In our last blog, we heard about Tennille's experience at Stuck In The Middle, a female only 5-night camping event in the East MacDonnell Ranges. The event was the first serious camping trip Tennille had been on. In this blog she shares 8 tips she would recommend to other campers travelling for the first time.
First camper Tennille with one of the organizers of Rolling Solo
8 tips from a first-time camper
1. Listen to experienced campers, and take an electric blanket
All the guys from REDARC travel with an electric blanket. I wanted to prove to them that I could ‘rough-it’ but when I saw it was going to get down to 4 degrees, I went and bought an electric blanket powering it through a Pure Sine Wave Inverter. Boy, I'm glad I did because I was nice and cosy when dawn set in.
2. Don’t wear white
Back to one of my learnings….Dirt gets in everywhere, little did I realise that my wardrobe predominantly consisted of white. I brought 4 white tops with me for a 7-day adventure, they all got dirty, very dirty from the red dust….now I understand why everyone wears black in the outback.
Never underestimate the amount of the red dirt of the Australian Outback
3. Everything has a place
Back to another one of my learnings….Everything needs to have a place, think twice, act once before opening the fridge or opening the canvas door to get something.
What are you looking for?
What else do you need?
During the first day, I found myself going back and forth to the camper and fridge, continually opening up the fridge meant I was putting additional load on the battery, when you’re out free camping, power is scarce so don’t waste a precious resource.
4. Charge your devices in the morning
Seems simple enough but we all charge our phones at night when we’re at home. When we travel we need to do the opposite of this, we need to charge them first thing in the morning, as charging devices means taking charge from our battery. If we do this first thing in the morning we’re ensuring we have all day for our solar panels to top the batteries back up again.
Fortunately for Tennille, the REDARC camper doubles as a power station ensuring all her gadgets were always charged
5. Stop, look up and watch the evening movie
Living in the city means we miss out on seeing our night sky in all its glory. Being in the middle of Australia with no cloud cover was certainly an opportunity to appreciate our night sky. It’s a 5million star rating!
6. Baby wipes / Rosewater mist
Baby wipes definitely come in handy when you haven’t had a shower for a few days but also for me it was Jurlique Rosewater mist. I was lucky, I had hot running water in my camper trailer so I could wash my face whenever I needed then sprayed some Rosewater mist onto my face and all was good with the world – a little bit of pampering out bush goes a long way.
7. Talk to a local
You’ll end up eating the best steak in town. When speaking with ‘Frostie’ from a nearby station, he recommended ‘Bojangles Saloon’ as the best place in Alice to get a steak. So for our last night in the NT, Steve and I headed to Bojangles, it’s a little rough on the outside and not the typical restaurant I’d go to for dinner but we went in and it was certainly a great meal. If it weren’t for Frostie’s recommendation, we wouldn’t have experienced Bojangles, a must for anyone visiting Alice Springs.
Tips from the locals can often lead to the road less travelled
8. Talk to an expert
It’s good to buy Aussie made and if that Aussie made company provides technical support then you should use it so they can help you with the right product for your requirement but also recommend someone in your local area to install it – I’m sorry but the super cheap auto stores are not experts. Lucky for some, Steve was on hand to fix a number of systems (both during my stay and during the trip up) that were purchased purely because the owner was given the wrong advice.
Speaking to an expert before your departure is highly recommended..... or travelling with one