Tip 0281 Flask for hot water.
Another easy tip is to take a good quality and volume flask for hot water.
This is handy for meals on the go and saves you having to get out all your gear for a quick meal or coffee.
Coffee/tea on the go, pot noodles for a quick snack, even a hot water bottle top up if you arrive late on a cold evening campsite.
Tip 0287 Firewood collection.
Getting a good campfire going if allowed is a must and collecting firewood along the way is a great tip for setting yourselves up for an awesome evening.
Dormant trees may appear dead but come to life after drought. Try to only take broken or dropped branches. Old sleepers left by the side of railway tracks are a great source of firewood
Fold out tree saws are inexpensive and great for clearing fallen logs and cutting up wood for your campfire.
But be careful of wildlife, check what you are using and try to leave some behind for the next campers, they may not have enough time to collect before they arrive.
Don't throw your scraps of food into the fire, especially meat bones. Fires stay hot for many hours even when they appear out. Wildlife will attempt to retrieve them and die.
Tip 0282 Intelligent packing
This is more experienced packing rather than intelligence, so a lot of thought pre travel will greatly assist you as you commence your travelling.
If you have adequate room then systematic packing is the key. Don't rush to pack away for speed as you will end up slower at the other end.
When you have little space for packing your vehicle, think about weight and sectioning. It may seem obvious but "last in first out" is the key phrase. Try and keep heavy items low and if you have no head guard to your vehicle, either fix down rear object with a truck net or keep pillows and quilts on top.
Make use of roof racks and top boxes but be careful of falls from heights. A fall from anything higher than the third run of a standard ladder is considered as a possible fatal fall.
Tip 0284 Acquire a retractable washing line
Now you may think that this is a waste of time and money but we can assure you this is no joke.
Yes a piece of string does the same job but how many times have you looked for something to hang your washing on whilst camping.
This can double up as a guy rope to hang weather tarps on and can be used for pretty much anything you want.
Tip 0283 Ground mat
A good quality one with holes not too small, that let small particles drop through will be your best friend for keeping your equipment clean and dry.
Most campsites have a leaving time of 10am. Try and lay out your ground mat and wet tarps in the morning sun to allow to dry out pre-packing. These will be the last thing to pack, as they are the first to put out at your next destination.
Tip 0285 Duct tape
Tape and tying wire are a must have in your camping tool bag. Combine the two and you have strength and adhesive. A simple stick with wire wrapped around and taped up will have the strength of a metal bar.
A used drink can with top and bottom cut off and sliced along its length, wrapped around a broken tent pole with tape around makes for an easy repair.
Tip 0286 Bucket toilet
For the cost of AUD$20 you can purchase a toilet bucket and have a comfortable and clean sanitised portable toilet.
The bucket doubles up as a container for say toilet rolls, kitchen towel, biodegradable bags, foldable shovel and you can even use it as a portable washing machine.
Tip 0293 On road vehicle maintenance
There will be many of you that have absolutely no idea about vehicle mechanics and that's fine but you have taken the trouble to plan, research and go through the process of getting all your camping gear and organising your trip, so why not spend just half hour familiarising yourselves with your vehicle.
Most vehicles nowadays have the key service points under the bonnet highlighted in yellow markers. Just take a moment to crack open the bonnet and just identify a few things.
Oil and water are quite simple to check but many of you forget to check things like your air filters which get clogged up with all sorts and is easy to access and tap clean.
Locate your recovery points under your vehicle. I know it sounds silly but many of you would know where your wheel jack is but have no idea where to place it in case of a tyre puncture or blowout.
I have seen many people struggling with the most basic maintenance and can tell you many stories of weird and wacky attempts from owners trying to maintain their vehicles on the roadside.
The problem is that many people rely on their own mechanics to service their vehicles and feel embarrassed after driving for 40 years that they don't really know a thing about what they are driving and are afraid to ask.
Always make a little room for a minor tool kit and some spares just in case. Even if you can't fix the problem, fellow travellers along the way may well be able to assist and often are more than happy to help another fellow traveller in their hour of need.
Tip 0288 First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is of course a must but make sure it has all you need for your specific travel adventure.
You may need to supplement your kit with say a compression bandage for snake bites, add an eyewash or a few other items. Include some minor items like stingo and remember to pack any prescribed medication.
Make sure you pack your first aid kit somewhere with easy access. In emergency you will need to get to it quickly.
Tip 0290 Muddy boot bag
A foot well deep mat, or shallow bucket is great to keep your muddy boots/clothes in, or a rear wheel dry bag. We have two! One for rubbish and one as a dirty bag.
Remember to line your rubbish bag which will keep it fresh from odours that attract wildlife throughout the night.
Keeping rubbish off the ground and in a sealed bag will reduce the amount of scavenging.
A little additional tip here, when cleaning your teeth near your site, don't spit out the toothpaste on the ground nearby. This encourages Dingoes and other wildlife. They love the taste.
Tip 0289 Working gloves and a light raincoat
With all camping we recommend taking a pair of working gloves and a light raincoat for wet weather conditions and handling hot, sharp or dirty objects. Gloves are handy if you have to use your recovery kit or working near your hot engine and exhaust pipe.
Isolate your hands from grease, dirt, wet and the cold. You really don't want the inside of your cab looking like the outside of your truck after a 4WD in the mud.
Tip 0291 Compass to hand
Learn how to use a simple hand held compass. These are inexpensive and a must have if you intend straying out of eyeshot from your campsite.
It is so easy to quickly get disorientated, especially in times of panic.
Many people get lost within a few hundred metres of familiarity. Try not to solely rely on modern technology. Mobile phones and the like often breakdown or the batteries run out.
Tip 0292 Heavy hammer
We always take a good carpenters hammer with us. Mainly because the rubber tent hammers just don't really have the weight for some ground make up.
If you are going to take a tent peg hammer, then take a claw hammer. This doubles up in tent peg retrieval and also has many other uses.
Tip 0294 Drop your speed
Dropping your speed by just 5kms per hour will give you better fuel economy. Driving under 2000rpm will extend your distance well in excess of 5%.
Ever wondered why the majority of towing or loaded vehicles are driving slower than the speed limit? It's not because they are struggling to pull their load, it is for fuel economy.
So all you boy racers out there that think your vehicle is faster than others, we are all just laughing at you.
Travelling on the road is all part of your travel experience. Plan your route well, take your time and enjoy the ride. With traffic, road works, towns and villages along the way you will no doubt get to your destination only a few minutes later than a boy racer!
We tested a 900 kilometre trip with two vehicles. One driving at the speed limit and the other 5 to 10K/h under and arrived within 15 minutes of each other. We know which driver was less stressed at the end of it.
Tip 0296 Paper plates
Paper plates are invaluable when camping and especially when you have to take your rubbish with you as you go.
There is no washing up to do and when you have finished eating, just throw them on the fire to clean :-)
Tip 0295 Wet wipes
A must item to pack when camping and for that matter any travelling you have in mind.
This is so useful to have for so many reasons, we don't even have to list.
Tip 0297 Make your own sand flags
We ask the question. Why pay a small fortune for a store bought sand flag when you can make one for a fraction of the cost?
Get yourselves down to a builders warehouse outlet and buy some irrigation pipe and cut up an old PPE Fluorescent work over jacket and tie it on the top with zip ties. Hey presto a Sand flag that costs less than AUD$20.
You can even buy the pipe in sections with screw on connectors and make it demountable to your liking.
Make sure you use a good strong plastic irrigation pipe that has some flexibility.
Tip 0298 Fly mesh to your grill
An easy tip and one that will save you in the long run. Purchase a strip of material fly mesh and zip tie it over the front of your vehicles grill. This will stop most flies and bugs you come across during your journey.
This will save you a massive cleanup job on your return and save your vehicles radiator from baked on bugs and mud.
Tip 0299 - 0300 to follow