Top Five Common Camping Mistakes 

August 17, 2015

We caught up with good friend of Outdoria and local camping guru Scott Ivey to find out what the most common camping mistakes are that he sees people making on his trips into the great outdoors.

Not setting up your tent before going away

Scott and his mates get a fair bit of joy out of this one, but are sure to help out those who really need it shortly after having a quiet laugh at the couple who can’t help but argue over which zip is the front door, and which one is the window.

Scott’s number one tip is to set up your tent or RV before you arrive at your destination. It’s much less stressful to do it at home and work out all the bits and bobs on a fine day than once you’ve arrived at the campsite and it’s started raining.

This is even more important if you are borrowing a tent! Who knows what condition it might be in? It’s better to find out you are missing a tent pole back at home before you end up sleeping inside a nylon pita pocket for the night.

Where are you camping?

Before you set up camp it's super important that you pay attention to where you are. If you are not sure about your chosen site, ask around, find out what to expect in the area. You never know when there might be a heavy storm 200 clicks away and you end up waking up in a not-so-dry river bed.

Pay attention to the level of your campsite – its proximity to water, visible game trails – and if you’re in Australia, heaven forbid, don’t camp in the long grass!

Vehicle Preparation

Be prepared, be prepared. Anyone who spends time in the great outdoors knows this saying. Scott said the thing that most outdoorsy mistakes have in common is that they are all to do with lack of preparation.

Looking after your vehicle – especially if you are planning on heading off-road – is so important. You’re most likely travelling to areas that are not densely populated; there is a good chance you won’t see a gas station or a mechanic for a while. Make sure your vehicle is up to the trip and has the right gear to tackle the terrain you plain to cross.

towing vehicle out of deep sand

Fuel

It can really ruin the start of your day when you know your low on gas but you say to yourself, “I’ll make it to work and fill up on the way home,” and then you hear the characteristic cough of an engine dying of thirst.

Running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere (as in the Simpson Desert middle of nowhere) will not only ruin your day, but certainly your whole trip. Scott said that he uses 3 times the amount of fuel while 4WDriving in the Simpson and makes sure he has 20 litres as backup. It’s a good rule to follow, and even if you are just going camping in your local national park for the weekend, it will never hurt to keep a full jerry can in the boot.

Storage

Not only is it super important to make sure you have enough food and water with you on your camping trip, but also to make sure it is packaged and stored correctly.

Eggs in cartons – no good.

Beer in glass bottles – no good.

You get the pattern. Make sure the food you are taking is stored in such a way that you don’t end up watching it drain out the back of your vehicle once you stop at your destination.

If you are travelling to extremely remote areas, bear in mind you probably won’t be able to top up on ice out there. Your Esky (cooler/chilly-bin, which ever your preferred term) becomes quickly redundant in this case. You are far better off with a refrigeration system that runs either off your vehicles battery, or that is powered by an external generator or solar power.

What are the biggest blunders you see people making (or have made yourself) while camping? Share with us on Facebook or in the comments below!


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