You can only spend so many New Year’s Eves partying down in the city before the whole affair starts to feel pretty tired. Seriously, how good can waiting 20 minutes at the bar before being served really be? The fireworks are great but you have to get there super early to get a decent spot, and then there’s the issue of getting home. House party? Sure, but if you're looking for a memorable experience, why not dial it up a notch and take the whole thing off-campus?
Camping is a simple, inexpensive and private way for you, your family and mates to go and celebrate the new year. And if you’re going to do it, you want to make sure you do it right (heading out to the middle of nowhere without the right provisions doesn’t make for a festive evening). So we’ve put together this guide to help you get your New Year's Eve campsite humming.
Finding A Spot
Like most things New Year's Eve related, you should really book and plan your camping spot months in advance. We aren’t talking about starting to look on Boxing Day, but October or early November at the latest. By planning early, not only will you get a prime spot, but it’ll be one less thing to worry about just after Christmas.
If you’re anything like us though, you probably haven’t done that. But fear not, if you’ve left it to the last minute – all is not lost. As long as you’re prepared to travel a little further afield you still have a reasonable chance of finding something decent. National parks that are a fair distance from the city are a good place to start looking. And if you’ve got a 4x4, going off grid will obviously increase your chances of getting away from the crowds.
We reckon a view like this beats watching the fireworks hands down...
Once you’ve found your campsite, you’ll have to start working out what you want to take with you.
Of course you’re going to want all your standard camping gear but you’ll probably also want to take a few extra bits and pieces if you’re planning for some fun times. Gadgets like BBQARM are great for keeping your barbie off the ground, and you may want to bring an extra cooler to keep those beers ice cold.
You want to make sure you’re all going to be comfortable too, so it’s worth planning out how you’re going to set up your campsite. For one, check that everyone has a decent chair – there’s nothing worse than having to wrestle your mate for your seat every time you come back from taking a leak.
It’s also worth having a think about your contingency plan, should there be a mishap. Polyurethane tapes like Fixmytear are good to have on hand to make waterproof tent and tarp repairs on location and it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand.
On the Night
Let’s not kid ourselves, most of us are gonna have a few drinks on New Year’s Eve, some of us may even get a little over-enthusiastic on the sauce. We want to make sure a good time is had by all, but it’s equally important to respect your surroundings – particularly if you’re staying in a remote campsite in the middle of nowhere. Be aware of where you are and remember help is probably a long way away should you need it, so don’t go too crazy.
We reckon there’s something to be said for waking up feeling fresh on New Year’s Day and hiking to a nice spot to watch the sunrise. It’s a far better start to the year than crawling out of your tent at 10am with the mother of all hangovers and a campsite that looks like a war zone.
You may want to skip or tone down the midnight celebrations if you’re going on a sunrise hike.
Just leave it as you found it – pretty straightforward really. A good idea is to keep the place tidy as you go. If you have a bin handy (a wheel bin bag is a great idea) you’re more likely to keep the place in a reasonable condition.
We reckon camping on NYE is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. If you ask us, waking up on the first of January to a picture-perfect sunrise out in the wilderness is the best possible way to usher in the new year.