Recent reports state that roughly 11 million overnight camping trips were taken by Australians in 2015. Why wouldn’t so many people in such a beautiful country make a holiday out of spending time outdoors? With ample sunshine, amazing wildlife and so much stunning scenery, camping is almost compulsory in Australia. There are plenty of incredible camping areas in Australia, but many of the most desirable spots require you to be completely self-sufficient.
These kinds of spots may seem a little out of reach if you’re the kind of camper who likes a campsite with all modern conveniences. However if you are interested in true wild camping, and you want to experience it safely, you will need to set yourself up for self-sustainability.
Aside from Australia, Iceland is a top choice for camping to fully immerse in its natural scenery, from the northern lights to glaciers. The journey starts with choosing a well-equipped 4×4 camper containing the necessary comforts and conveniences. The weather in Iceland and road conditions are a major consideration, so one’s camper must be designed for comfort and safety. It’s also important to check the campsites’ facilities and proximity, if any, to shops for supplies — just that you can prepare accordingly.
Safety is paramount when it comes to self-sufficient camping and should be your first concern. Never take a self-sufficient camping trip without being completely prepared. You should have a good idea of how long your supplies will last you so that you don’t get caught short. Keeping a close eye on supplies at all times is so important as it protects you from getting in a spot of trouble if vital supplies like water run out. For extra safety, have emergency backups if you can and research the area you are staying in so you know how far away from supplies you are at any time.
Supplies To Take
Water is so important. You can’t survive without it. For long trips you need the capacity to carry a lot of water. Campers can often carry a lot of water in a standard tank, but you could get an extra tank fitted and take jerry cans as well. Any time you stay by beaches or creeks you should utilise that water for washing instead of using your stored water.
What you do for food really depends on your tastes. You can stock up on tins and packaged goods without any problems at all, enjoying a wide range of meals everyday. If you want items that are refrigerated though you’ll need to ensure your camper is equipped with a fridge. You should also make sure you pack items that you need, perhaps by making meal plans that last for the duration of your trip. Packing items you don’t need will only waste space and energy. Other key tips include:
- Preparing as many vegetables as you can before you leave and storing them in the fridge
- Preparing the meat and keeping it in snap lock bags in the fridge
- Having spice mix pots ready instead of taking entire seasoning containers
- Labelling items as you would store them so you don’t have to get everything out when you’re trying to find something, for example, if you have a pull out draw, add sticky labels to the top of the tins you store inside.
For more tips, checkout this Youtube video on preparing meals in a van.
Power matters on a trip where you need a refrigerator, power for GPS devices and other accessories you swear by like coffee makers. When you’re driving a lot your batteries will be charged but when you set up, you’ll need some help to get that juice stored up. During sunny weather, camping solar panels are a fantastic option. They could be all you need to keep everything running fine. If the weather isn’t quite as predictable where you’re going, look into getting a quiet generator for battery top ups.
You’ll need to hold as much fuel for your camper as you need for the trip, with a little extra for emergencies. You will also need gas for cooking. Ideally, you will have smaller canisters instead of one big one because they are easier to switch.
It is a basic need, but an important one. You will find plenty of drop toilets in national parks but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be parked near one when you need it. The most simple and cost-effective option will be to dig a 30cm deep hole which you can then fill in when you leave. You shouldn’t do this near water sources like creeks, and you should make sure used toilet paper is either well buried or burnt when you leave. Alternatively you can purchase a portable toilet or a stand if space allows. You could even get a toilet tent for extra privacy if you wanted to. Checkout this Youtube video on camping toilet options for more tips and tricks.
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us” – Unknown (one of my favorite travel quotes)
Self-sustainable camping is an incredible way to be free when travelling and exploring amazing scenery. Just remember to be safe, be responsible and plan well. These preparations will afford you even more peace of mind and freedom on your adventures.