Five camping tips for new and seasoned campers alike
Pitching tents, starting camp fires and being immersed in nature are just some of the reasons why camping has long been a favourite pastime for many, not only in Australia but across the globe.
With lockdowns, border closures and time spent confined in homes in recent times, the desire to explore the outdoors has never been stronger. With camping being such an affordable way to travel and check out new places, it's hard to go past it when considering upcoming long weekends and holidays.
As with most things in life, when it comes to camping, there's always something new to learn and the following camping tips and hacks are relevant to all campers, regardless of experience.
Maximise the visibility of your guy ropes
Guy ropes are an essential part of tents and camping, but they can also be a serious trip hazard!
Anyone that's needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night while camping will know just how hard guy ropes can be to see. The good news is, we've got a coupe of tricks to help make them more visible, for both you and your camping neighbours.
A quick and easy method to make guy ropes easier to see is via reflective tape. All you need to do is wrap reflective tape around the guy rope at intervals and even without a light source, you'll be surprised by just how visible the silver tape can be at night. Ambient light from a lantern, or even the moon, will enhance that visibility even further.
Additionally, you can replace standard tent pegs with glow in the dark versions. Hit them with a headlamp or torch just before you go to sleep and you'll be amazed at how long they'll continue to glow in the dark.
Avoid condensation build up
Many newcomers to camping are often taken by surprise when they wake up in the morning and find condensation build up on the walls of the tent, as well as damp clothes.
While it's tempting and feels like the obvious option, especially during the cooler months, to zip everything up, it causes the issue of trapping warm air in. If you consider all of the air we exhale during our sleep, multiplied by the number of people in the tent, it becomes evident why ventilation is important.
The best thing to do, to compensate for all of the warm air is to partially open a couple of windows to create air flow. Just be sure you're equipped with good quality, warm sleeping gear to keep yourself comfortable overnight.
Cool your drinks in an ice slurry
One thing you can't go without on any camping trip is a cooler. Not only do coolers keep your drinks nice and cold, but your food and other perishable goods too.
If you've ever sunken into your camping chair after a long drive and camp set up, you'll know it can be thirsty work, so an icy cold drink is often the first thing on your mind. While a regular bag of ice will suffice, it can take a while for drinks to really cool down, but there is a way to speed up the process.
An ice slurry is used by many seasoned saltwater anglers to help keep their catches in optimum condition by cooling them down quickly. While they have access to saltwater, you may not, unless of course you're camping beside a beach.
To make your own, all you'll need is a cooler, bag of ice or two, water and salt. The ideal ice slurry consists of one part water to one part ice. Check out the video below to see just how fast you can make your own.
Turn your headlamp into a lantern
Despite all of our best efforts - when it comes to camping - it seems there's always going to be one or two (if not more) items forgotten at home. Most times it's the small things like batteries, cutlery or matches, but sometimes it can be something a little more serious like sleeping bags or camping chairs. And that's never a good time.
This camping hack is a common one and for good reason too - it's so quick and handy.
If you've ever forgotten your lantern at home, or just need a couple more around the camp fire or tent, all you need is your headlamp and a large water bottle.
All you need to do is wrap your headlamp around the clear water bottle, with the headlamp facing inward and boom, you've got yourself a portable lantern.
With most headlamps being dimmable, and able to emit both a white and red light, you can adjust the settings to get the ambient light just right for your needs.
Preserve your food with a vacuum sealer
Camping is synonymous with staples such as bacon and eggs, as well as the trusty snag, and as good as that is, they aren't the be all and end all.
You've heard of food prep as an efficient way for a lot of busy parents and fitness enthusiasts to ensure they have healthy pre-made meals at the ready throughout the week, and the same can be achieved for camping thanks to a vacuum sealer.
A lot of regular campers have turned to vacuum sealers to cryovac marinated meats, fish, sauces, cut up fruit and veg etc. Food vacuum sealers preserve food by removing any air and preventing sneaky bugs or parasites from breeding in and around.
If your camping trip involves fishing or hunting, vacuum sealers like the Dometic food vacuum sealer are a portable solution that can run off both 12V and 240V. Check out how easy they are to use in the video below.
Like this? Check out Easy Camping Meals And Food Ideas For Families.