New camper - what do I need and what is just a want

Questions, comments, discussions and reviews on equipment, outdoor gear etc.

New camper - what do I need and what is just a want

Postby encorepi » Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:27 am

I am a self confessed princess who never wanted to be more than 20 metres undercover on a made floor from a toilet and hot water shower. Now I don't mind camping. So far we have always been camping with people who have gear.

Now we are going camping on our own and want to know what gear we need. We have the stuff that we personally needed but haven't gone all out. What we have is bedding, tent, chairs, table, two of those butane stove thingys, I also bought a screen dome (my princess moment).

I am not sure what else would be an essential being that I would prefer to build up over time rather than go all out on the wrong things as we may not camp without others with gear too many more times. The gear that I am talking about that others have and we don't are campovens, fridges, iceboxes, tarps etc. My big quandry at the moment is weather or not to buy an icebox/cooler. We have a cr*p willow one that I can use to hold ice and as we are going to the Prom we can buy ice daily. I have read that you can buy insulated covers for ice boxes, I would love to make or buy one of these for my willow.

After much research we bought a second hand Sportiva Dome tentfor which we only paid $200 (it is about $600 RRP), so the idea of spending $200 on a performance cooler (coleman or esky 5 day rated) or more on an icebox seems silly, but do I need it?? can I do without it?? That is why I am asking for your opinions.

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Re: New camper - what do I need and what is just a want

Postby Blue Bravo » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:21 am

Depends on where, how long and what time of year. As you know you can spend lots of dollars on things that seem really a good idea at the time. If you are overnighting then a cooler is ok. If staying longer then an insulated esky type which will keep ice for about a week might make sense. Try and take as much stuff that doesn't need refridgeration (long life milk, tins of stuff etc). Buy camping things as you find that you really need them.

A wise man told me that you spend the first couple of years gathering a heap of camping gear then the net 20 years doing away with most of it till you are back at the basics.
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Re: New camper - what do I need and what is just a want

Postby freerocketman1 » Sat Jan 03, 2009 1:51 pm

you may want to get a light, if you don't want to get a gas light try a rechargeable one that way when you go for a drive just plug it in.
as for the esky i have had the old willow but now have a techni ice one & there is no comparison. we use it all the time even just going to a party, yes i know they are not cheap but they are worth it. :grin:
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Re: New camper - what do I need and what is just a want

Postby OzJeeper » Mon Jan 05, 2009 9:44 pm

One of those "how long is a piece of string" questions and you really need to think about needs. As in;
Keeping warm, cool, wet or dry. Well fed and no biting things. How do I keep comfortable, washed and content. How do I extend this to others in my party? Have I planned well enough and is the first aid kit well stocked?

My experiences started one morning at 2.00am when I opened the door of the car and called to Dad "I'm trying to sleep but I can't keep warm!" whereupon he came over with an extra blanket for me. There was frost on the car and the ground. I was 11 and it was 1959.

My best advise? Buy "the bit" that fits into the vehicle where you want it to fit. The "bit" should be the best you can buy for your budget in that financial year. (think about it) If the "bit" is something to do with sleeping, never, never skimp. Look for bargains but never buy budget. Golden rule this one.
If the "bit" needs to keep food fresh, again don't skimp. Or at least for the first year. :lol: Full tummies are tummies that will come camping again with you.

You will change your tent. None seem to fully fit the bill in my experience. I hear this from others as well.

Cooking gear is an evolving thing and it really comes down to what and how you cook at home. Don't venture too far away from your proven techniques as this will invite disaster. Always, ALWAYS trial run a new dish cooked in the camp oven (or Cobb, or whatever) AT HOME, then do it in camp. This sorts out the gear as well. Helps with planning out a menu for the week. Do plan as it help with the shopping and stocking the coolbox (see above).

Do a list with the family/co-campers and work off the list. You WILL forget things.

Don't forget the camera and tripod......

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