Top Five Camping Mistakes

August 28, 2017

We caught up with good friend of Outdoria and local camping guru Scott Ivey to find out the most common camping mistakes he sees people making.

Not setting up your tent before going away

Scott’s number one tip is to set up your new tent or camper trailer at least once before you arrive at your destination. It’s much less stressful to work out how to set it up at home on a fine day, rather than once you’ve arrived at the campsite.

This is arguably even more important if you are borrowing a tent! Who knows what condition it might be in? It’s far better to find out that you are missing a tent pole or guy rope when you’re at home so you can do something about it, rather than having to make do with what you’ve got once you’re on site.

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. A dry riverbed for example, can very quickly turn into a foot or more of water if there’s heavy rain – even if it’s 200 clicks away.

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

Vehicle Preparation

Be prepared: anyone who spends time in the great outdoors knows this saying. Scott says the one thing that most outdoorsy mistakes have in common is that they all involve a lack of preparation.

Looking after your vehicle – especially if you are planning on heading off-road – is of paramount importance. You’re most likely travelling to areas that are not densely populated and there is a good chance you won’t see a petrol 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 plan to cross.

towing vehicle out of deep sand


Running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere (especially in extreme climates like the outback) can not only ruin your day, it can ruin your whole trip and put you in real danger. Scott says that he uses three 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.


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.

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 reach 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. It may be worth considering a refrigeration system that runs either off your vehicle’s 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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