|WHAT TO TAKE|
|TENT - most of the new tents have a fly - if your tent does not you can purchase them from KMart (cheapest) and camping stores. You will also need an adjustable bar to slip over the poles at the front and rear of the tent to keep the fly off the tent. It is amazing the amount of difference this 10cm of airflow has in keeping your tent cool in summer and warm in winter.|
|GROUND SHEET - this protects the bottom of your tent from sharp rocks and sticks. I use one of those blue tarps you can buy at any of the cheapy shops like Clints, Buy Low etc. You need it the same size or slightly larger than your tent.|
|SHADE - If staying in the one place for a week or so you might like to invest in an annexe or gazebo style tent so you can sit in the shade or out of the rain and enjoy a cuppa.|
|TOILET - Camping in peak holiday season at remote areas can present some problems as most places only have one pit toilet and no shower facilities. You can purchase a little easy to erect tent which doubles as a shower and toilet. The solar shower and fold up loo come with the tent. I use a swimming pool chlorine plastic bucket to support my plastic bag under the toilet seat. In summer the solar shower heats up very quickly - it is advisable to test the water before standing under it as it can be scalding. In winter if it is not warm enough just add a little hot water from the kettle. DO NOT PUT BOILING WATER INTO THE SOLAR SHOWER - REMEMBER IT IS PLASTIC.|
|GAS BOTTLES - COOK TOP - LAMP - check gas bottles are full before leaving. You can buy a little gadget from KMart which guages the weight of the bottle. I have both a gas lamp and battery powered lamp. If I plan to do some reading at night I use the gas lamp as it is much brighter. The little fold up battery lamp (Coleman) I use inside the tent. Matches|
|SLEEPING BAG - MAT - PILLOW - self inflatable mats are available from camping stores and KMart - these mats are insulated and self inflate, if you need them firmer you have to blow. I have a minus 5 sleeping bag which I sleep inside during winter and sometimes on top of in summer. This sleeping bag was on sale many years ago at a very cheap price- it opens into a queen size doona. I have come to bless its warmth - on several occasions I have experienced below zero degrees not only in the Braidwood area (near Canberra)(minus 10 being the lowest) but also at Newnes. I sewed a queen size cotton sheet in half to make a liner for the sleeping bag and have a wool doona to go inside for added warmth if I feel I may need it during winter some of you hardy campers may laugh but on one occasion camping in the Duea National Park I woke up about 2am shivering - I have never been so cold - I could not get warm - when daylight finally dawned everything inside the tent and outside was frozen. I had a 10 litre container of water inside the tent which was solid. I then purchased thermal long johns and top and the wool doona which is very thin but very warm - I have not been cold since.
PILLOW - you can take your own or puchase a self inflating one.
|STUFF: Clothes - always remember - no matter if the weather is boiling hot it can change to freezing cold in a matter of hours ALWAYS pack one set of warm clothes even if you do not need them - better to be safe than cold.
Shoes - a good pair of hiking shoes is essential - do not skimp - really good pair of shoes costing a hundred dollars plus will last you many many years and will guard your feet and ankles against injury. A pair of walking sandles will come in handy for wearing around camp and crossing rivers and a pair of joggers for mucking about and driving if you find your hikers too restrictive.
Rainwear a cheap rain outfit can be purchased at most cheapy shops (poncho-$2 or jacket and trousers - $5) if you do not want the expense of Huski or Dri-as-a-Bone.
Socks good,thick sports socks or hiking socks are a must to keep the blisters away.
Change of clothes, warm clothes, light clothes, gloves, crockery and cutlery, kettle, saucepans, frying pan, matches, washing up stuff, washing yourself stuff, towel.
Salt - a must in case of leeches. I have had great success in keeping leeches and ticks off my body by rubbing lavender oil onto my skin. Sorry guys you will just have to smell pretty or try T-tree oil.
FIRST AID KIT this is a must in your backpack (small size)
Backpack - there are hundreds to choose from - try them on and select one which feels comfortable - especially the straps on the shoulders - make sure it has a waist strap when you are hiking for several hours you need this to take the weight off your shoulders and onto your hips - you are less tired at the end of the day.
SLRCamera, zoom and macro lens, extra film, a polorize filter is also a help to reduce the glare and harshness of the midday sun, binnoculars etc - tri or monopod. These can be very heavy if hiking for more than a couple of hours.
For long hikes I have purchased a Riva Zoom 125 - this versitile camera takes landscape, close up and 125 zoom is great for most photographs you will take on a hike ALSO it is lightweight.
FOOD - I take easy to prepare dry food if I am doing a lot of hiking - canned food (baked beans, spagetti,bean salad), tea bags, coffee, juice etc - you can freeze the fruit juice in hot weather and use it to keep your food cool. Remember there are no fridges or electricity at most National Parks. Steak is ok in an Esky for 2 - 3 days if you freeze it.
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