I have a few friends who aren’t keen on trying camping, because they think it means that they might have to ‘rough’ it a bit. Well I’m here to tell you that you definitely don’t have to’rough it’ if you don’t want. Now don’t get me wrong, if heading off into the bush with not much more than a swag and a billy is your thing that’s fine with me. If I was 30 years younger I would probably be doing that too. But I must confess that I do like a comfy bed to sleep in. I enjoy a nice glass of wine, some nice nibblies and a decent cup of coffee.
So here are my Top 8 things for making your next camping trip that little bit more comfy!
1. THE BED
I love my sleep and for me to get a good nights sleep I need a decent mattress. Not long after we purchased our camper trailer we swapped the foam mattress that it came with for an inner spring mattress. It wasn’t a brand new mattress but still had plenty of support in it. I also make sure that I have a couple of decent doonas on it as there is nothing worse than being cold. Add a nice quilt cover and bring your pillows from home and you should sleep like a baby! If you don’t have a camper trailer I recommend you choose something like the Oz Trail Anywhere Bed. It’s an air bed with legs under it so you’re not sleeping on the ground.
It is so much easier these days when camping to eat well. No one wants to subsist on baked beans on toast or sausage sandwiches. Planning your meals before you go away can make it much easier to eat well whilst you are away. With a small amount of effort your meals can be just as good, if not better, than they are at home. Try things like a roast in a camp oven, homemade hamburgers or chicken and veg kebabs.
3. A FRIDGE
Whilst on the subject of food a portable fridge or a really good quality esky or ice box is essential to keep your food and drinks cold. There are several different brands of 12V fridges around and the prices vary greatly but as with most things you get what you pay for, so buy the best that you can afford. We have an almost 20 year old Engel that has done millions of miles in Brenden’s truck and it is still going strong. We also have a Downunder Icebox which is excellent – ice will last in it for 2 to 3 days!
4. HAPPY HOUR
One of my favourite things about going camping is being able to sit down and enjoy ‘Happy Hour’. If this is something that you enjoy too then why not make it a bit of an event. Take a nice wine glass with you. I wrap mine in a tea towel so it doesn’t break. Get some yummy nibblies together, put everything on a plate or in a bowl instead of in packets, add a nice place-mat for your table and you have the makings of a lovely happy hour just like at home.
5. COMFY CHAIRS
Whilst you are sitting around enjoying Happy Hour or telling yarns by the campfire you will want to do it in comfort so make sure you choose the right camp chair for you. There are literally hundred’s on the market and you can spend anywhere between $20.00 and $200.00. Head to your local camping store that has a good selection and sit in a few before you decide on one.
If you are tall you might want to opt for one that has a high back. Also have a look at how they fold up and assess how easy that is to achieve and also how big they are when folded. You’ll want to be able to pack them into your car or trailer easily. We are overdue for some new chairs. We will be spending a bit of extra money on them this time as we have found the cheaper ones break very easily.
The last thing you want to be doing when camping is stumbling around in the dark. Brenden being a little bit clever made all our own LED lights for a fraction of the cost of buying them retail. We have dimmer switches and also a remote control which means no getting out of bed to turn lights off! We also find headlamps are great especially for kids – leaves hands free especially if you are heading to the amenities.
We really enjoy listening to music. When we first bought the camper trailer Brenden bought a car stereo which he mounted in a timber box and did the same for the speakers. It runs off the batteries in the trailer so we always have music. A small blue tooth speaker that you can hook your phone up to would also do the job. Just remember to be considerate of your neighbours and keep the volume down especially during the evening.
I do love a cup of decent coffee even when camping so I bought myself a small coffee plunger and my favourite ground coffee. That way I know I can always get a good cup of coffee. On our recent trip to Rainbow Beach there was a coffee van set up in the park where we stayed which proved popular of a morning. I have also been known to duck into town to grab a coffee if the alternatives are not available!
So there you have it – eight things that will definitely make your next camping trip a whole lot more comfortable! Still not convinced? Here’s a little list of luxuries just for the ladies.
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