Tag Archives: top 5 tips

After the trip is before the trip (2/2)

Following up on the things we did right on our last trip, here the..

Top 5 things we hope to do better next time:

1. Plan ahead

This one sounds really silly and yet it´s the most fundamental one. Of course one plans ahead, right? Well, if you are going bush, you need to plan ahead just a little bit more. Especially when you base your expectations on European experience. Where did we fail?
  • Outside of the cities you actually need cash, so bring a fair bit of cash.
  • The combination of a fully packed 4WD, a big engine, a rather small tank (85l) and rather large distances between service station is not to underestimate. The machine stopped after only 450 km, that´s not much. So, a long range tank or some jerry cans are a must.
  • You are going out into the wild, you´ll take it as it comes, right? We almost learned the hard way that certain areas (Steep Point) actually need a permit that people apply for 10 months ahead!! Same goes for camp spots there. So, do your research on the locations that need a booking and book ahead, well ahead.
  • The further you go from the Cities, the sparser the supermarkets and the thinner the selection there. The longer and the more detailed you plan your meals, the better you can shop for ingredients, and pack the right amount in parts before leaving. Think about the quantities and how annoying it may be to drag around 1 litre olive oil instead of a small container that is sufficient for the trip.

2. Where to put the rubbish?

You most likely have a superb packing system for your vehicle and you know exactly what goes where. At least when you leave home. Latest after the first night and the first meals you start to carry around a fair bit of waste, likely yucky food waste. We used standard shopping bags and that was not good enough. Especially as you don´t have a “place” for those bags, they fly around in the trunk and the risk for a ripped open rubbish bag is not particularly nice. We hope to find a better solution next time. Suggestions? No, those “4WD-camping-rubbish bags” aren´t the solution either, they are far to big.

3. Laundry management

When it comes to packing and organising your things one issue is often forgotten, where to put the laundry that starts piling up over the days. A proper cloths packing system is crucial with 5 people in one car, sharing two duffle bags for all neccesities. that works all good with these handy zipper-dividing-bags, until you start to accumulate dirty cloths that need to go somewhere. A plastic bag that fits in somewhere in the trunk? Not so good. We actually haven´t yet fully figured out the ultimate hack for this issue. Best we could come up with is an additional, very light and very flexible dividing bag that can separate the laundry from the rest of the clothing items. As the laundry bag gradually increases, parts of the fresh clothes move from one to the other bag (which shrinks in the same time). In the end this would lead to one bag with laundry and one with cloths. Sounds good does it?

4. Firewood

This is not such a big issue as campfires aren’t allowed in most of WA and especially in national parks but if you find yourself at a location where it actually is allowed, you can bet that there isn´t any firewood. So, carry it with you! You would´t want to touch that forgotten, small pile of firewood over there anyway, would you? Snakes like such places …

5. Fly-net (for your head)

Yes they look ridiculous but yes these flies can drive you MAD when you have them all over you the second after you step out of your vehicle.

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Alright, once we´re at it, here are the top 8 things we shall/want/would like to do to the machine before we head bush next time:

8 Most desired Land Cruiser updates

  • Wheel alignment – She´s pulling to much to the left, the left swivel hub needs eccentric bearings to correct the camber (That´s what the no bullshit guys say)
  • Rear bumper / dual wheel carrier – In an emergency reverse, the original plastic (!?) bumper got bent. Time to swap for the real thing, with one wheel and one jerry can holder.
  • Long range tank – 85 liters is not enough and x jerry cans on the roof rack are wrong
  • Drawers – boxes are nice, drawers would be very nice
  • Suspension – will need an upgrade after installing the last three items, also one shock is leaking a bit.
  • Roof rack storage bags – We have real estate up there that would work fine for snorkelling gear / toys and maybe even sleeping bags
  • 3 inch exhaust – For better fuel efficiency, and sound 😉
  • Any other suggestions?

After the trip is before the trip (1/2)

It hasn’t been our first camping trip, certainly not. Some say we even blogged about one of our first major trips.
It has been our first OZ camping trip, it certainly has. And when you do something you haven´t done before, you try – you (may/partially) fail – you learn – and you improve based on your failures.
Doing that for us is a good thing for us, but hey maybe YOU would like to avoid our lessons and rather do the “right” thing without learning the, in the worst case, hard way? wouldn’t´t you? So lets do that blog thing, make a list; No even better make a “top X tips” list! Here we go:
No stop, one second – All experiences reported here, strictly apply to a family of five that travels without a trailer. All are strictly based on our experiences but hey who knows, they may even apply for other travel constructs ..

Top 5 things done right on our 1 week camping trip:

1. Head Lamps

It gets dark early and very fast so close to the equator, that´s something special when you spent years close to the arctic circle. Having lamps is crucial to set up camp, do the cocking, find your things and check for unwelcome critters. Having head lamps is especially handy. The key handiness factor is to have them at the same spot at all times and ideally at an easily accessible spot.

2. Wet wipes

Parents know the benefits of wet wipes to keep the little fellows at least a little clean. On camping wet wipes are gold, they work for so many things besides of keeping yourself and the kids cleanish. Doing the dishes, cleaning your sunnies form sunscreen, wiping of the sunscreen / sand crust from your feet before creeping in our sleeping bag, and so many things more.

3. Zip Lock bags

Leaking things are the most annoying issue when you have limited access to proper cleaning gear and limited to no space to carefully store half open food containers. Everything can be packed in ziplock bags! And then it´s safe and out of the way with very little risk for a mess. Besides of the obvious food items, we stored sunscreen, shells found on the beach, fishing bait, fresh and cut fruits as daytime snacks, … all in ziplock bags.

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4. Oztent

It is a very much not trivial task to arrange camping gear for 2 adults, one teenager a, primary school and a pre-primary school aged kid in one vehicle, a standard wagon and without a trailer. The combination of our Oztent RV´5 with two queen sized 4WD camping mattresses next to each other and one hiking-style camping mattress on the foot-end of the others worked really well. With some routine we had the whole camp set up in not much more than 10 minutes, including all bedding and chairs and table. That´s not to bad, is it?

5. You tell me

I must have something forgotten, what may it be?
I see that this post is getting all to long, so part two follows tomorrow…