Your Beginners Guide To Essential Camping Gear
May 16, 2019 POSTED BY Retreat Caravans

Your Beginner’s Guide To Essential Camping Gear

The great outdoors – there is nothing more us Aussies love than getting out amongst nature and enjoying what this great country of ours has to offer.

The scent of the trees and plants opening up for spring rain, the peaceful sound of water trickling down a creek, the gentle ringing of bellbirds across the forest – these are just a few of the many small joys that come from camping in the bush.

Being able to get escape the concrete jungle, experiencing the hypnotic light of a campfire dancing, and enjoying a starlit sky at night – there’s no denying that camping really is chock-full of those special moments.

That being said, things go much more smoothly and are a lot more enjoyable if you have the right gear with you.

From having the right type of shelter to meet your needs (not all tents are the same) to great cooking gear that works reliably over a fire.

Then there are the little comforts that make camping so much easier on the body and much more relaxing.

Covering just a few basic equipment requirements up front makes all the difference over the course of the trip.

Tent or Caravan?

Shelter is a super important consideration when you go camping.

While many people enjoy seeing the bush travelling via caravan, there are others who like the old fashioned practice of tent camping.

Both can be a great way to see the natural world as a beginner.

Travelling by caravan means you’re a little more protected from anything on the outside and also allows you to bring some of the comforts of home.

On the other hand, tents give a bit more of an adventure flair and are less expensive.

If getting away from it all is a major part of why a person wants to go camping, then a novice camper might find it harder to resist the temptation of running water, electricity, and lights.

In many cases, some families will have both: a caravan and a tent to set up wherever they are staying for the night, or longer.

Tent Considerations

While it can be tempting to just get the biggest tent possible, that’s not necessarily the best decision.

If cold weather is on the cards, the larger the tent, the harder it is to keep warm, even with multiple bodies.

Three people will have a very hard time warming up a 10 person family tent if the temperatures plummet outside.

While a properly insulated sleeping bag can help, this is something worth noting. Also as a general rule: the larger the tent the more difficult the setup.

If you will be camping will be in warmer weather, then you will find yourself in the opposite situation.

Stuffing four people into a smaller tent is not the best idea and a larger one might be more suitable.

Here are the most common things to consider when it comes to selecting a tent in which to go camping:

  • Budget
  • Style of tent
  • Useful features vs. unneeded features
  • Durability
  • Overall review scores online

Night Lights

Things can get dark at night. If you’ve only lived in cities, you might not realize just how dark areas without lights can get.

Light becomes really important when camping and the further off the beaten track you get the truer this becomes.

There are plenty of options to help deal with the darkness of night.

This doesn’t just include the obvious choice of torches but also camping lanterns, headlamps, and more.

While a campfire is great for the main camp – going medieval and walking around with flame torches is just a bad idea.

However, there are many great torches and lanterns out there. Beginners may even want to consider a combination option.

There are a number of options that are versatile and can be used as a flashlight or lantern depending on what the situation calls for.

Sleeping Considerations

A good sleeping bag is a must. The key here is to focus on the temperature rating.

If in doubt go with one slightly warmer than you think you’ll need, but don’t go overboard. Sleeping bags can get pretty warm.

In addition to this think about inflatable camping pillows as well as camping pads to give a little bit of a cushioning between your back and the ground.

These are small things that make a big difference.


While no one wants to think about the worst case scenario there are three things to prepare for under the “just in case” scenarios: first aid, emergencies, danger.

Don’t let this scare you off, but a few things to look at that cover all of these concerns include a first aid kit (and training in first aid prior to any long-term trip is highly recommended), an emergency beacon or locator, and pepper spray.

This trifecta can help you in the unlikely event of a worst-case scenario actually taking place.


While there are plenty of forms of camping, beginners should look at getting away with just a few times.

There are no hard and fast rules other than respecting the land where you camp.

Get used to sitting around the fire, not having to rush busily through the day, and using the many different types of gear that are available.

Getting used to the main gear is easy and in no time you will find yourself a camping pro!

Make Your Camping Experience The Best Ever

If you really want to take your camping trip to another level, there simply is no better way to do this than with a caravan.

This gives you unparalleled flexibility in that you can visit a number of different campsites with minimal hassle and really enjoy the experience in comfort.

If you are thinking about buying a caravan, then you can’t go past Retreat Caravans.

Please check out our range of caravans below, all carefully designed with you in mind:




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