Whether you’re planning your first school holiday camping trip or your 5th, there is always a huge amount of planning involved. Make your next caravan adventure a full-blown success: Our camping gear checklist will make your life easier and turn even the youngest family member into a happy camper.
Summer is coming closer and with it, the beginning of this year’s camping and road trip season! If you’re planning on taking the family out on a camping trip, be it for an extended weekend or a longer escape from the oftentimes hectic city life, we’re here to help you avoid rookie mistakes.
We’ve all heard the horrendous stories of our friend’s camping fails: Mismanaged food supplies, forgetting important gear or clothes, and spending nights in a downpour in a leaking tent – there are many things that can go wrong and need to be accounted for.
With this in mind, we’ve gathered expert advice on how to prep for a family camping trip. Here’s what you need to know!
Camping Gear Checklist – Come Prepared!
Checklists are a brilliant tool to help you with the preparation for your trip. What your list looks like exactly, depends a lot on the kind of camping trip you’re taking, which activities you’ve planned, where you’re going, for how long and who is coming with you. You may need to add or remove a few items from our list according to your individual plans.
But one thing is certain: You can’t go wrong with having a checklist, so long as you stick to it.
Before Anything Else, Do Your Research
- Research your journey and destination. This includes travel routes, fuel costs and accommodation plans. During the holiday season, many camping grounds will be fully booked long in advance. Plan ahead of time to make sure you’re getting a spot!
- Prepare for weather changes. Summer weather can be unpredictable, especially now that storm season is upon us. If you do get caught camping in a thunderstorm, there are a few things you need to know to keep your family safe.
- Get your car and caravan ready for the trip. It’s a good idea to prep for short and long-distance drives, this includes servicing your car and caravan. Your mobile home away from home needs to be running like a well-oiled machine if you want to reach your destination without surprises and be assured the safest and most comfortable holiday experience for you and your family.
- Do a trial run. We understand you’re pretty excited to test your new camping gear in the field. But nothing ruins a trip more than fighting with your loved ones the first chance you get – and setting up a brand new tent in the middle of the night can be a challenge for any relationship. Therefore, test any new gear in your backyard, before you take it on a trip!
The Caravan And Motorhome Camping Checklist
Nothing beats a comfortable motorhome or caravan to sleep in. What we like to call the “billion-star accommodation”, guarantees a great time for old and young – for the price of a full tank and a small camping ground fee.
Here is what you should check off your list before leaving town!
- Check your car’s towing capacity. Generally, caravans weight around the 2000kg-2500kg without cargo.
- Get your hands on a few printed maps. Don’t rely on your service provider alone. As soon as you’re leaving the city, internet availability can become patchy. To help you find the nearest locations, sites and emergency services, make sure you take an old-school, printed map on your journey.
- Pack extension cords or/and a generator. Your mini fridge won’t cool dad’s beers without electricity. Being able to generate your own power can come in handy in the Australian outback.
- Safety first. Check all fire alarms and replace the batteries if needed. Have fire extinguishers and a fire blanket ready and keep a first aid kit stocked up and within reach.
- Take chargers for any devices you take. Your kids will thank you for keeping the iPad and Nintendo’s charged for those long car rides.
- Torches and firelighters. As soon as the sun sets, you’ll need to think of alternative light sources.
- Don’t forget to carry rubbish bags. Small rubbish bags are great for car rides, big ones come in handy once you’ve reached your destination of choice. Take your rubbish with you and look after the environment.
- Toaster and kettle. The camping cooking tools standard.
There Is No Such Thing As A Sleep-in
Campers are early risers. Sorry, it’s an unwritten campground law and there is not much you can do about it. People in caravan parks like to get up early and seize the day. One might expect them to be a little more relaxed, but there is really no rest for the wicked. Since you won’t be getting a whole lot of sleep, you want to make sure the sleep you are getting, makes up for the 5 am clatter and banging of tea kettles and starting car engines.
Here is how to make sure you’re getting the most of those resting hours!
- Get the perfect sleeping bag. Make sure it suits the time of the year and destination.
- Pack tarpaulins or groundsheets. They’ll keep you comfortable throughout the night.
- Mosquito nets are a must. Bugs can be gnarly beasts. Nets will prevent you from getting bitten throughout the night.
- Inflatable mattresses or rubber mats. Rest easy without damaging your posture and spine.
Cooking up a Family Feast on Your Caravan Holiday
Bellies need to be filled, even if you’re on a holiday. Why not take advantage of the scenic outdoor setting and a whip up dinner over the open fire. Or cook breakfast eggs on the practical mini stove you were smart enough to pack, expecting to have to feed many hungry and impatient mouths.
- Utensils and plates. Reusable is the way to go. Leave no trace or trash behind is, for good reason, one of the most important camping rules.
- Cooking and BBQ utensils. Don’t forget to pack your grill and portable stove. Take reusable cutlery, cooking utensils and plates rather than single-use ones.
- Gas cylinders and matches. You’ll look like an amateur if you have to borrow them from your campground neighbour. Although, it is a great way to make friends.
- Food. Make sure to pack enough food supplies, as you might not get the chance to stock up so soon. Take fresh produce and non-perishables – plan your meals for the first days ahead of time.
- Large container for dishes. And don’t forget detergent, a sponge and a brush.
- Plenty of water. You’ll need water to drink, cook and clean with. Consider taking a water purifier, if you want to rely on tap water and are not sure if it’s potable.
- Esky. To keep drinks and snacks cool and safe from the Australian summer heat.
- Camping Table and Chairs. It’s always a good idea to pack seats and a table.
Campground Health & Hygiene
Campgrounds are playgrounds for children. Running around barefoot under the summer sun, playing with their new friends from the early morning until the sun sets. Their newfound enthusiasm for the outdoors requires you to prepare for all the downsides that come with it. Plenty of sunscreen and mosquito repellent are just a few of the essentials you need to pack.
We may be living in the wilderness, but that doesn’t mean we’re throwing our hygiene overboard. What toiletries and personal items should come on your caravan camping trip?
- Basic toiletries. Hand soap, sanitiser, toilet paper, baby wipes, toothpaste and toothbrushes, body wash, shampoo and conditioner are the very basics.
- Insect repellent. Prevent nasty bites and infections.
- Plenty of sunscreen. Prevent sunburns and stay safe in the sun.
- Portable toilet and shower. Just think of the convenience of having a bathroom right next to your tent or caravan.
- Towels, clothes, old shoes, spare clothes.
- Clothesline with pegs. Not just for drying clothes, but also to shield yourself from those curious looks of your fellow campers.
- Prescription medication.
- First aid and snake bite kit. You never know when you’re going to need it. These items often get overlooked.
Camping with kids can be a challenge. The little ones want to be entertained at all times. Fair enough, so do many adults. If you’re looking for some fun campground activities everyone can participate in, we’ve got you covered. It’s a great idea to come prepared with some activities and accessories to make sure the only slow moments in the trip happen on purpose.
- Fishing equipment. Rods, nets, hooks and weights, etc.
- Games. Board games, card games & group games.
- Entertainment. Downloadvideos and movies, or bring DVDs and a laptop charger.
- Sports sets. Cricket, volleyball, soccer or whatever your kids fancy.
- Hammock. Nothing like a little afternoon nap or storytime while gently floating in the air.
- Music instruments. A guitar goes a long way and invites young and old to come together to sing next to a sizzling campground fire.
- Water sports equipment. The important thing is to get wet and have fun in the summer sun.
Be A Happy Camper!
As you can see, there is a lot to remember when planning a caravan camping trip. Keeping a checklist on hand will help you to always pack the necessary essentials. Even if you think you may not need an item that we have listed. Chances are, you will eventually.
Always be prepared for all eventualities and stay safe! We would also recommend you to keep all the important phone numbers within reach. You never know when you need to call a specialist to help you out in a tricky situation or emergency.
With its global brand and proud heritage, Novus Autoglass holds a reputation for the quality of services and products. Novus Autoglass has been helping Queenslanders prep for their summer getaways for over 40 years. For all your caravan auto glass service needs during your journey or before and after a road trip, contact Novus for more information about their services