Hint # 1.When purchasing a gazebo ask about the frame. Most gazebo’s are painted & they all look the same. However some are aluminium, they won’t rust & will last longer. Some are steel, they are painted external, but not internal & they rust, seize & fail when used near the beach.
2. Beach chair: River systems, depending where it is, don’t have as many of the undertow & large surf problems. So to sit in a beach chair in water up to your belly button is me down to a “T.”
Hint #2.Beach chairs are also great to sit around the fire. You are down with the heat, close to the ground & the biggest advantage is that don’t have far to reach your drink sitting on the ground.
3. Sunshelters are popular in camp areas near the river. Quick set up & quick pull down. Great to sit in out of the sun & watch the kids play. They are also very compact nowadays.
Hint #3.Make sure that your sun shelter has a high UPF rating. Go online & check to see what the Skin & Cancer Foundation in Australia advises.
4. If I ever forgot the Mozzie repellant in our family my wife Kerri would shoot me! (Figure of speech….I hope?!) Sand flies & mozzies seem to always be near water because it’s their breeding ground. I sell an amazing product that works called Bushman’s. I highly recommend it!
Hint # 4.If you love fishing & you need to get the repellant off your fingers, buy some hard water environmentally friendly soap. This soap will lather up in hard or salt water & wont effect the environment.
1. Safety: In the case of the Murray River, it’s fresh water & often has steep banks to get down to the water. My father was always telling us. “Be careful getting out of the boat, you can be 2 foot from the edge & it can be 10ft deep!” Fresh water rivers are usually muddy, you can’t see how deep they are & the banks are deep & steep. Eddy’s are a danger as well. This is where the current of a river dies off a bit & form circular flow patterns like a whirlpool. They can be dangerous & suck you down.
2. Annex Matting: I have talked about matting in the Beach camping section. We found that the rubberized matting is strong, soft under foot & lets the sand through nicely. The only negative we found with it, is that bindies & prickles get stuck in it. So we advise in country areas on river camping areas that the shade cloth style mats handle the bindies & prickles a little bit better.
3. Check your site: Dad always taught me to look for fallen debris on the river bank. So many of the trees on the rivers are big gum trees & they drop limbs all the time. So check the ground first & then look up. In country areas stay away from dry leaves etc in fire prone season. Also, because a lot of banks on rivers can be high, this is not easy to fish from & falling down with kids could be a nightmare. Get one down low near the river in non tidal rivers if possible.
4. Big Tides: In northern Australia people have lost their lives because they were caught walking out to the low tide mark and the tide came in so quick that they became stranded. Be very aware of this. Also depending on the environment be aware of crocodiles.
5. Ice boxes: So often when river camping you are miles away from town. Ice becomes a problem. With Fibreglass iceboxes from companies like EvaKool, I quite easily get a minimum of 5 days with block ice frozen in 2 litre milk containers in my own freezer. A secret with ice boxes is to pre cool your ice box 24 hours before you go. We try to put a block of ice in & pre chill the walls in advance. Cool food in a pre chilled ice box equates to a longer hold time.