Summer is here and when the temperature rises, some of you may embrace the outdoors and get that camping gear ready to go.
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.
- Avoid unnecessary exertion on very hot days. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke (the latter can be fatal) can happen readily without proper precautions and common sense. Red Cross Australia has a guide to these conditions and how to treat them. It's worthwhile to read up on it before camping in hot conditions.
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
- dangerous to consume
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.
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).
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.
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.