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Given the current travel climate we decided to travel within Australia for the foreseeable future, taking a road trip around Australia. Although we mix various styles of travel, for most stays in the various locations we are camping.
With our vast outdoors a popular pastime for many Australian families is a camping trip. So, with that in mind our camping essentials Australia guide has you covered with all the latest equipment you need to get the most out of your camping in Australia adventure.
Whether it is a short weekend getaway, or a long camping stay it is important to ensure you have all the necessary camp essentials so you can get the most out of your camping holiday.
We have listed all the must have things to take camping along with items that can make your stay enjoyable, including tent camping essentials, camp cooking essentials and basic camping equipment.
Quick guide of camping essentials Australia
Our handy table has a selection of items from each category detailed below for easy reference. These items provide a snapshot of what is available and provide a useful guide to getting started.
|Black Wolf Turbo Lite Plus 300||Tent||Check|
|Black Wolf Groundsheet||Groundsheet||Check|
|Portable Fridge / Freezer||Fridge||Check|
|Caribee Snow Drift||Sleeping Bag||Check|
|Coleman Quickbed||Air Mattress||Check|
|Wanderer Table||Camp Table||Check|
|Darche DCT 33 chair||Camp Chair||Check|
|OZtrail Folding Table||Table||Check|
|Gasmate Travelmate Stove||Camp Stove||Check|
|Hard Korr camp lighting||Camp Lights||Check|
|St John medium leisure kit||First Aid Kit||Check|
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So, what essential tent camping gear will I need?
We are currently travelling and staying at campsites in Queensland. We have stayed for extended periods at Yeppoon, Emerald, Sapphire, Barcaldine, Longreach, and Winton. Through trial and error, we have worked out the best camping essentials to suit our preferred camping style.
There are many products available to suit any style of camping and although some items are great to have, our list, is what we take when camping. Although we are happy to rough it, these days we prefer to stay at powered camp sites which provides a us with greater flexibility and comfort. We also work online so power is essential.
An important factor to consider is how much room camping gear takes up depending on the size of your vehicle. It is surprising just how much room can be saved by buying the right camping equipment. In our case we decided that everything had to fit into our medium size SUV with the back seats folded down.
10 Top items for camping Australia 2020
Here is a handy list of the essential camping gear reviewed below.
- Black Wolf Turbo Lite Plus 300 Tent – A top rated tent designed for Australian conditions
- Black Wolf Turbo Lite Plus 300 Groundsheet – A perfect fitting ground sheet
- Dometic CFX3 35 Portable Fridge / Freezer
- Caribee Snow Drift Sleeping Bag – A large style sleeping bag
- Coleman Queen Double-High Quickbed & Pump – A self-inflatable air mattress
- Wanderer Aluminium Folding Table – A lightweight folding camp table
- Darche DCT 33 camp chair – A lightweight camp chair
- OZtrail Folding Table with Storage – A lightweight camp kitchen
- Gasmate Travelmate II Twin Stove – A lightweight camp stove
- Hard Korr camp lighting – A 4 bar Orange/White LED camp light kit
- St John medium leisure kit – A First Aid kit by St John
Best tent for Australian camping
First and foremost, you a going to need a good quality camping tent. Tents come in a range styles and sizes and choosing a suitable tent is not straight forward.
Some of the things to consider include:
- Number of persons using the tent.
- Type of tent – Dome, Pop-up or traditional.
- Quality of tent.
- Camping budget.
- How easy is it to set up?
- Is the tent free standing or attached to a structure such as a vehicle?
A popular choice for tents in Australia is the Coleman and Black Wolf tent range. They both have a range of tents from 2 person to 10 persons. The Coleman instant up range of tents will have you up and running in no time. Likewise, the Black Wolf range are super easy to set up and have a unique push up system.
Reviews of the best camping essentials for Australia
For this outback Queensland camping trip, we ended up choosing a Turbo Lite Plus 300 from Black Wolf. The tent is constructed of Ripstop Polyester. They also have the same tent in Canvas material which weighs a little more.
Although the manufacturer states it can technically hold up to 8 persons, realistically 3 would be our suggestion. It is ideal for 2 persons and fits on all camp sites we have used to date. The tent is extremely easy to put up and dismantle which was a deciding factor. When packed it fits into a carry bag that measures 145L x 38W x 40H cm and has a maximum head height of 200 cm so quite comfortable for most people to stand in the centre of the tent.
The tent comes with everything needed including good quality pegs and plenty of guy ropes. The floor is lined with heavy duty Polyester and the frame is 23mm Aluminium which reduces the weight. When fully packed in its bag it weighs 27 Kg.
The impressive thing about this tent is just how easy it is to erect. The tent pops up from the centre with the poles already attached. The only additional poles not pre attached are 4 small poles that slide into pockets at the rear of the tent for the extra living space at the rear.
In addition, the tent comes with a Polyester Fly which fits over the top and extends out the front to create a covered area with 3 poles. A pole also stretches from the centre of the tent to the centre of the 3 front poles which holds up the Fly front porch area.
The tent has a window on each side and at the rear. Each window has good quality fly screen and can be rolled up from the outside for flow through ventilation. The front entry also has fly screen and zippered access. Internally the tent has pockets for storage and top vents again with fly screen to reduce condensation.
All in all, this is a well-designed tent perfect for camping in Australia and we are pleased with the quality and design. We have been through heavy rain in the tent and kept dry.
In addition, we also purchased the matching Black Wolf groundsheet. The groundsheet fits perfectly under the tent and extends to the end of the front fly thereby providing additional flooring at the entrance. The groundsheet is made from heavy-duty mesh that allows dirt and moisture to fall through for a clean, dry entry space.
For those that require additional covered space Black Wolf also have additional front and side panels that can be attached to the Fly at the front to provide a wind break or additional enclosed space. We have not purchased these yet but now that we have used the tent, we are considering purchasing them, as we think they would be a good addition for cutting out wind, rain and sun on the porch area.
Portable Fridge / Freezer
A real game changer for us was choosing to purchase a portable camping fridge. Choosing the best portable fridge for camping in Australia is essential for keeping perishables fresh. An esky is fine for short trips but in the long run nothing beats having a fridge.
We researched the various portable fridge / freezer brands and ended choosing the Dometic CFX3 35 Portable Fridge. This fridge has external dimensions of 69.4L x 39.8W x 40.7H cm and is the perfect size for us. The unpacked weight is 16.9kg
The fridge has capacity of 36 litres and is surprising how much you can fit in it. Dometic are well known for quality camping goods and this fridge is no exception. We are primarily using it as just a fridge but it can also be used as a freezer and has a temperature range of 10°C to -22°C
We also reviewed this fridge along with many other top portable fridges in our review of camping fridges article.
Choose a good quality sleeping bag for a restful night.
Sleeping bags come in a range of sizes and styles and vary in price depending on the quality. Choosing the correct one is important to ensure a good night’s rest.
Our article on the best sleeping bags has in-depth reviews on many of the best sleeping bags on the market.
We are using the Caribee Snow Drift Sleeping Bag. This jumbo size bag plenty of space and has a drawcord hood that lets you keep your head nice and cosy. It is rated to -10 Celsius and measures 240L x 90W cm. This budget sleeping bag has kept us warm on cold nights for a comfortable nights sleep.
Ensuring a good night’s sleep with the right Inflatable air mattress
Just as important as the right sleeping bag is choosing a top inflatable mattress. We have slept on a variety of beds including stretches, floor mats and cheap air beds. Our pick of the right camping bed these days is a double high air mattress.
Choosing the right mattress for camping can make or break a camping trip. There is nothing worse than tossing and turning all night on a poorly designed bed or waking up with a sore back. Camping is supposed to be enjoyable, so you owe it to yourself to get the right bed for camping.
Our choice for the best air mattress for camping is the double high QUICKBED from Coleman. It is a self inflating mattress with built in pump. It does however require a 240-volt power source. As we have chosen to stay at powered camp sites this does not present a problem.
Lightweight folding camp table
Choosing a lightweight camping table that was big enough for both of us to use at the same time was a priority, as we both need to work while on this trip. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from and we found the right one which was folding that has detachable legs that neatly pack away.
Choosing a lightweight portable camping chair
One of the pleasures of camping after a full day of sightseeing is sitting out under the stars at night enjoying company and a relaxing drink of your choice. Camping chairs come in a large variety of styles. The most important factor to consider for us was portability and comfort. As everything had to fit in our vehicle, we needed to ensure we chose the best portable camping chair.
We knew that we would also be using our portable fold up chair during periods of work so needed to find not only the best ultralight camping chair but also the most comfortable portable chair.
The chair we chose was the Darche DCT 33 camp chair. We purchased one each and have been happy with the chairs. Not only are they comfortable but they also have collapsible side tables with drink holders on one side and a storage pouch on the other. These steel frame camp chairs fold to 90L x 56W x 14H cm which fits easily into our vehicle.
Camp kitchen for cooking
One item we are glad we purchased is our folding table from OZtrail. We checked quite a lot of tables before deciding on this one and we are happy with our purchase. This lightweight folding camp table is ideal for camping. It easily folds into a compact and easy-to-carry item of useful camping furniture. It is extremely easy to set up and has a large fly screen protected area’s underneath for storage of food or essential cooking equipment. It also has pocked areas on both ends for additional storage.
The external dimensions when set up are 122L x 61W x 81H cm and can hold up to 30 kg which is plenty for a portable cooktop or small BBQ and preparation bench space. When folded it measures 60L x 60W x 8H cm and has a carry handle. The table is part of our essentials for camping in Australia
Cook up a hearty camp meal with a small camp stove
A highlight of camping under the stars is preparing an outdoors meal. Cookers and BBQ’s come in many shapes and sizes and all price ranges and one of the essentials for a successful camping trip in Australia. As we are trying to save space in our vehicle, we have chosen a small 2 burner stove from Gasmate. These camp stoves take the 220g butane cartridge and are ideal for cooking a quick meal with limited space.
Lighting for your campsite with LED tent lights
LED camping lights are the best option for providing bright consistent camping lights as they provide bright lighting with low power requirements. Many of the strip LED and light bars can be joined to provide a complete campsite lighting system inside and out.
The Hard Korr Bar range of LED camping light kits are one of the best LED camping lights for tents. They come in kits with everything you need and run off a 12-volt power supply e.g. car socket. We have the 4 Bar system which is ample. The only additional item we purchased was the 240V to 12V transformer to allow us to run it off a power board if needed.
This system has a dimmer switch and can alternate between bright white or orange to keep bugs away.
Stay prepared during your camping in Australia with a First Aid Kit
No matter how careful you are things can sometimes go wrong. Therefore, it is wise to be prepared, especially if you find yourself a long way from medical attention. A basic First Aid kit is handy insurance for those times when you need it and provides a safety net for minor ailments or accidents. We always keep one in car.
The St John Medium Leisure First Aid Kit is a reasonable priced kit with plenty of supplies for basic injuries.
Last words on camping essentials Australia
Our Queensland camping trip has us away from our home base for an extended period of time and we are loving the freedom and wide open spaces of the Queensland outback, as we make our way around the state. How long we will be away is uncertain but one thing we know for sure is that with the right camping essentials you do not need to give up all the comforts of home.
Australia is a vast country with a diverse climate and when planning your camping adventure, it is essential that you are prepared.
Is there any must have camping essentials for Australia you recommend that we have not covered? We would love to hear, so please drop us a comment below with your suggestions.
You are also welcome to join our Queensland Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great place to ask questions about travel in Queensland. Please join us to help you prepare for your trip.
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