If there is one thing we love it's hearing fun or handy tips and tricks to create a better camping experience. Kevin Smith is an avid camper and someone who knows his way around the campsite. We asked Kevin to share a few hacks he has come up with throughout his outdoor journey and here is what he had to say...
Pulling up late to camp is never fun. You may be able to set up quickly and get stuck into dinner, but there’s always the risk something has gone wrong with your gear on the journey in. Opening the fridge or cooler to find a swill of food mixed at the base due to broken containers is just one potential disaster.
There is a lot to be said with food containers these days. Get a group of campers around a campfire and everyone will have a different opinion on the best and the worst food containers available. Whether it be for food or liquid, choosing the right one for you can ensure a more enjoyable, stress-free camping experience. I’ve found containers with lids that ‘lock’ into place with tabs to be a great option as they ensure moisture and liquids cannot escape. For durability, the thicker the better.
2. NIGHT SAFETY
There’s nothing more annoying than getting up in the middle of the night for a bathroom run and tripping over tent pegs or guy ropes. There are several ways to create a ‘safer’ campsite and one very easy, affordable option is to buy a few foam pool noodles before hitting the road. Unlike glow sticks, you won’t have to replace your markers everyday which is why I love this hack. Simply cut down into 6” lengths and make a slit in the middle (if it doesn’t have one already). No matter what size you bought, each noodle will slip over the rope and peg with ease.
One thing we try and do is have a dual purpose for most gear we carry, and a high-lift jack is one of them. On sand, they are not that useful due to the pressure that is forced onto its base. However, we have found adding an OZtrail High Lift Jack Base will double the footprint area, creating stability and prevent sinking. Meaning, you can park your trailer or camper on the beach, in the bush or, anywhere!
4. COOLERS + FRIDGE/FREEZERS
Gone are the days where a cooler will only keep food and drink cold for a couple of hours. I’ve seen some that advertise cooling for up to 10 days! Depending on what you’re after, a higher-quality fridge/freezer or icebox is the way to go in my opinion. When it comes to choosing the design, I’ve found coolers with square corners to be easy to pack in the back of the car and will be less prone to movement, minimizing any potential rubbing between containers that could eventually cause cracks and holes. A simple trick for those with fridge/freezers is to place a towel into the half empty fridge. This should lead the compressor to believe the fridge is ‘full’, allowing it to slow down. *Note: it is still recommended you fill the fridge with food if you can.
I love food, cooking and experimenting with those two things while on the road. One of our favourite utensils would have to be the humble Jaffle Iron. We use it for the standard cheese, tomato and ham toasties, but also for leftovers and dessert. Yes, you read right – dessert. Try placing filo pastry (we usually use two sheets) into the base of the iron, fill it with small cut up apple pieces, a little custard then adding two more pastry sheets on top. Pop it over the fire for about 5 minutes and presto a cool (well, hot) sweet snack. When there’s no wood available we use it on the gas burner you just need to turn it every minute or so to distribute the heat.
Another fun desert for the kids is to unpeel a banana, slice it down the middle then fill it with tiny marshmallows and chocolate chips. Next you need to wrap it up in tinfoil before placing it on hot coals for a few minutes. A sweet but yummy snack!
This article was written by Kevin Smith from Woolgoolgaoffroad.
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