AUSTRALIA has an amazing array of open spaces and beautiful sights and a camping adventure is the perfect way to see them.
Whether you are a grey nomad planning a trip of a lifetime, a family looking for an economical way to holiday or a couple looking to get away from the stresses of work, camping provides the perfect alternative to the conventional holiday.
It also allows you to experience the fresh air and the wonderful people, flora and fauna this country has to offer.
But like any getaway, whether it's for a weekend or a month, camping requires careful preparation to ensure all goes smoothly.
If you are a frequent camper it pays to have the regular non-perishables stored together ready to go.
Things like plates, cooking utensils and cutlery can be washed after a trip and stored in tubs.
You could use another tub to store things like tinned goods, coffee and oil as well as paper towels and first aid kit. Being prepared will save time.
Even if you are not a list person, make one.
Ticking off stuff as you pack will ensure you don't find yourself in the middle of nowhere without batteries or water.
While camping, make note of things you could do with the next time around or staples which have been finished.
There are many items you can do without while camping - after all isn't that the point?
But there are some things which should be at the top of your list.
Good torches and enough of them to go around as well as spare batteries are a must - the bush can be a dark place.
It's also important to take enough drinking water, a first aid kit and toilet paper.
Find space too for a washing-up tub, a sharp knife and billy for boiling water.
Don't overpack. You don't have to plan for every eventuality - where's the adventure in that?
Be sure to check the weather forecast and the facilities available at your camp site.
Also, it makes sense to pre-plan meals so you are not lugging unnecessary items out there.
So now you're pretty much ready to head out but what are you going to sleep in?
Without a doubt the most important piece of equipment is the tent or camper trailer or for those in camping heaven, the caravan.
While there are financial considerations for your choice of home away from home personal preference also plays a part.
Tents have certainly come a long way from the inflexible, heavy canvas monstrosities which could once be found in campsites across Australia.
Now there is a funky colourful option to suit every budget and configuration.
Probably the most important thing to remember when choosing a tent is that they actually hold far fewer people than it says on the box.
So while a four-man tent could sleep three, it's actually better suited to two. Consider also the size and height of the adults who will use it.
When buying a tent think about the conditions in which you will use it.
A lightweight summer tent is designed with ventilation in mind and will not withstand harsher conditions.
A better bet would be a three-season tent that will protect you from rain and wind.
Ease of use should also be paramount. Also check how water proof the fabric is, the quality of the fastenings, the floor and the weight.
Whether you're investing in a folding camper or off-road one, the choices are exciting - but once again you should shop to your needs.
A camper trailer gives you good storage space, a safe and secure environment to sleep and store your valuables and freedom while travelling.
Good camper trailers should use a grade of aluminium that is rust proof.
It will not only last longer but will also cope better with wear and tear.
They should be easy to tow and manoeuvre and able to reflect heat and light.
When you are considering your budget think too about fuel costs.
Pop-top caravans have a lower profile which means less drag and less fuel costs.
They do lack overhead cupboard space and can require more maintenance.
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