Suggestions what to take camping for 1st timers going to Cape York

Hello members,

I'm new to Exploroz and my partner & I are heading off in late June with 2 other couples and plan to drive from Cairns to Cape York (one of the couples are very experienced campers). We have our 4Wheel Drive and have bought an OZtent, but are looking for advice as to what to take with us, apart from food, clothes, water, spare tyres etc. etc. The men are planning all the things needed for the landcruiser , but the women would like advice from other females out there....

Maybe some of you experienced campers know of some special things that may be particularly useful e.g. baby wipes to use if there are no showers or creeks available...

Also, we're taking a portable toilet (for emergencies) and we're wondering if anyone knows where you can buy more of the plastic bags?

Appreciate any advice you can give us.

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:25

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:25
Hi Robin,

You ask "Maybe some of you experienced [female] campers know of some special things that may be particularly useful". Here are my thoughts.

First up a sense of humor, and curiosity for all the sights that you will see. And lots of flexibility about schedules and getting to places "on time". Take a camera and diary to record your adventures - dont rely on memory. Understand the route that you are taking so that you can track your progress on a map or GPS.

And take a good lot of determination to share the driving, and the fun, including some of the tricky bits. If you haven't much experience 4WDing try to do some training before you go, and then follow it up with practice behind the wheel. And do try to get involved in vehicle preparation too, especially knowing where all your gear is to be stowed. But there is no harm in knowing a bit about tyre pressures, oil and water either. Two sets of eyes are better than one when doing regular inspections around your vehicle every time you stop.

I'd guess that's probably not the advice that you expected to get but if you and your partner are going on a trip it adds greatly to the experience if it is shared in as many ways as you can find, including setting up and packing up your camp, lighting the campfire etc.

Take as little "stuff" as you can manage. Clothes that can handle getting dusty, sensible footwear, swimmers. Heaps of insect repellant. 12volt shower and somewhere to use it eg shower tent or a tarp rigged off the side of your vehicle. Lots of plastic bags to hold rubbish (and that includes toilet paper) until it can be disposed of properly. Plenty of moisturiser and sunscreen. Just enough cooking gear to prepare the food that you like to eat. Share the washing up.

And finally, have a wonderful trip.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
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Follow Up By: Robin G2 - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 17:03

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 17:03
Thanks Val - appreciate all the valuable advice you have given & will most certainly take notice of it.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 09:32

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 09:32
We have big toilet bags with lots of pockets that open out flat and have a hook so you can hang them up - indispensible. You need to find or make somewhere in your tent where you can hang things up. Also have glued a strong magnet onto a mirror so you can put it onto the car in a convenient place so you can get the light where you want it.

We also carry a small aluminium bowl (about 10") that we use for handwashing around camp - doesnt need to hold a lot of water. Make sure you have thongs or crocks to wear to/in the showers if you are using public facilities.

I find a sponge useful for an APC wash as it holds more water than a face washer/flannel. A shopping bag is useful to take a change of clothes to the amenities block, and sometimes a small flat folding chair is useful as well if there are no hooks and the floor is wet.

We spread our damp towels and tea towels over the bed while we are travelling and they stay dry and fresh.

I keep a stash of wet wipes, moisturiser, sunblock and lip balm, toilet paper etc accessible from the passenger seat, (as well as in my toilet bag) for use on the move without having to delve into the toilet bags.

Hope that helps with the detail a bit.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
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Follow Up By: Robin G2 - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 16:46

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 16:46
Thanks Val for your latest advice - really appreciate your help.
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Follow Up By: Robin G2 - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 16:48

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 16:48
Just one question Val, where would you buy these toilet bags from?
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 17:02

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 17:02
Hi Robin,
There is a link here that shows some of the different styles and where you can get them. I just googled "buy toiletry bag"

Cheers,

Val
J and V
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Follow Up By: Robin G2 - Saturday, Apr 21, 2012 at 15:24

Saturday, Apr 21, 2012 at 15:24
much appreciated, Val
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Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 17:28

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 17:28
We did this trip as a part of a tag-along tour in 2006. We had an OZtent and found that without having the fly over the OZtent there was an annoying amount of condensation in the tent each morning. Fortunately we had the fly with us and once we took the trouble to use it, with the extra poles etc, we could leave the back window open and minimise the condensation.

Make sure that you have a ground sheet to go under the tent also.

There are green ants up there and you will probably need to sprinkle talcum powder around the edge of your tent and pegs to prevent them from annoying the hell out of you.

We will be up there at about the same time.

Best of luck
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Regards Rob

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Follow Up By: Robin G2 - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 18:59

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 18:59
Thanks Rob for the advice. Could you just clarify please why we need a ground sheet under the ten?
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 21:40

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 21:40
You will get moisture and dirt sticking to the underneath of the floor of the tent. This can be cleaned off and dried, but it is much quicker to fold up a clean dry tent and keep the dirt etc on the groundsheet.

The groundsheet can be a cheap tarp or builders plastic, it is not a big deal, but having it will make your daily routine more pleasant.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Follow Up By: Robin G2 - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 07:51

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 07:51
Thanks so muchRob - will certainly take a tarp - that's great advice.
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Follow Up By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 09:07

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 09:07
The secret with using waterproof ground sheets is to ensure that the ground sheet does not stick out beyond the edge of the tent floor. If it does stick out and it rains, then the water will run down the side of the tent, on to the ground sheet and then under the tent. The result will be a large area of floor and ground sheet that will need to be dried off before packing.

You can cut the ground sheet to size, slightly smaller than the tent floor or else fold it under each time so that it does not stick out past the edge of the tent floor.
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Reply By: getmethehelloutahere - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 19:53

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 19:53
Insect repellant- 50/50 baby oil and dettol, the only thing that worked for us.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jamie O (WA) - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 20:29

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 20:29
Heard the same from an old stockman the other day, but a 2:1 ratio oil/dettol.

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Follow Up By: Robin G2 - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 12:53

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 12:53
Thanks for the advice re the baby oil/dettol for the insects..
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Reply By: the_fitzroys - Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 20:42

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012 at 20:42
Great replies from other members. Take a good first aid kit, plenty of insect repellent, a shallow plastic dish for an "APC" wash if you're too tired to rig up a shower. I always take imodium (anti-diarrhea), Ural, some antibiotics against UTIs, in fact anything you might need to treat any minor to medium medical problems that you might be prone to. Some girls swear by shewees but I'm buggered if I can use one :-) CHAPSTICK - don't forget that. You'll be outdoors a lot more than usual and lips will dry out. I always find a couple of cotton bandanas handy. You might not have the opportunity to wash your hair as often as usual and to be honest, sometimes you just can't be bothered (feral alert!) so a bandana can really save the day. I've never been a fan of wipes. It's amazing how clean you can get with a bucket of water and the aforesaid plastic dish if you don't use excessive amounts of soap and shampoo/conditioner which we tend to do in town. A small shaving mirror is a godsend. Otherwise you are relegated to using a compact mirror (too small) or annoying your husband by rearranging the rear view/side mirrors of the car.
Above all have fun!
AnswerID: 483493

Follow Up By: Robin G2 - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 07:37

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 07:37
Thanks to the_fitzroys & all the other members for their useful advice - really appreciate all your help
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 08:43

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 08:43
Robin,

Re the plastic bags for the portable toilet.

Not sure what kind of toilet you have but I got some of these, there are various sizes and not too expensive. They are certified biodegradable.

Biodegradable plastic bags

Also medium to good head torches for everyone are a must. Forget torches, gas lights etc etc. Annaconda regularly seem to have a sale of them with 50 - 70% off and you can get some good ones for $20 - $50. IMO the ones with a single bright LED and a RED non flashing LED are the best. Red works well around the camp fire to see without blinding everyone.

Other things I like are a few good books, a radio that receives ABC Short wave Like a Tecsun PL600 or PL 660 or a Sony
ABC short wave frequencies

On the food front ( Yeah I know you didn't ask about that) go and buy some Dried mash Potato, Dried peas and .....the dreaded Spam and cook it one night for dinner, well before you go for the guys. You might be "surprised". They are great back up products that don't need refrigeration.
Also if you have a camp oven consider making bread. Another thing to test before you go. You can get bread improver and yeast at the supermarket these days. And go for Pasta Dura bread flour if you can get it. It makes a great loaf without the need for a tin.


AnswerID: 483517

Follow Up By: Robin G2 - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 16:55

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 16:55
More useful advice, that's great. The plastic bags look like they may be the go.

Food advice is also very useful. Thanks so much.
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Reply By: Frances - Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 18:27

Thursday, Apr 19, 2012 at 18:27
I took 4 kids on my own to Cape York and did the OTL so we mostly bush camped. All I took with me to cook in was a Chefs Toolbox Saute Pan and every single meal we ate came out of that including roasts, risottos, paellas, birianis, roasts and boring stuff like frying eggs, bacon etc. It was so damn good that when I came home I decided to start selling them. You can check them out on my website www.chefstoolbox.com/my/frances. I have done other major camping trips since and still only take the saute pan with me.
AnswerID: 483570

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