Camping Ramble

Submitted: Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 01:02
ThreadID: 91233 Views:2365 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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Hello all. I have spent plenty of time in the outdoors, from motorbike travel and camping in the bush to trekking to climbing mountains overseas, slept in all types of conditions in alot of places. On the other hand, I havent done alot of camping, as in camping grounds, slightly more comfortable camping. Ok, I have done some, but have always tried to keep the theory of keep it simple. That theory may work in some situations, but here in WA, in summer, it can make things slightly uncomfortable and lessen the experience I think. Also I have a 4yr old daughter who I am trying to get out camping and experiencing things more, and I cant expect her to camp the way I normally would.

So, alot of stuff was brought to my attention when I went away camping last week for a few days. I went with my daughter to Sandy Cape, a few kms north of Jurien Bay In WA. Im not sure what sort of camping you would call it, it was just behind some dunes, by the beach, lots of little secluded camping spots, only facilities were toilets. Beautiful spot. My little patch of paradise was nice, it was a big patch of sand, surrounded by bushes, private, and really close to the beach, great spot. It was really hot though, which caused a few problems, more so for my daughter.

I have a couple of questions, and general things I noticed about camping, if anyone has any input that would be appreciated.

In regards to the sun and heat, how do people cope with this in an open area?. I had my 4 man tent, which in itself was fine, although in the mornings the sun hit it straight away and made it unbareable very quickly. Anything I can do to deal with this?. Also found it quite hard to get the breeze to blow through, even with windows and door open.

Trying to create shade during the day was also a bit hard. I have a 10 by 8 tarp, a few poles, ropes and pegs. No problem setting it up, but from first thing in the morning till late in the evening I found that I had to constantly move it to keep the sun out of our table/living area. I noticed people just down the road had a smallish gazebo with shade/fly screen zip up sides, would that be a better option?, looked quite handy to me. If I could get the shade/heat issue sorted out Im sure it would make a hell of a difference.

I have a 97 hilux twin cab, its my baby, I love it. I dont have anything organised in it for storage, and the rear tray doesnt really hold much as I have a tool box bolted in up the front. I have made a "T" rack for the towbar son I can throw my 2 man kayak on, wouldnt go anywhere near water without it, daughter absolulely loves it too. I was thinking about making a basket/cage, which attached on the window guard and onto the towbar rack, maybe only 500 to 600 mm wide, 150 mm deep, sitting halfway between tonneau cover and kayak, would give me alot more storage. I have a trailer but dont want to take that as the hilux is gutless. Good or bad?.

Good idea to have camping stuff specifically for camping?, certain stuff stored in plastic boxes so I can just grab the box knowing everything is in there?. I packed all I thought I needed for cooking, cutlery, plates, etc from kitchen and elsewhere only to find when I got there I didnt have some stuff i needed.

What about flooring for living area?. Not saying I need it, sand is ok to be walking around on, but do some people feel the need to have something on the ground in front of their tent/living area?.

Im not expecting all these to be answered. As I said, they are just a few observations I made. If i could improve on some things without the need for taking everything including the kitchen sink then I will do it. Tnanks for reading. Grant
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Reply By: grunta1970 - Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 01:08

Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 01:08
Oh, one other thing I forgot to ask. In regards to showers, what do people do when there arent shower facilities. Im totally ok without showering,or washing out of a bucket, but would prefer if i had the ability to have one, also would prefer my daughter to have one. Also feels good to get the salt water off. I have a 20l solar shower, cheap and works. Privacy is an issue, shower tent i guess. Also how do i string the thing up high enough?. How do I manage to have 20litres of water hanging 8 foot in the air?. 3 poles?.
AnswerID: 475040

Reply By: Member - Royce- Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 08:50

Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 08:50
Gday Grunta1970, I'm a bit surprised that you have done so much camping but don't know the answers to your own basic questions.

Anyway, here's a few ideas:

Always choose your camping spot to allow for the sun... so don't camp in the open! If you do, then you will need to set up shade and move it ... or have sides that can roll down.

Improvements to the Hilux for storage sound sensible.

I hope you have your daughter in PFD etc when she is on the water? I'd be a bit worried going too far without someone else out on the water to back you up.

People often have lock together matting for flooring, or at least a mat to wipe your feet off before you get into your tent.

As far as showering is concerned, I suggest you get a 12v shower. It sits in a bucket of water and you hold the rose in your hand as you wash down. Privacy is easily covered by wearing your jock while you shower. Nobody worries out camping.

Have fun!

AnswerID: 475050

Follow Up By: grunta1970 - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 00:05

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 00:05
Most of my camping/outdoors experience has either been self sufficient trekking, motorbike travel, or camping on mountains. these are totally different to your standard camping with a 4wheel vehicle as your 'base'. I have never really been in the position of being able to take luxuries along while doing those pursuits.. Doing the outdoor thing out of a vehicle opens up many more options to make things more comfortable. I do have some idea as to what my plan is, but it's nice to hear other people's opinions also.
FollowupID: 750089

Reply By: emma t - Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 09:35

Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 09:35
We have a hard floor camper which we go camping everywhere and anywhere. In it we have everything we need for camping. When we leave the house we put water in the trailer tank and put ourselves, the baby, clothes and fresh food in the car and we are on our way. We even have tinned and packaged food in the camper, we could probably go camping with a loaf of bread and we'd be right for a few days. Grab a few of those plastic storage boxes, preferably ones on wheels to make your life easier.
We have one of those pop up gazebos - great! Relatively easy to put up, great for shade or to gather under when its raining. We use it as an awning from our camper when we go on short trips (long trips we put the awning up, then have the gazebo off it).
As for flooring - you cant go past a bit of shadecloth. One of our best investments! Get enough to go under your tent (protect the bottom of your tent) and to extend out the front of your tent as far as you want. Even 2 pieces if your "living" area is away from your tent. When you walk on the shadecloth most of the sand comes off and falls through it. Also good for wiping your feet on cause it will take off dried sand.
Hope I have been of some help :)
AnswerID: 475054

Follow Up By: emma t - Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 09:39

Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 09:39
Oh and as for the shower - a 12volt shower is all we use. Boil water on the fire - we usually camp near fresh water so use it, and have a large bucket (we use a gyprock bucket). We have one of those pop up ensuite/toilet tents. Just try to use as little water as possible.
FollowupID: 750011

Reply By: Member - Corrugate75 - Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 17:55

Monday, Jan 16, 2012 at 17:55
G'day Grunta,
We've had a similar story - started simply and have worked our way from swags to tents and currently at a camper trailer (and a heap of kids!).
Things I wouldn't be without that fit your questions - pull out roof awning - ARB, TJM, Ironman, 4x4Extreme, all make various sizes and costs. Can be fixed to roof rack or roof basket, pulls out from side of your vehicle and provides shelter and shade. Ours came with a zip on flymesh "room" and is excellent when trees are few and far between. Camping stores, Ebay etc.
Shade cloth floors are excellent - CGear mats are even better. Sand goes through these, but doesn't come up.
You'll accumulate stuff in plastic tubs over time - easy to have together so you know you didn't forget something crucial - like matches!
LED Headlamps are gold. Get your daughter one she'll love walking around with light on her head and hands free and you'll be able to see where she is in the dark.
You've already got the two best things,
A love of the outdoors and ExplorOz website!
AnswerID: 475102

Follow Up By: grunta1970 - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 00:10

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 00:10
She has the headlamp, loves it, to the point where she has a habit of turning off all the house lights and using it inside!
FollowupID: 750090

Reply By: grunta1970 - Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 21:08

Tuesday, Jan 17, 2012 at 21:08
Any opinions on refrigeration while away?. I have an Eski, which I used while away camping last week. With ice in it it didn't really last very long at all, and with no bung to drain the water every thing was swimming after not too long. Eventually I would like to get a proper fridge/freezer. But for now, does anyone have any opinions on ice boxes? Apparently they keep cooler a lot longer than eskis, is that correct?
AnswerID: 475233

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