SUMMER CAMPING & HOW WE DO IT!
Summer Camping often delivers some of the highlights of our time throughout the year but we find, generally speaking, its much quieter on the tour front around this time of year. This gives us a chance to get out and about on our own, refining a tour, visiting new places or simply loading in the wife & the dogs for a run to the beach.
Heading bush on our own escapades during the summer almost always involves the coast – something we aren’t short of here in the West. We reckon there is not much that can top a setting sun, a fizzling freo doctor & spectrum of colours offering up a light show through the sky until well after the last of the sun has dipped over the horizon.
Have a go at that for an amazing Sunset!
There are so many places, particularly on our South Coast that make great destinations in the Summer time but many people struggle to enjoy the heat, flies & burning sands that are inherent with a West Aussie Summer.
A few days into summer & already striking the high 30’s , we thought it was only right to post some of our own Summer Camping tips for your trip away over the holiday period.
Dropping a line and watching the sunset – Does it get any more WA
Nowadays, Awnings are inexpensive & most of you (if not the overwhelming majority) will have an awning bolted to the side of the car. Do yourself a favour and grab an awning wall kit to extend the shaded area to keep you out of the sun during the day. Importantly, keep in mind where you park, where the sun is moving and don’t forget to adjust it to suit.
Its pretty simple & we all know how important water on a hot day is. More than a few times, the amber ale flows and it can be easy to take in far less H20 then you need. Not trying to be your mum here, but keep up the water. Sunstroke in the bush is not fun! We use 24 packs of bottled waters & have a water storage tank too. We rotate them through the fridge so there is always a cold supply – It’s also handy having some electrolytes in the glove box!
Dont forget to keep water on hand for the hounds!
Those that know us know one thing when it comes to footwear. Whether its walking Kimberley Gorges , kicking stones in the Goldfields, or walking a scorching summer beach, a pair of these beauties (and spares) wont be far from our feet. Absolute Trendsetters!
Cant go past a pair of Rockos
Sleeping Arrangement –
So many ways to make a camp! Tents, Swags, stretchers & roof toppers to name a few. Sleep light, have something with a fly-screen midge-mesh so you can roll down the canvas and catch whatever breeze you can. We have a summer sleeping bag & winter sleeping bags to swap out as well. Our mate Keith does a lot of time in the swag & nights of 30 degrees in the Kimberley were actually not to bad at all when I joined him last year, with the below set up – Yep that’s a small fan with a timer connected to a 12V can inverter. Simple! There are also 12V options available cheap these days.
How hot wet season nights can be managed – just!
Keep an eye out for shade, elevated ground to catch the breeze & if your right on the beach set your sleeping quarters in a spot that isn’t blocked completely from the gentle nightly breezes that will help you get a good night’s sleep. It goes without saying most shires BAN FIRES & areas can experience TOTAL FIRE BANS & TOTAL MOVEMENT BANS. Familiarise yourself with responsibilities and the rules!
Emergency Fires –
We spend a lot of time in the country & fire is a part of life. It is however quick to take it, sometimes unpredictable and other times absolutely, completely uncontrollable. Make sure you have an exit plan, know your surroundings and in the event of fire nearby make your way to a cleared area such as a beach or water source. Use your UHF on emergency channels & don’t panic! A clear head and good decision making is paramount. NEVER DRIVE INTO A FIRE.
We had Rangers fire drop just near us in Ballangarra lands to burn & care for country – It made for some interesting driving!
For the Kids –
Bring a couple of flannels along, wetting them help the kiddos stay cool & help cool them down for when its bed time. If you’re running a freezer in your car, icy poles are a great addition & even flavoured ice cubes keep the young ones on side! If room allows, a small shell pool can be easily bought along and grabbing some water from the beach or creek to fill it under the awning will be a winner!
What extra we keep in the summer –
– Vitamin E Cream or Aloe Vera for any sun induced burns where you missed the sun screen!
– Electrolytes in our Glovebox
– Akubra ( Go get yourself one! )
– Snake Bite kit Handy
These are just a few of the things we do in the Summertime when out bush! You either love or loathe the summer sun when camping but, you will often be rewarded with less people, better weather & great overnight camping conditions – Did we mention the sunsets?
One more thing – Make sure that car of yours is in good nic. Beach work in any vehicle on a 40 degree day is making it work extremely hard. Drive to conditions, keep an eye on things like your temp gauge & stop at the first sign of trouble!
Hope to see you out on the Coast this summer, stop past and say Gday if you see us.