This BLOG is written for 60 to 90 years-old retiree adventurers who have never been camping. You can either lead the adventure yourself or enrol a confident grandchild to take charge!
Don’t worry if you’ve never been camping. Someone in your family will have tried camping even if it’s one of your youngest grandchildren. Camping at Christmas is a wonderful time of the year to try it for the first time especially if you have an extended family with kids!
Remember that in Australia we have huge areas of natural beauty, fantastic beaches, most of which are only an hour or so from where you live. If you are new to camping, planning your first trip can seem rather daunting. These are the questions that first come to mind when planning a camping trip:
- Where and when should you go camping?
- How can you get there and what should you take with you?
You’ll need a tent or tents for you and your partner or your entire family. You can sacrifice a little bit on quality but make sure you have one of those large blue tarps available to protect the tent from too much sun or rain.
Here are some of the basics, but remember most of what you’ll need you or your family will probably have in your garage or shed.
- Camp beds. You can take heavier camping beds than backpackers which you can buy quite easily at a low cost from Kmart, Big W or Bunnings, either as roll up beds or inflatables. Don’t forget the pump as a camping accessory!
- A stove like a 2 burner LPG camping stove with an attachment for a cylinder.
- Eating utensils, such as cups, plates and camping cutlery as well as a saucepan and frying pan.
- BBQ fans will find most campgrounds in the country have them available for their patrons to use and it might surprise you that many states have BBQs scattered around roadside parks.
- Don’t forget the camping esky or fridge to keep your steak and sausages cool.
- One thing you shouldn’t leave behind and that’s spare fuel and water containers filled up just in case you get caught out too far away from civilisation without enough fuel or your car breaks down on a hot day.
- Even if you have an iPad or a laptop and can use Google Maps…it’s a good idea to invest in some real paper maps.
- Camping apps like Wikicamp may tell you what campgrounds are available and how much they cost but you will need to know whether there is space for your tent or vehicle and be able to book accommodation. Most commercial campgrounds will have their own websites and you can either make a booking online, send an email or just ring up to make a booking.
Remember campers are a friendly group of people. Someone will appear to lend a hand if things start getting out of control! They always do…and that’s one of the joys of camping.
You’re never too old to try camping so give it a go and just see what happens!