1. When camping in the forests there are different outside elements that differ from camping on the beach. It’s not the tides & weather that effects what order you pack your gear or when & where you go. But rather the rain forecast & the fire rating that is of interest. Because you are deep in the bush & usually on an unsealed road, just getting there is almost always accessible by 2 wheel drive. As it is common to have camp areas in government owned forestries with well maintained & graded roads. But if it has rained a lot, you wont get in & if you are in there & it rains a lot….you may not get out. At the other extreme, long periods of hot weather & fierce winds can mean fire bans. This is very rare but check this out before you book your trip.
Hint # 1. There is no better knowledge of the local area than the Rangers that live & work there. Getting advice straight from the horses mouth can be a simple & smart idea. So in what order to pack you vehicle is not as important as beach camping & tides, because your time limits are “whenever you want”
2. When packing for your forest camping trip, there a few items that you will need. For Eg. There are more animals in the forest. So sealed portable rubbish bins and sealed food containers & trunks to keep the possums out are a must.
Hint #2. I made the mistake one day of putting food scrapes in a plastic bin bag & putting inside my tent at night, thinking animals couldn’t get to it. When I awoke the next day, a small animal had eaten a hole through the floor of my tent, through the bin bag & got in to the food. So keep it up off the ground, even inside your tent.
3. A good first aid box for camping & a miniature first aid kit for the back pack if bush walking, some sting relief from mozzies & ants never goes astray. Hike boots & good quality, quick drying socks are a must. Forest camping areas in the Sunshine Coast hinterlands all have walking tracks & they quite often lead to mountain lookouts etc…
Hint # 3. If bushwalking tell someone where you have gone, when you will be back & as an unwritten law carry a litre more water per person than you think you will require, some energy bars, a security blanket & if possible a portable digital Epirb. Accidents do happen in the bush when climbing & walking in uneasy terrain.
4. Mum & Dad always packed items like toilet paper. Most of these camp grounds have toilets, but in peak times these items can run thin. A good billy goes a long way. The water supply can be pumped from creeks or tanks & must be boiled before use. I often pack my own 20 litre water drum with water from home to drink with. We also sell water tanks that can be fitted under your ute tray or these tanks can be mounted under your caravan or camper trailer. They are anywhere from 120 litres & down to 65 litres.
Hint # 4. Available in store we have water purification tablets or drops. These can be put into your hike water bottle if you are drinking from creeks. They can also be put in water tanks on caravans & camper trailers to kill germs & viruses & alleviate some tastes.
1. Amenities: Whenever my wife has been pregnant & we have gone camping, she has always asked if we could camp close enough (not too close) to the toilet block. It’s simple, but this is something that people often forget. Access to water for drinking & cooking is fairly common near amenity blocks as well.
2. Site Choice: Sites are usually booked in advance. Go for a drive out to the camp ground on a research mission a few weeks before you go away. Because you are in the forest, and our rainfall being so high here on the Sunshine Coast, you don’t want a site that will flood or is in a low lying area that will puddle water, is situated under some big gum trees that branches can break off & fall, has loads of bull ants nests or in the middle of a high traffic walked area. Eg. The main track to the swimming hole.
3. Ground Sheet: Rainforests (hence the name) usually have high rain fall & it could get quite muddy. So it makes good sense to put a ground sheet under your tent to protect it as it’s campings most important possession. A good tarp does the job just perfect. They are cheap, compact, can be wiped clean with a chamois & there is no more folding your tent away muddy.
4. Fridges: Be aware that if you are operating a compressor driven fridge & you are using Solar Power to charge the battery to keep it running, then you may be restricted from the sun with shade. You usually get about 6 good hours of sun a day with solar. So between 9:00am & 3:00pm you will want good sun.