WIN!!! A mozzie-free picnic pack!

Summer camping with mosquitoes - win from Hovex

We were on a camping trip, enjoying the serenity of our summer getaway until the mosquitos arrived in force.    There was no respite from them.  They were everywhere - on us, our food, our gear - everywhere, day and night.  It was so bad, we had to retire early to our tent, spraying the tent copiously with flyspray to try to avoid being eaten alive.

Mosquitos are the downside to summer nights.     If at home, on a picnic or like we were, camping, they are incredibly annoying.

Our friends at Hovex feel the same.    They want to make outdoors more appealing and want you outdoors, enjoying our amazing country.        Hovex has created a new, and world first,
vapour active technology to provide invisible and odourless protection against flies and mosquitos for up to six hours.

Yes, flies too!!!

Did I mention how much I hate flies as well?      Mealtimes, where you spend more time brushing flies off your food than you do eating isn't fun.  

The Hovex Vaporgard Outdoor Fly & Mosquito Shield is a simple, no mess solution for entertaining outdoors will leave your guests scratching their heads (and not because they’ve been bitten by mosquitoes!) wondering how you managed to keep the insects at bay.

This highly effective product forms a ‘no fly zone’. Simply spray the surface around the outdoor area you want to protect to create a vertical barrier around your outdoor activities.   What that means for you, is up to 6 hours protection, and you can leave the citronella candles at home.

So do you want your next picnic, camping trip or backyard BBQ to be mozzie and fly free?  

If you do, and want to be one of the first to enjoy this technology,  thanks to Hovex, we have 5 picnic packs to share with you.

Hovex Prize Pack

The Prize

Each pack has  Hovex Vaporgard that you can enjoy on the picnic blanket, whilst you and the family play cards or Go Fish set (all included, total value $60 per pack).

  • Need more information about this all-Australian brand, Hovex?  Then read more here
  • Can't wait to get this Fly & Mosquito Shield?  Head to Bunnings to pick up your own can there.

How to enter?

Easy as always.     Enter via the Rafflecopter app below.

Competition is open from 21 February 2017 and closes 6 March.

Open to Australian residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

mosquitoes suck fat instead of blood humor

How to stay cool when camping: 7 tips to help

7 tips for camping in summer

Being uncomfortably hot, sweaty in places you didn't know you could sweat, and no prospect of getting cool anytime soon isn't an enjoyable experience.    

My choice wouldn't be to say "hey, let's go camping now that the temperature has reached 40 degrees".    I would probably say "let's stay home" but it may not always be an option.    A camping holiday planned for weeks might just have to go ahead, and you need to adapt to the weather conditions.    And let's remember the plus side of summer - the beautiful balmy nights it can give us, with perfectly clear evening skies!

But how can you make those warm days more bearable?  Less likely to feel miserable in the heat?

We put together 7 tips that can help alleviate some of the heat you might be feeling or at least help make camping a little cooler for everyone present.

camping in hot weather with an a/c

1.     Position your campsite

When setting up a campsite, you need to look at a number of factors. 

To help keep you  cooler, remember to check the location of where you plan to set up – look to place your accommodation for the night in the area where it will get the most afternoon shade.     Don’t forget that what is shady at 10am is not like that at 3pm.

Near water?    Position your camping site to maximise any benefits from breezes coming off the water.  The downside about being near water is that it may increase the level of mosquitoes near your camp, so you need to weigh up your options and work out if you want breezes and bugs.

When setting your tent up in this shady spot, remember that camping under some of our large gum trees can be very hazardous.    Choose your trees wisely.     

Extra helpful reading:      Not sure about choosing a campsite during the year, regardless of the season?  Then we have 7 helpful tips on choosing a campsite

2.     No fly on the tent

Mountain Hardwear Drifter 3

Our smaller dome tents, without the fly, gives us, a mozzie-free night, as we are enclosed all in the mesh, and with total view of the night sky.   This maximises the ability to get cooler air into the tent.    These tents are a great choice for hot weather.

If you are travelling in a bigger tent, then your options to leave the fly off may not be possible or may not result in significant changes.  

Ensure you open up all doors/windows on tent to maximise cross breezes, and set up the tent as late as possible (ie. when the sun goes down) to avoid heat building up in the tent.

Nylon tents heat up more quickly than canvas tents, though nylon allows the air to escape more easily too.
You may not have a choice of what tent to take, but we would recommend a dome tent with 4 sided mesh as a great option for those warm nights (pictured above is  our tent, Mountain Hardwear Drifter 3)

3.    Purchase 12 volt fan

12 volt fan

Lack of air circulation makes a hot night unbearable.    The movement of air, though not cooling the air itself, will help you as the air circulates.
They range in price, and are available at auto shops and 12 volt specialist companies, but from what I read, to get a good one (works efficiently, silently and economically) will cost.
A recommended brand by others for caravan use seems to be the Caframo Sirocco .  Hunt around though for the best deal with this product – purchasing from the USA might be cheaper.

For a cheaper option, you could look a Companion Tent Fan with LED Light - that will help circulate the air in the tent, plus does something else!

The fans designed for camping (and requiring batteries)  means an additional cost to you; that is  something you need to take into consideration when buying, especially if they are not rechargeable.      It depends on how much you want to spend on powering these fans, and how long you want to run that fan for - battery life will vary based on run time and settings.     Investigate!

Of course there is always the option of getting a 240w fan, and using with an inverter – they generally are larger fans, and therefore going to greater breeze but if its suitable for you will depend on space, portability and if you have the necessary accessories to power it.

4.     Sleep in a hammock

camping hammock

Looking to maximise the cooler nights?   Then hammock camping is an option to think about.
We have written about this form of camping quite a bit before, and if you want to know more about it, check out

Introduction to hammock camping – swinging in the breeze

7 tips for hammock camping

Skybed hammock review

If no hammock, sleeping under a tarp another option, though bugs could be an issue!

If you are looking for other sleeping options - a camping stretcher/cot allows air to circulate under the cot, instead of a mattress.    You may find it cooler being a little elevated/off the ground.      

5.       Tarp over your tent

If you have this option, another way to help reduce heat on your tent, is to string a tarp over the tent, leaving enough room for air to circulate between tent and tarp.   It provides another layer of protection from the sun.

A little bit more work, but the benefits will be noticeable. 

6.    Hydration and clothing

In our previous story on camping in summer, we emphasised the need to bring water and more water.     It’s timely to include this fact again as a way to keep cool.   Plenty of water as opposed to soft drinks, caffeine and alcohol will help keep you hydrated.
Children dehydrate quickly, so remember to watch their hydration closely

Not near the ocean or a lake?  

If space allows, a small blow up pool filled with water is a great way for children (and pets) to keep cool.   If it gets too hot, you can join them!

Proper clothing for conditions should include cotton clothing, light coloured (to reflect the heat), wide brimmed hats and adequate sun protection for the body.     There are clothing items that draw sweat away from the body, and have built in SPF protection – worth investigating if hot weather camping is going to be on the itinerary.

7.    Suitable activities for the weather

outdoor swimming

If you are camping near water, your time will probably be spent in it!     That would be the best way to keep cool and one of the only reasons I would be found in a tent in summer – because we have a major water source right next to me!

If you don’t have a lake or ocean to laze by, your activities need to be altered to suit the weather.        Early morning starts for any activity, so you can rest in the heat of the day.
If you have access to air conditioned locations (shops, tourist attractions, caravan park facilities) utilise them in the warmest part of the day, so you are not sweltering at your campsite.
We camped in the Northern Territory, and remain very thankful that Kings Canyon Resort had a swimming pool where we could spend the afternoons!

If you are heading out camping this summer, hope these tips make your camping experience a bit cooler.

Editors note:  This story was first published in 2014 and  has been updated to provide accuracy and comprehensiveness.

5 tips you need to know about camping in summer

5 tips for hot days camping outdoors

Summer is here and when the temperature rises, some of you may embrace the outdoors and get that camping gear ready to go.  

Katarapko  camping in summer 

Me?  I have to be somewhere cool on a hot day.   

Camping by water is a must, so you have somewhere to keep cool and wash off the grime and sweat of the day!     If I don’t have this, then, I am going to put our camping on hold temporarily.     Being in a tent when its warm is not pleasant for anyone.

If of course the temperature looks like climbing and I am committed to a camping trip, there are some considerations to think about.   Actually some of the following tips apply any time of the year, but others are more crucial in summer.

We think there are 5 things you need to think about to make that camping trip a little more pleasant.  

1.      Don’t forget a well stocked First Aid Kit


  • First Aid kits should be something you take each and every time when you go camping.   But in summer, just remember that you might need to check it, re-stock and add to it.

  • Insect repellent for the mosquitos and flies is crucial.     

  • You might want to even think about getting a net to go over your head to reduce the annoyance these bugs give you in summer!

  • If you get bitten, something to soothe the bites should be in that first aid kit too.      One suggestion for mosquito bites is to rub the bite with a piece of dry soap.    It doesn’t work for me, but others swear by it.

  • Summer means snakes, so a pressure immobilsation bandage should be included too.   This bandage can be used on funnel web and mouse spider bites too.    We have one in our backpacks for our hikes in summer.  

  • And if you are not too sure about First Aid, you should look into doing a course, or there is an app for your phones which could assist you in managing an emergency situation.  See details of the St Johns app here.

  • Don't forget the sunscreen – and plenty of it.

Image source: Jere VanLoan

2.   Keep food and drinks cold.


Sounds basic doesn’t it?

But food that is not properly chilled is going to be
  • gross
  • inedible
  • dangerous to consume
And nothing spoils a camping trip faster than food poisoning.

So if you want to know how to decrease the chances of a funny tummy and keep food cool, we suggest you read our Top 10 tips for keeping food cold.

The tips mentioned in this story are all very achievable and won't break your bank!   

One important tip is that you might  have to be prepared to move your food/drinks around the campsite to wherever the sun is not throughout the day.   


Image source:  here


3.    Look at your campsite before you set up


So you have found a great spot to set up?     You all jump out and start unloading….and then the day progresses and the sun now beats down on your once shady cool spot…..

A bit of thinking before you set up is in order. 

  • Before you unpack, look at the time of day and where the sun will be in the afternoon.    The heat of the day is when your campsite, especially your tents/trailer, is going to need that shade.

  • Have you checked for ant hills in your campsite?    We didn’t once, and found we were camping near inch ants.    And their bite is so painful.  Trust me on this one!!!

  • Additionally Hopper Ants (Hopper ants are native, and found in Tasmania, country Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT, and parts of South Australia and can hop 20 cm in one bound!!). They can cause severe allergic reactions, so check your site closely for these painful sort of insects.

  • Don't forget to watch the trees where you are too - heat stress can cause branches to drop without a breath of wind around.     It's never recommended to camp under trees, but do be extra wary of gum trees.

hopper ant


4.    Bring water and then, more water


Water when you go camping is important at any time right?    But in summer, it takes on a new importance as dehydration is dangerous, and physical activity in the warmer months can make dehydration a greater possibility.

Ensure your children are given plenty of water throughout the day too, as little ones can dehydrate quickly.

Don’t count on the site having clean drinking water available – if you can, check in advance, but if camping remotely, you will need to bring water with you.    

Many campgrounds have water that is  not safe for drinking.  Always check before consuming, and if in any doubt,  sterilise your water.    If you are not sure about water filters, have a look at these from Wild Earth to see a range available to you in all price brackets.

Heading to the Outback?     Then take as much water as you can, because if your vehicle breaks down remotely, you need to have that water to help you survive until help arrives (and don’t leave your vehicle).   

tips for summer camping

5.    Know the rules

Summer in Australia means bushfires.     And fire bans are put in place for a reason.      The ban on campfires in National Parks and Forest Reserves is generally from November 1st through to April 30th, but this can vary from state to state.   So check.

  • There are different rules on Total Fire Ban days and Fire Danger Season.    It’s important that you know the difference.

Some sites to check for this information and anything in regards to fire include:

South Australian CFS
Country Fire Service Victoria
Department of Fire & Emergency Services WA
Queensland Rural Fire Service
NSW Rural Fire Service
Tasmania Fire Service
Northern Territory Fire & Rescue Service

If you are allowed a campfire where you are, remember that if you are collecting wood nearby, check the wood closely before you pick it up (insects, spiders and reptiles underneath could make you need that First Aid Kit).

And if you do have a campfire, extinguish completely….if its hot to touch, its too hot to leave.

Not sure how to put out a campfire?   Read these steps to putting out a campfire properly.

campfire with dutch oven

They were just 5 tips to think about before you head out camping this summer.  So are you ready to head outdoors in the warm weather?

Editors Note:  This story was first published in 2012 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.