Whether you are heading away for a weekend during school holidays or setting off on a long-haul trip around the country, there is plenty of planning involved when caravanning and camping. This essential caravan and camping checklist will help you make any holiday a success, allowing you to enjoy time with family without the stress.
What Should Your List Look Like?
When you’re busy, checklists are an essential way to ensure you have everything ready for your trip. However, what is on that list is very dependent on the trip you are taking. If you are having a week away in the bush, you may need different items to when you take a week on the beach and so on. While you may add or remove things from our guidelines, the most important thing is to have a checklist – and use it.
Research, Research and More Research
Most of us like to check out new holiday locations, perhaps staying in one place for a couple of nights before moving on to the next place. If this is your first time visiting a location, research is a must.
- Journey & destination. This is one of the most important aspects of any trip you take. You need to know your possible travel routes, average fuel costs, whether you need to pay camping fees or if you can free camp, holiday seasons, climate and so much more. You’ll also need to know whether you will have access to a supermarket, or if you will have to fill up at the closest town (which could be a couple of hours away).
- Potential for weather changes. Weather can be predictable at any time of the year. From storms building out of nowhere to hot days and cold nights, spending some time researching the weather and temperature in the area will mean you aren’t left without a jacket in the desert when night falls.
- Trial runs. First time you’ve used your caravan or camping equipment? The last thing you want is to be working out how to put a tent up in the middle of the night or finding out that your caravan really doesn’t have enough space for two people in the bed. Whether it’s your backyard or a weekend trip an hour away from home, a trial run will help you iron out the kinks.
The Nitty Gritty Checklist
Whether you are heading on holidays and sleeping in the comfort of a caravan or camping out under the stars there are some pretty important things to check before you leave and to pack with you.
- Towing capacity on your car. If you’ve never hitched a caravan to your car before, you need to check how much your car can tow. Most caravans weigh between 2000kg – 2500kg without anything loaded into them. If your car’s towing capacity is less than this, you may need to consider a different form of accommodation.
- Road and tourist maps. For those who have spent time travelling outside the city areas, you’ll know that your phone and internet service can become quite patchy the further you travel from a main centre. Pop to your local bookstore for printed map books, your local tourist information centre for foldable maps, or the internet before you leave.
- Generators and fridges. It’s hot, you’ve been travelling all day. The last thing you want is to open a hot drink when you arrive at your destination. Getting yourself a generator or a fridge that can run on the 12V socket in your car is a great way to keep calm and cool. Start it up and make sure it works before you head off.
- First aid and fire. Issues can strike at any time. Ensure you have a fully loaded first aid kit and a fire blanket and extinguisher on hand if you ever need them.
- Device chargers. The kids will thank you for remembering the charger to their tablet or handheld gaming console, and you’ll thank yourself for packing them early in an easy to reach location. You may also like to consider investing in a couple of power banks to use as backup options.
- The essentials. Don’t forget a light source like torches, and something to help you light the campfire. Rubbish bags are another essential, as is a toaster and kettle for an easy breakfast before you head out for the day.
It is also important to remember those cooking essentials such as utensils, plates, matches, gas cylinders, container to wash dishes, water and an esky. Don’t forget the tables and chairs as well – otherwise you’ll be sitting on the ground!
Whether you are free camping in the wild or by the water in a caravan park, hygiene essentials are important. Basic toiletries, insect repellent, sunscreen, towels, old shoes, a portable clothesline and prescription medicine should all be kept in a handy spot.
If travelling in a caravan, remember to have your car and caravan serviced and any repairs made before you head off, including replacing any chipped or cracked windscreens. Chips and cracks can cause issues with vision on the road, and you don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere with your windscreen shattered because you didn’t get it repaired.
If you’ve already packed your car or caravan before noticing the chip or crack in your windscreen, Autoscreens can come to you, and get you on your way quickly and efficiently.