The words camping and nightmare have always gone together for Brendan, but his childhood memories of the outdoor life are in for an upgrade. With the right gear, camping can be more pleasure than pain, as Brendan discovers with the latest in camping comfort:
- Don't believe the number of people they say will fit in a tent. Halve the number they recommend and you'll be comfortable.
- Invest in a tent you can stand up in – it makes getting dressed so much easier.
- Forget blow up mattresses. A self-inflating mat is the only way to sleep in the great outdoors.
- If the long walk with toilet roll in hand is not your idea of fun, try the Porta Potti toilet. This is a moulded plastic fresh water portable toilet which is completely self-contained and easy to carry. They are sanitary, odourless, leakproof and contain their own fresh water supply for flushing.
- The solar shower bag is a great invention. Fill it with up to 20 litres and on a warm day after two hours you can have a hot shower.
- For total luxury, invest in fridge/freezer to supply the coldies. It looks like an esky but is actually a fridge that can be plugged into normal mains power 240 v, or your car cigarette lighter and run off your car battery. Then while you're at camp it can be hooked up to a gas bottle and run off LPG!
- Comfort camping means taking lots of stuff with you. Leave behind the sleeping bags and roll out comfy bed mats. To complete the picture, why not bring a few things from home to make you feel more at home – dinner plates, stainless steel cutlery, glass wine glasses and even all your bedding, pillows and quilts from your bed. This is camping in style!
Things to consider
- Always pitch your tent on level ground, checking that there are no large rocks or sticks underneath. Don't choose the lowest level ground in the area as this will turn into the local swimming pool if it starts to rain.
- In heavy rain, dig a small trench on the high side of your tent to divert run-off.
- Always keep your food in lockable containers or in the car at night. You'd be surprised how crafty some of the native bush animals have become.
- Take a door mat. It's great for removing sand and soil before entering the tent.
- Take a hot water bottle with you in cooler months and warm up the bed before you get in.
- Always tell someone exactly where you are going and when you expect to return. Remember that you probably won't have the luxury of mobile phone range in most camping spots.
- Consider the environment and try to leave it as you found it. Don't light fires and burn the precious wood, don't feed the wildlife, and take all your rubbish with you.
- Always pack extra matches, lighters and batteries.
Equipment and Suppliers
Christies Homemaker Centre
Cnr Victoria Avenue & Gladstone Road
Castle Hill NSW 2154
Ph: (02) 9894 7870
- Coleman Riverview 7 Tent $399
- Ensuite Dome Toilet / Shower Tent $109
- Jumbo 4wd Self Inflating Double Bed Mat $209
- Coleman Dual Fuel Burner Stove $199
- Outfitter Camp Kitchen $499
- Coleman Single Mantle Dual Fuel Lantern $139.95
- Chescold 50 L 3 way Fridge / Freezer $1323
- Porta Potti Toilet $204
- Aluminium Roll Slat Table Small 80 x 80 $119.95
- President's Chair $59.95
- Solar Shower Bag $15.95