there, just use your swags straight on the ground with a canvas tarp underneath.
Simpson Desert Colours

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 636426

Follow Up By: Stefandsal - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 10:06

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 10:06
Thanks Stephen, yeah wasn't keen to take both swags AND tent.
Good advice re the stretchers ta.
1
FollowupID: 914350

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 10:14

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 10:14
Just thinking about weight and bulk.

4 swags is a lot of bulk. Plus 4 stretchers is bulk and weight.

Would the kids be ok in sleeping bags in swags outside, no stretchers, perhaps with additional self-inflaters for a bit extra underbody insulation during the cold nights and mum and dad in the tent with stretchers, self inflaters and sleeping bags/doonas?

That would leave room in the tent to keep some gear undercover, like clothing, shoes, etc..

EDIT: Stephen posted as I was typing so some of this overlaps with his post.
FrankP

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

AnswerID: 636427

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 12:05

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 12:05
We have the RV5 and swags and have used this combo for many years with our family of 4. We eventually upgraded our double swag to a Dome swag and now we have an Ultimate Camper but for a time the swags and RV5 worked well for us.

When the kids were young we did many extended desert trips which would involve some initial days of moving daily and then a few days of staying in the one place. For overnighters that were dry, we'd just use the swags. If it was raining or for longer stops we would setup the RV5 and put 2 swags inside and we'd sleep in our double swag under the awning on a ground sheet just at the front door. In fact the first time with all 4, we went from WA via SA, NSW and ferry to Tasmania and a month camping around Tassie with this setup - one kid was 3 and the other was a baby of 8 months.

After many years, we upgraded our double swag to a dome swag (we have the Boab one) and stopped taking the RV5 on trips with daily movement unless for a single destination long-stop camping trip. The dome swag is a compromise - whilst not the spaciousness of a tent, you get more head room and more space than a standard swag and easier to lift off roof rack than the RV5 - David hurt his back and couldn't keep up with the weight and struggle of dealing with the the RV5 on the roof rack of a lifted cruiser.

Don't bother with stretchers or air mattresses. Just a ground sheet is required to keep the swags cleaner and avoid moisture seeping etc - we use our radiator blind and tarps. We use flannelette sheets, and doonas. Tuck them in properly at home when preparing the swag and leave setup all trip. Here's some of the old photos.



Michelle Martin
Marketing & Customer Support
I.T. Beyond Pty Ltd / ExplorOz

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message
Moderator

AnswerID: 636428

Follow Up By: Stefandsal - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 18:42

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 18:42
Great info thank you
1
FollowupID: 914357

Reply By: AlbyNSW - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 12:20

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 12:20
Personal preference whether you want to use tent or swags but choose one, you don’t need to carry both.
Leave the stretchers at home too.
You take quite a different approach to touring compared to base camping so I would assume you are used to carrying quite a lot of gear for setting up longer term.
Be brutal with assessing what to take and what should stay at home, the more gear you take the bigger the task of set up and pack up becomes

Simple is good :)
AnswerID: 636429

Follow Up By: Member - Barry P (VIC) - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 13:26

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 13:26
went across the simpson 2/3 year ago,slept inside my twin cab ranger,one night had dingoes jump on to my tray,they had a good scroung but got nothing as food locked away, if sleeping in swags you might get a fright with visitors,best of luck
0
FollowupID: 914352

Follow Up By: Member - rocco2010 - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 13:37

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 13:37
Similar story Barry. Camped atPurnie Bore we could see the dingoes just outside the light of the camp.

Next morning I could see that had had a good nose around my small tent. Not that I heard them.

Leave nothing out.

Was a great trip, and I would love to go back.

Cheers

0
FollowupID: 914354

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 13:53

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 13:53
My son had a pet dingo, they are extremely stealthy when pocking around, you didn’t know he was there until he was licking your face.
2
FollowupID: 914356

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 14:21

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 14:21
First crossing ?

With 2 adults and 2 children, I'd be going as light as possible, my setup for me in general is stretcher under awning, in compact flat swag with swag bag sleeping bag too, always very warm and dry if rain is about / blows in.
My stretcher is single aluminium though, very light and compact.

Many times I've also just thrown down a groundsheet and swagged it straight on the ground, hard to tell once you're in bed and sleeping that the stretcher is not there.

If dry I use shadecloth under the swag, sand etc just falls through.

4 swags (or a double and 2 singles) is going to be bulky, and you may want to take the RV5 in case of weather, especially if camping while travelling to and from the centre region (not sure where you're travelling from, or how many days you plan each way).

You'll have enough gear / supplies / fuel / water without taking too much, I'd try leaving the RV out if you can manage remote camping to / from without it, maybe a large tarp to string out in case it's wet anywhere, just to poke the swag openings under. Can double up as the tarp used under the swags too.

I usually take a small lightweight tent in case of weather, hardly ever had to use it but good to know it's there in case.
I just take the Malamoo 3 person pop up.

Consider weather forecasts on route to / from and in the desert when planning in the last week.
AnswerID: 636431

Reply By: Dusta - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 18:40

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 18:40
a good self inflating mattress and a good -5 or better sleeping bag is all you need.
AnswerID: 636432

Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Monday, May 17, 2021 at 19:43

Monday, May 17, 2021 at 19:43
Don`t have a tarp/ awning on top of your swags it causes condensation if the weather is cold, instead run a rope between two points , maybe from car to a tree, high enough for a tarp over it so there is clearance above the swags.
As already said put everything away at night , Dingoes love boots/shoes etc.
If you are going to bury your toilet evidence please burn the paper first, Dingoes will dig it all up and the paper blows about leaving an untidy mess.

Enjoy the trip,
Scrubby.
I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

Member
My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 636433

Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 07:55

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 07:55
Hi Stefandsal,

As others have stated, if you do not have any problems getting up and down from the ground, leave the stretchers at home. Take the RV5, but only use it if the weather is not so good. I have crossed the Simpson a couple of times, first time with the RV4 and a camp stretcher. Only used the tent a couple of times, choosing instead to just use the stretcher and sleeping bag. Second time, left the stretcher at home and used a double dome Swag with sleeping bag, carried the RV4, but did not get it off the roof rack. Quality self inflating mattress and quality sleeping bags are the answer.

Also, as others have stated, do not leave anything out at night, including boots/shoes, leave them in the car, dingoes will get into anything.

Macca.
Macca.

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 636438

Reply By: Member - nickb "boab" - Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 16:27

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 16:27
I would agree with PK Ranger regarding waight..only take what is absolutely necessary keeping the weight to an absolute minimum is the best way to do a Crossing IMO . Tent is a good idea to keep the dingoes from licking your ears at night & there's plenty of them .
Cheers Nick b
VKS 737 ( 0915 )

Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 636450

Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 12:51

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 12:51
We did the Simpson in Sept figuring July is too cold. Nearest weather station is Birdsville and the July 2020 mean minimum is 6*C and lowest 2*. These are temps taken 1.2 m above the ground so swags on the sand will be 2 or 3* lower. Plus days are very short although a pleasant 22* mean max. Another plus in a more positive sense will be the starry skies. Lie in the swag and watch for meteors.... W
Warrie

Lifetime Member
My Profile  My Blog  Send Message

AnswerID: 636464

Reply By: Bazooka - Friday, May 21, 2021 at 21:06

Friday, May 21, 2021 at 21:06
You might be interested in this video which has just come thru my email Stef&Sal.

a247 Desert Trip
AnswerID: 636502

Follow Up By: Stefandsal - Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 12:52

Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 12:52
That's great info thanks
0
FollowupID: 914431

Reply By: rumpig - Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 12:37

Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 12:37
We crossed The Simpson back in 2010 as a family of 4 with a touring tent, had self inflating mattresses and decent rated sleeping bags...mate left the washing up water in his bowl overnight and work to find the top layer of it frozen.
We also did Cape York in 2006 as a family of 3 with that same touring tent...just need to keep your set up as basic as possible to minimise set up and pack up times.
AnswerID: 636512

Sponsored Links

Popular Products (13)