We’ve scoured the internet and listed the 10 camping mistakes to avoid in Australia (or anywhere in the world, for that matter).
If there’s one thing that can be said about campers, it’s that they always look out for others. They are very open about their experiences and even talk about their biggest camping mistakes so other campers can avoid committing them.
1. Packing Too Much Stuff
You don’t have to bring your entire home with you to the campsite. This is a common mistake particularly among first time campers. While there’s nothing wrong with being prepared, keep in mind that packing too much stuff means you spend more time and energy loading and unloading your belongings. You spend more time setting up camp and before you know it, you’re too exhausted minding your belongings that you don’t find camping enjoyable anymore.
Do research about proper camping gear and make a list of the things you should bring to the trip. Camping necessities include tents, sleeping bags, flashlights, lanterns, cooking and eating utensils, portable stove, a cooler, some folding chairs and a small folding table, water, clothes, toiletries and a first aid kit. So put that duvet back in your closet. You don’t need it.
2. Being Too Noisy
Sure, you’re on a holiday and want to have a good time – and you should. But there’s a fine line between having a good time and being disruptive to others. Campsites in Australia (and other countries) set quiet hours at night so campers can have a good night’s rest after a long day of driving and action-packed activities. Be respectful and keep your noise levels to a minimum.
3. Leaving Kids Unsupervised
Camping is a great opportunity for kids to enjoy the outdoors, and for parents to spend quality time with them. While it’s normal that kids would want to explore the campsite and play, leaving them completely unsupervised should be avoided.
It’s easy for kids to get lost or have an accident when they’re left on their own. If you can’t be with your children all the time, make sure an adult family member watches over them at the campgrounds.
4. Letting Pets Loose At The Campsite
While there are plenty of pet-friendly holiday parks in Australia, these places enforce strict rules about keeping pets secure during your stay. Don’t just let them run wild! Keep your pets leashed at all times, to avoid bothering other campers.
5. Cooking “Gourmet” Camp Food
Look, cooking food over a campfire is difficult enough. Why would you complicate it more by preparing elaborate “gourmet” camp food? Why waste time preparing a dish that your kids may not eat, anyway?
You’re camping; keep food prep – as well as your food choices – simple. Trust us, your children will be delighted eating hotdogs and roasted marshmallows they “cooked” over the fire themselves. Just relax and enjoy easy campfire cooking at its best.
6. Cooking Inside The Tent
This is a big no-no. Unless you have a huge (and we mean huge) tent with a built-in exhaust system, cooking or even lighting a lantern inside the tent is absolutely dangerous. “Outdoor Cooking” is called such for a reason. Any activity necessitating the use of fire should be done outside the tent and well away from anything flammable. Also be sure to watch your kids around the campfire to avoid any accidents.
7. Leaving Food Uncovered
And while we’re on the subject of food, leaving leftovers or fresh ingredients uncovered attracts bugs and other local wildlife. After eating, all leftovers should be stored in sealed containers and put away in a cooler. You don’t want to wake up to find your food has been ravaged by thousands of ants or hungry possums during the night!
8. Not Bringing Your Own Firewood
Yes, and this may come as a shock to first time campers, you should NOT collect firewood at the campsite. Bring your own firewood or buy from stores near holiday parks. If everybody would collect wood at the camping grounds for their campfire, our beautiful forests would be stripped bare!
9. Not Putting Out The Campfire Completely
Campfires should be completely extinguished before you leave the site. Not putting out the fire completely is dangerous and can start fires at the camping grounds.
10. Leaving Campsites Dirty
A true lover of the outdoors would never leave a campsite dirty, knowing that another group would come and be forced to clean up the mess. Why ruin somebody else’s holiday? Before you start for home, double check your campsite and make sure you clean the area as courtesy to the next camper.
When it comes to camping Australia never disappoints in terms of locations and activities. Just make sure you’re not messing the experience for others by committing any of the things we discussed above.
Have you ever made a camping mistake and learned from it? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!