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CAMPING GEAR

Whether your swagging, tenting or towing a camper trailer, chances are you’ll also need to include some of these items in your camping kit. Camp lighting, cookers and barbeques, storage, camp oven, saucepan kit, fridge, table, camping chairs, bedding, sleeping bags, portable hot water showers and toilets.

Swiss Army knives with differences

Everyone is familiar with the long-serving red and silver Swiss Army Knife, and in recent years the Victorinox company has developed new derivatives, fitted with specially-coated blades and tools, wood-finish models, marine ‘camo’ designs and different finishes.

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Marine-design camping mattress

This Austrian-developed, Australian-manufactured mattress is designed to offer the durable ‘springiness’ of an innerspring mattress, without the complexity of metal framework and springs.

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SureCan re-invents the ‘Jerry’ can

Occasionally, a product arrives and makes you wonder why someone didn’t invent it before. Anyone who’s had to top up a fuel tank knows how awkward and dangerous an operation that can be.

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Low-cost portable toilet

The Elemental Thunder Down Under portable toilet has proved to be a very handy bush companion over the past few years. It’s now our go-to bush dunny choice.

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Laveo Dry Flush toilet

This battery-operated ‘dry flush’ toilet looks like the answer to campers’ prayers, but it’s not that simple. Some camping gear websites hurried to give this product an award, but we never rush into these things…

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Choosing an awning

We get asked about awnings quite often, so here’s the low-down on selecting and using the right one for your needs. We’ve lived with all types of awnings and we’ve yet to find one that’s wind-proof. 

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Aussie-made Firewood Carrier

It’s now easy to carry wood or loose gear to your campsite with the Aussie-made Firewood Carrier from Blacksmith Camping Supplies. We’ve bought one and we’ll test it this winter.

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Assassin F-A3 multi-tool

Folding shovels with blade edges aren’t new, but the colourfully named Annihilate Assassin F-A3 is more than just a folding shovel: it holds multi-function survival tools as well.

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In line water filter

There’s nothing worse than getting a load of crook water, so we’re always very fussy about the source of any water that we put into our camper tank – and we always filter as we fill.

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Black Wolf compact directors chair

We prefer upright director-style camping chairs and we’ve finally found replacements for our aged OzTrail chairs. Black Wolf compact chairs are strong, fold up easily and have a lifetime warranty.

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Scrubba wash bag

We’ve been testing this novel portable ‘washing machine’ for the past few months and it’s certainly worth considering by those who have packing space limitations.

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Sea to Summit cookware and ‘crockery’

Space is always at a premium when it comes to loading your vehicle or camper. Pots and bowls that fit inside each other used to be as good as it got, but now there are collapsible pots, pans and ‘crockery’.

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Music to camp by

Keeping up with the latest technology is, seemingly, a full-time job these days. Our latest purchase is a harman/kardon Esquire Bluetooth remote speaker that normally sells for around $300.

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Expanding hose

Filling the water tank on our Tray Tek camper is easy enough at home, using a hose on a reel, but filling from the widely differing water outlets around Australia is another matter.

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Icebox test

Not everyone has a portable fridge and those who do sometimes need additional cooler capacity. That’s why the portable icebox still has a place. We tested six of them in summer heat.

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Environmentally Sensitive Camping

There’s nothing more uplifting than camping under stars after a day’s scenic drive through some remote part of the Australian Outback, but it’s depressing to come across an idyllic spot that has been marred by irresponsible driving and lack of camp hygiene.

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Camping Gear – Check List

So much to be packed, it’s easy to forget things! Sure, you can usually buy again somewhere along the way but why waste the money. Use this handy list and you’ll be sure to have everything.

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Coleman Pack-Away Kitchen

The Coleman Pack-Away Kitchen disappears into a compact case. The sides of the case open out to form the serving table top. The stove stand opens on one side of the table top and a slip-on cooking tool frame clicks in place to hold tongs, spoons and the like.

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Happy Camper Gourmet packed food

We’ve been taste-testing the range of Happy Camper Gourmet pre-cooked meals and now we don’t go anywhere without some of them in our food boxes. If our fridge packs up we won’t starve.

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Portable Fridge Options

Portable fridges and coolers look much the same from the outside – they’re all insulated boxes with lids – but there are significant differences in the way they work and the type of energy they use. It’s necessary to know something about the ebbs and flows of the cooling business if you want to be sure of buying the right unit for your needs.

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Espresso for campers

We love our morning coffee and for years we struggled to find the best way to have espresso quality coffee in the bush. With our Handpressos we’ve found it.

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Hide Away Travel Safe

We’ve inspected two Hide Away travel safes and found them to be well made and easily portable. They’re not cheap, but what price security?

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How to pack

What and how you pack may determine how happy your bush travel experience will be.

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Lightweight camping

It’s easy to get carried away with the camping kit you come across in shops and at camping and outdoors shows, but it’s possible to have a successful camping experience without carting the kitchen sink with you.

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Menu Planning

Portable refrigeration has changed the camping menu for the better: there’s no good reason why meals served at home can’t be enjoyed when you’re camping. With a bit of careful planning, you can even enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine at the end of the day.

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Coleman Instastart AL-3 Cooker

The stove is a clever design, the two round burners are separated by a rectangular burner and with all three alight and the griddle on top there’s even heat over the entire plate.

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Staying Healthy in the Outback

One of the greatest health risks in the bush is illness caused by poor hygiene. We have a camp rule that we never touch food or eating utensils without washing our hands.

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Quarantine Laws – Australia

Quarantine Laws – Australia

Before you start filling your food containers for your next trip, you should be aware of what you can and cannot take across State borders and into special exclusion zones.

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Caravan Industry Association